Program History


History of Brackett's Landing and the Edmonds Beach Rangers


Brackett's Landing

Brackett's Landing

In 1872 George Brackett, a young logger, bought 147 acres of virgin timberland near the shore of what was to become Edmonds, for $650.00. Ten years later, the timber industry became the first business to utilize the area. Shingle mills flourished along the waterfront, until all the nearby Western red-cedar forest was cut down. The last mill, known as "Big Swede", closed in 1951. Today Brackett's Landing is used primarily for recreational purposes. An underwater park is extremely popular with scuba divers, and the mile-long stretch of beach attracts avid beach explorers. The railroad is still in use, running above the Landing, as is the Washington State Ferry run between Edmonds and Kingston.


Red Octopus

Marine Conservation

The continual heavy use of Brackett's Landing made a severe impact on the ecosystem. By 1976 the wildlife count was low enough to be almost non-existent. A group of concerned citizens, the Brackett's Landing Task Force, rallied community support to save the waterfront from destruction. One result of their efforts was the birth of the Beach Ranger Program. Organized in 1980 by Frances Murphy, a kindergarten teacher in the Edmonds School District, the Brackett's Landing Task Force set two major goals: 1) to make Brackett's Landing a marine sanctuary, protecting a delicate natural resource and allowing wildlife to repopulate, and 2) to develop a recreational area compatible with the sanctuary, as well as a site offering educational opportunities.

The first goal was accomplished in 1980 when the Edmonds City Council voted to declare Brackett's Landing a marine sanctuary. Educational programs at the beach were developed over the next several years, as Task Force member Jack Serwold, a marine biology instructor at Shoreline Community College trained students to present programs to elementary school classes. In 1983, funding by the cities of Edmonds, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace, as well as the Edmonds School District, enabled Edmonds to establish the Beach Ranger Program. Rangers were hired by the Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department to interpret beach ecology to school children, and to patrol the beaches during the summer.


Ranger with Moon Snail

Our Program Today

Today, the Edmonds Beach Ranger Program is part of Edmonds Discovery Programs, and is firmly established in the community, reaching several thousand people each year. Ranger-Naturalists provide a variety of interpretive and environmental education programs in classrooms, on the beach, and in Edmonds city parks. Programs are available to any group requesting one, depending somewhat on the season and staff availability. During the summer months Ranger-Naturalists patrol the shore daily, offering roving interpretation and informing visitors of park regulations. A visitor information and interpretive station at Olympic Beach is open weekends, Noon- 5pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and staffed by trained Volunteer Beach Docents.