Donor profile: The Worthingtons helped establish a new state park

May 3, 2013


Gary and Sandra Worthington have been supporters of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition since the very beginning. In 1990, the Worthingtons began the long process of turning Sandra’s family business, the Cama Beach Resort on Camano Island, into a state park.

It took longer than they expected – 18 years – before the park was finally opened to the public in 2008, but it is now a popular vacation destination year round.

Sandra and Gary donated 60 percent of the land that is now Cama Beach State Park. With the help of the Coalition, they were able to advocate for Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grants so the state could purchase the remaining property and restore the historic fishing cabins.

Completing the park

“[The Coalition] was crucial in lobbying for appropriations on a number of occasions,” Gary explained. “Mike Ryherd, [the Coaltion]’s lobbyist for many years, was also extremely helpful to us personally … in [the process of] obtaining other needed funds for Cama Beach State Park.”

The park is now a popular vacation destination where visitors can rent cottages and enjoy the shoreline that sits against a backdrop of evergreen forest.

“It’s been extremely gratifying to see how popular the park is with the public – families playing on the beach and staying in the cabins, flying kites, attending the interpretive activities, walking the trails, geocaching, and just hanging out in the new Cama Center building and cafe,” Gary said. “The most fulfilling part of the project itself was the enthusiastic participation by the wider community, with dozens and dozens, maybe even hundreds, of volunteers.”

Continuing advocacy

The Worthingtons’ commitment to Washington’s outdoors didn’t stop when the park was completed. They own a small nature preserve near their home in Olympia, continue to be supporters of the Coalition.

“We place a high value on preserving land and shorelines in their natural state, as well as on preserving farmland,” they said.

To anyone thinking about joining the Coalition, the Worthingtons say, “Definitely do so! It’s an excellent investment of both funds and time, with a huge payoff for both current and future generations. Most of us want to leave the world a better place for our having been here. Helping preserve valuable natural, historic, and recreation areas is a superb way to leave that type of legacy.”

All of the funding we advocate for in Olympia and Washington, D.C. goes directly to the projects you care about. The Coalition receives none of this funding and relies entirely on your support for our operations.

Join Gary and Sandra in securing Washington’s future. Donate today!