How Lopez Island Got a Community Center

The early history of the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts features the generosity of two individuals, Natalie Roush and Andy Holland.

In†1984 Natalie gave the people of Lopez Island five acres in Lopez Village for a community center. Since there was no civic entity that could legally accept the gift, Bill Burke, then a Commissioner for the Port of Lopez, proposed that the Port Commission accept the property in Trust until such time as a community association could be formed. The Lopez Community Center Association was established and a board elected by the islandís population in 1987.

Soon thereafter an outdoor pavilion was built, and a series of summer concerts began.

In 1993 the trustees began planning for a community center facility as envisioned by Natalie.

The primary catalyst for the fund raising campaign came in mid July 1994 when Andy Holland presented to the Association a check for $50,000 and basically told them to get going with the project.

An extensive and intense fundraising campaign ensued. By 1998 the money to build and open the Center had been acquired, and construction began.

The Lopez Center for Community and the Arts opened its doors to the community for a grand celebration in October of 1999.

In 2002 Sally Bill most generously donated an adjacent 4 acres to the Association. This area is now home to the Childrenís Center, the Farmers Market, a community garden, and open space in the heart of the village. At about the same time a skate park was built by a community group on a portion of the original land along Fisherman Bay Road.

The result of the generosity of three individuals and creative work by countless community members and Boards of Trustees has given the village of Lopez a remarkable and protected area of green open space and facilities that will be in use for generations.