Justin Paulsen
Orcas Island Park & Recreation, Commissioner


Can you share a little bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in Renton, Washington and spent a good amount of time looking at Orcas Island from Bellingham, where I attended Western Washington University.

I moved to Orcas about 17 years ago to be part of the building of the OPAL and Eastsound Water offices and Reddick Apartments. It was on Orcas that I met Amber, and the rest is history!

Free time is a relative term! We are continually working on our farm, tending to any number of animals and tasks. Outside of that, we are constantly charging from one kid-event to another. Our family can usually be found on the sidelines of a field or a court pretty much year-round. When timing permits, making a trip to the mountains to go skiing is high on the priority list.

Tell us a little bit about the organization you volunteer at.

One of my big passions in life is supporting youth athletics and generally getting kids out and moving.  It’s that passion that brought me into serving as a Commissioner at the Orcas Island Park and Recreation District (OIPRD).

When Jim Bredouw, a founding member of the District, asked me to serve following his term, I couldn’t say no. The support that we receive from the Orcas Island community is the reason that OIPRD continues to thrive—not simply through financial support, but also from the thousands of hours that members of our community dedicate in support of programming and advocacy. As an organization, we are constantly looking for new ways to give our users opportunities the get out and enjoy the island.

What does volunteering do for you?

My work with OIPRD has been a really great way to connect with the community and hopefully improve the quality of life for some of my neighbors as well. For me, there is very little in life that is more satisfying than being part of seeing a spark happen in a kid’s brain when they discover something new that they love.

As we keep adding and expanding activities at Buck Park for all ages, its equally satisfying to see that spark happen to some “older kids” as well. If there ever was a fun political position to have in this world, its working with the great staff and fellow commissioners that I’m lucky enough to serve with at OIPRD.


Visit the Orcas Island Park & Recreation District to learn more. Reach out to them if you would like to get involved.

If you would like to learn about other volunteer opportunities on Orcas, please email Ed. He would love to get together for tea/coffee to chat about your interests.