Each year, the Parks Foundation honors leaders, volunteers, and parks and recreation professionals who have had a significant impact on the development and enhancement of the parks, trails, and recreation programs of Clark County. The award’s namesake, Florence B. Wager, was a tireless advocate for parks, trails, and greenways in our community, and exemplified the high level of service these awards recognize. Florence B. Wager passed away in 2012.
John and Debra Bauman of Bauman Chiropractic have been named as recipients of the Leading Eagle Award. This award recognizes a community leader who has made contributions that have significantly influenced the life, health, and direction of our parks, trails, and recreation programs. John Bauman grew up in Vancouver and spent his formative years shooting hoops at Marshall Center. Now the owner of a successful small business, he and his family give back by supporting swim programs at Marshall. Their support provides swim lesson scholarships to children whose families can’t afford lessons, and also sponsors the weekly free family swim. Since 2009, the Baumans have made significant annual donations, and will have given more than $90,000 by the end of this year. “John and Debra’s commitment to the health and wellness of children and families is not limited to their financial contributions,” said Andy Meade, Marshall Center Director. “John, Debra, and their children are avid participants in our programs and have volunteered as coaches in some of the youth sport leagues. They embody the characteristics of this award.”
Marie Bouvier, Chair of the Ridgefield Parks Board, has won the V-Formation Flyer Award in honor of her years of service and leadership on behalf of parks, trails and recreation in Ridgefield. This award recognizes a spirited volunteer whose dedication goes above and beyond the norm, unhesitatingly giving of their time and resources to organize, develop, or enhance the parks, trails, and recreation programs in our community. Bouvier has served on the parks board for 11 years, and has overseen many developments that in 2015 alone include a strong strategic plan, a disc golf facility in Abrams Park, and Ridgefield’s first off-leash dog area. “I rely on the help of great volunteers to get things done in our amazing, fast-growing city,” said Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow. “Marie is one of the best we have, and I know we wouldn’t have the parks we do, and will have in the future, without her help and leadership.”
Bill Bjerke, Clark County Parks Manager, has been named the recipient of the Tributary Award in recognition of his work leading the county’s parks division. This award recognizes a parks and recreation professional who has gone above and beyond their daily duties in developing or enhancing innovative programs that connect the public to parks and recreation in new ways, creating new efficiencies to ease cost burdens, or securing/developing new grant sources or revenue concepts. Bjerke’s strong leadership, dedication to service, and collaborative, positive attitude were cited in the letters of support accompanying his nomination. “With the county’s 2014 split from Vancouver Parks and Recreation, the full responsibility of parks was placed in Bill’s very capable hands,” said Barbara Anderson, Chair of the Clark County parks Advisory Board. “The situation presented challenges at every turn. He hit the ground running and I was amazed at both his fortitude and perseverance. I don’t believe the word enthusiasm can even begin to describe him; it just seems so inadequate.”