Community News


The parent of an Anacortes High School student has launched an ambitious effort to spruce up the two athletic fields at the school.

Dennis Johnson has committed himself to spending every other Friday, his regular day off work, to help make the fields look better before the school year begins. “It all comes down to pride,” he said.

We caught up with him at War Memorial Field this Friday as he used equipment donated by Birch Equipment Rental. He’s removing overgrown grass on the track around the football field.

Work, he says, the schools maintenance people have been too busy to do. Johnson said “This work is too far down the list for them, they’re dealing with more important building repairs.”

Johnson said he’s been frustrated by the look of the field and had heard gripes from other parents, too. So, he decided to do something about it. He said he walked around the field, took photos, then used his computer skills to mock up what he’d like to do.

He met with Schools Superintendent Chris Borgen and high school Athletic Director Rick Mergenthaler, who gave Johnson the go ahead. He briefed the School Board this week on his work and got supportive comments in return.

But, this is just the beginning. He’d like to do some serious repair work on the stands, the gates, the snack stand and the scoreboard. All by the time athletic events start this fall.

This year’s bond proposal would have dealt with some of Johnson’s projects, but it was voted down by the public.

He said he’d love to see some other parents out there helping out. And, he said he could use commitments for donated items like what he’s already received from Birch, Dakota Creek Industries, Island Rentals and Puget Sound Rope.