September 9th will be the last day to order your engraved bricks at Propstra Square. Did you welcome a new baby in 2017? Did you celebrate a special graduation? Did you marry the love of your life? Who would you like to pay tribute to this year? Honor that special person or moment with an engraved brick at the foot of Esther Short Park’s Bell Tower. It will make memories now and into the future…and the best part…proceeds support the purchase and maintenance of the flowers and plants that enrich Esther Short Park. Click here to make your purchase today or phone our office and we’ll be happy to personally assist with your brick. 360-487-8370.
With our Annual Membership Drive now in full swing we are humbled by the generosity and actions of our members and community. We recognize the power of collaboration at work here in Clark County to make our region brighter, greener and even healthier place now and well into the future.
Recently we had the honor of meeting Mr. Robert Holczer, a man who shares our passion for Southwest Washington’s parks, and specifically Salmon Creek Park. Now 87, Mr. Holczer has faced horrific experiences throughout his early life as a Budapest Jew during the 1940s. He lost his family, his home, his country, but survived to touch many lives throughout his career as a U.S. civics teacher in Germany and the U.S. He has dedicated his life to ensuring what happened in Budapest would not be forgotten and to making a difference wherever possible. Now Mr. Holczer leads a quiet life, working in his garden. “How can anyone live without flowers,” he says.
We met Robert Holczer in a roundabout way —students wanted to honor him, his wonderful stories and contributions to their lives with a bench at his favorite Clark County park, Salmon Creek Park. With a terminal cancer diagnosis Mr. Holczer’s time is now short and the bench needed to be expedited. Students from around the globe contributed to purchase the bench and they wanted to make sure Mr. Holczer had the opportunity to enjoy it.
Robert Holczer has had many dreams. A Jewish boy of 15 he dreamt of freedom, safety and peace. He survived the Siege of Budapest and Nazi occupation. Now in the fall season of his life, Mr. Holczer shared his dream with the Parks Foundation of seeing Vancouver’s Waterfront Park completed. However with his diagnosis that seemed impossible. He simply wanted to see what would mark the city he loves for generations to come.
After meeting Mr. Holczer we realized his dream could happen. So, spearheaded by Dianna Kretzschmar, a collaborative effort began to bring Mr. Holczer’s dream to life and allow him to see Vancouver’s newest park firsthand through the project manager’s eyes.
The tour day came. Mr. Holczer and Pat Jollota spent the better part of an hour talking history as they awaited the tour. The expression on Mr. Holczer’s face was one of awe as he listened to details of Vancouver’s Waterfront Development and walked the site. As the tour concluded he was presented with a bound book illustrating the finished park.
“Thank you so much for making an old man’s dream come true. I saw the park as it will be, and it is beautiful,” said Robert Holczer. Thank you Mr. Holczer for you have left us so moved by your story, your teaching, and your love for Clark County parks.
We invite you to honor Robert Holczer by becoming a Parks Foundation member and supporting the continuing work of making our parks, trails and recreational programs a greener, brighter, and even healthier place to bloom. To upgrade your Parks Foundation membership, or perhaps join for the first time, click here to quickly complete your membership online.
Thank you to the following community partners for making dreams a reality for Robert Holczer.
– Dan Holmquist
– Jeremy Kanooth, Clark County Parks & Recreation
– Joey and Mary Fuerstenberg, Vancouver Granite Works
– Julie Hannon, Vancouver Parks & Recreation
– RSV Construction Services
– Terry Murphy Interiors, LLC
– Pat Jollota, First Citizen and Clark County historian
– Ryan Hart, Port of Vancouver
– Graymor Development
Recently featured in the Columbian, Vancouver’s Summer Playgrounds Program offers fun, structured and positive activities for children ages 6 – 11 at neighborhood sites from July 3rd to August 11th throughout Vancouver. These programs are provided at no cost thanks to the McClaskey Family Foundation and Parks Foundation members and donors. Program details can be found at the City of Vancouver.
Oregon Department of Transportation warns August 21st eclipse will cause “the biggest traffic event in Oregon history”. Register today for PAR FOR PARKS and avoid the traffic headaches!
Join us as we tee off for our parks, trails, and recreations. Proceeds go back into our community through the Parks Foundation Community Grant program. Since 2008 more than $685,000 has been awarded to municipalities and organizations throughout Clark County through the Community Grant program. Let’s grow together to make Clark County a greener, brighter, place! Time is limited so register today!
Learn more about expected traffic delays at KGW.com.
At the Parks Foundation of Clark County we are excited about the potential the Lewis and Clark Greenway Trail brings to our county! Recently Bill Bjerke, Clark County Parks and Lands Division Manager, presented on the benefits and possibilities of this regional trail that will link Clark County from its southeast corner to its northwest corner, following the Columbia River border. It will be a wonderful asset to our county, SW Washington, and the greater Portland Metro area.
Along with the collaboration this project adds to our community, it will provide many benefits of regional trails, such as better public access to the Columbia River, ecotourism and economic development, and will enhance public health. The most exciting aspect of this effort is the wide regional support and cooperation this project is experiencing. The Lewis and Clark Greeway Trail brings together the County’s three port districts, six cities, several nonprofit organizations, and many private organizations.
A Partners include:
On Saturday, March 11, the Parks Foundation hosted its annual St. Paddy’s for Kids event in its new location: Luepke and Marshall Community Centers. Little leprechauns showed up in droves throughout 10am and 2pm to journey through Ireland. Each room correlated to an Irish city; they started off in Cork (Luepke Lobby), then made their way through Dublin (Luepke Community Room), then up north to Donegal (Marshall Center), and back down to Galway (Luepke Conference Room), where they would get a prize. The families enjoyed dancing performances by the An Daire Academy of Irish Dance, storytime with the Fort Vancouver Regional Library, learning about water cycles from the Clark PUD Stream Team, and shaking their wiggles out with Northwest Personal Training, as well as delicious hot dogs from The Nomad’s Gourmet Hot Dogs.
There were 28 vendors in total that spread throughout the Luepke Center and into the Marshall Center gymnasium, where kids could learn how to kick a soccer ball with Soccer Shots, learn how to break boards with East West Martial Arts, and learn all about recreation programs that the Marshall Center has to offer. The day provided lots of prizes, raffles, sensory games, sports, and lots of fun.
A big thank you to our sponsors iQ Credit Union, Waste Connections, The Vancouver Clinic, and Riverview Community Bank.
The Parks Foundation of Clark County has named Dianna Kretzschmar as Executive Director. She will start her new position on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
Kretzschmar is a strong community leader and passionate advocate for many causes throughout Clark County. She has worked in Southwest Washington as a social worker and clinical case manager in long-term health care for almost 30 years. She serves on the boards of the Friends of the Elder Justice Center and Mobile Medical Providers Northwest. She previously served as the first program coordinator for the Clark County Elder Justice Center in the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. In that role, she was instrumental in establishing the center, which educates, coordinates and fosters cooperation between professionals and public workers to find and prosecute cases of elder abuse. She is also a 2013 Clark College Foundation Iris Award Winner. Kretzschmar also served as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Clark County Vulnerable Adult Task Force. She is a volunteer for many community organizations including Share, where she spearheaded the successful #every28days campaign, the School of Piano Technology for the Blind, Battle Ground Healthcare and The Children’s Center.
“I am so very honored to follow in the footsteps of such amazing women. Cheri Martin and Temple Lentz are personal heroes of mine and to build upon the work they have done, humbles me, “ says Kretzschmar. “To go to work daily to further the cause that community treasure, Flossie Wager, held near and dear to her heart is such a dream come true for me.”
“We are thrilled that Dianna will be joining the Parks Foundation. Her passion and commitment to this community is an asset to our organization, “ says Renee Wilson, Board President of the Parks Foundation.
Children and families came out in droves Wednesday, January 11, to Sorenson Park during Clark County’s “Snowpocalypse 2017!” The December opening of Clark County’s newest park came just in time for kids and snow lovers alike to test out its sledding hill.
This 4.8-acre park is located at the junction of Northwest 26th Avenue and Northwest 109th Street, and was developed in 2016 as part of the Greater Clark Parks District program, after many years of advocating and planning. It offers state-of-art playground equipment in two areas, open green and walking spaces, benches, basketball half court, picnic tables, nature play area that includes boulders, lily pads and a dragon made out of logs and, of course, the sledding hill.
Help support our Clark County parks by leaving a legacy in Sorenson Park with purchasing an engraved paver! Each 8″ x 8″ paver is just $125, and can hold up to three lines of text, up to 18 characters per line, including spaces. Funds raised through the sale of these pavers go back to support Clark County Parks. For more information, please click here.
We envision thriving partnerships with communities to ensure uncommonly vibrant parks, trails, and recreation programs throughout Clark County.