We celebrate another year boosting self-esteem, healthy lifestyle habits and a positive outlook. That’s what the Everybody Plays Scholarship program, which has been providing children access to healthy and fun recreational activities since 1992, can boast. The entire community reaps the rewards of having physically and mentally healthy citizens, and this program makes sure that it is available for all children in our community. Uniquely designed for low income children and citizens with disabilities in Clark County, the Everybody Plays Scholarship program provides funding assistance and scholarships for recreational activities offered at both the Firstenburg and Marshall Community Centers.
The figures are impressive. In 2013, 836 scholarships were granted and a total of $44,000 in scholarship benefits were provided. Approximately 300 youth with about 3,000 hours of activity, participated in swimming lessons, sports activities as well as programs specifically designed for the disabled.
In 2013, the Parks Foundation awarded $14,000 to this extensive program that reaches out to so many families in our community. In fact, over the past five years, $148,420 has been distributed through the Parks Foundation in scholarship funding, and with your help again in 2014, we can make sure that everyone has access to the very necessary art of playing. You can make a donation online or call the Parks Foundation office at 360-487-8370.
The City of Camas applied for a community grant from the Parks Foundation in 2013, with the hopes of replacing a popular, but outdated, piece of playground equipment in Crown Park. They were excited to hear when they were awarded the grant and we are excited to hear about the completion of the merry-go-round installation!
This new piece of playground equipment now allows for accessibility to all users and was installed in accordance with current ASTM safety standards, including a 6 foot wide rubber topped concrete path around the entire play area.
There has been a lot of community interest and pride in this project. The color scheme chosen reflects local elementary, middle, and high school colors and as an added bonus, members of a local Weblos Cub Scout troop were able to work on their engineering requirement during the initial planning of the project.
The City of Camas plans to install a plaque to acknowledge the Parks Foundation’s generous gift to the City, but the Parks Foundation wants you to know that we didn’t do this alone… the plaque is for you too! Without your generous support and donations, we wouldn’t be able to provide the financial backing for wonderful projects like this one.
Thanks to all of you who support the Parks Foundation and the Community Grants Program!
This post is the first in a series highlighting the amazing work from our Community Grant recipients. Thanks to all the donors that made this great program a reality!
The Evergreen Summer Playground Program, now in its sixth year, has seen participation grow to a record high of 119 children participating in 2013. The program provides children ages 6 – 11 living on the Fourth Plain corridor a safe, supervised and positive place to play, learn, and have fun during the summer break. And, thanks to our partnership with SHARE, each child received a free nutritious lunch every day of the program.
The baseball clinics led and supervised by former Major League Baseball player and Fort Vancouver High School graduate Brian Hunter were an exciting addition to this year’s lineup of events. The children loved the clinics and Brian’s presence provided a wonderful example of someone who grew up in their neighborhood, became successful, and is giving back and encouraging others to strive for success!
A huge thank you to the Vancouver Police Department, and especially Corporal Duane Boynton, who has been with this program from the beginning. In addition to ensuring a safe environment in the park, he is able to outreach and provide a positive perspective and image of the police to the children and community.
The Evergreen Park Playground program has had significant impact on our community far beyond the bounds of the park and program. In addition to successfully accomplishing the initial goal of providing a safe, structured and supervised program for children in the Fourth Plain corridor, the program has truly transformed the park back to the community asset and gathering place it was intended to be. The Parks Foundation is proud to be a part of this program!
Clark County and the City of Vancouver have operated as a consolidated parks department under a joint agreement since 1997. Recently, the Board of Clark County Commissioners opted not to renew this agreement.
On Wednesday, December 4, 11 a.m. to noon at the Clark County Public Service Center (1300 Franklin Street, Vancouver, Training Room, 6th Floor), the Clark County Commissioners have scheduled a work session to outline the organization of the new Clark County Parks Department and future plans for parks and recreation services.
We hope anyone interested in the future of Clark County Parks will attend this work session and bring their own questions and comments. The County Parks workshop will be preceded by a Parks Foundation of Clark County update and presentation to the Commissioners.
Questions? Let us know!
The Parks Annual Luncheon was simply inspiring. More than $70,000 was awarded to programs and projects across Clark County that our communities will enjoy. The 2013 Florence B. Wager awards were presented to the following hard working, positive thinking, tireless individuals:
And Ron Onslow was a highly entertaining emcee. All this in less than 90 minutes!
Thanks to all who attended to make the 2013 luncheon a very special and memorable occasion. Be sure to review our Report to the Community that was distributed to the audience.
As our 15th anniversary in 2014 approaches, we are raising the bar and increasing our goal to raise $100,000 for grants. We will need your help.
The Lewis River-Vancouver Lake Water Trail Paddling Guide, designed to make paddling trips along the 32 miles of waterways between Woodland and Vancouver Lake safer, more enjoyable, and less harmful to natural resources, is now available. The guide, which identifies appropriate routes along existing stretches of river and shorelines, provides river mileage and waterway conditions, and offers trip planning details, will enhance recreational opportunities for paddlers of all abilities.
The water trail guide was funded through a 2012 Parks Foundation Community Grant through a generous sponsorship from Tidewater and produced in partnership with Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation and the National Parks Service. Printed guides are available at the Parks Foundation office, Marshall Community Center, and Ridgefield Kayak.
The Intertwine Alliance is a coalition of private firms, public agencies and nonprofit organizations working together to tap new sources of funding, better leverage existing investments, and more fully engage residents with the outdoors and nature. The Alliance was built over many years, but was formally launched as a nonprofit in July 2011. In its first year in operation, we grew from 28 partners to 68. We currently have 80 partners.
The historic Evergreen Highway is used by bicyclists, joggers, and walkers alike. Spanning over six miles, with breathtaking views of the Columbia River, construction of a safe pedestrian walkway is a must-have for this beloved highway. The Old Evergreen Highway Trail Committee is working to raise $150,000 toward a “50% project plan” which will establish firm costs and allow committee members to secure the donations necessary to begin construction.
The committee has succeeded in securing one-third of the funding for these plans, but needs your help to fund the remaining amount. All donations are tax-deductible and can be made through the Parks Foundation.
This Thursday, we’ll give thanks. On Friday, the brazen among us go shopping. Saturday, we support small business. Monday? Cyber deals. This year, there’s a new movement afoot to dedicate the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a day of giving.
On Giving Tuesday, we are asked to find a way to give. This national movement was started by New York’s 92nd Street Y and is backed by a plethora of organizations like the UN Foundation and Unilever. Its reach is national, but its heart is local.
Here in Clark County, how can you participate in Giving Tuesday?
We’d like to ask you to consider giving to your local parks, trails and recreation programs. When you make a donation to the Parks Foundation’s Community Grants in November, your donation will be generously matched thanks to Waste Connections and Tidewater Barge Lines (up to a total of $10,000). One hundred percent of your donation will support Community Grants throughout Clark County. Projects that help a child play safely on new playground equipment in Camas; projects that blaze the path of a new trail in Washougal; projects that help an under-served child in Vancouver get access to swimming lessons or soccer (see all the fantastic 2012 Community Grant recipients).
We have much for which to be thankful in Clark County. High on our list is flourishing parks, trails and recreation programs. Please give what you can on Giving Tuesday this year. Help start a movement that can start so much more!
We envision thriving partnerships with communities to ensure uncommonly vibrant parks, trails, and recreation programs throughout Clark County.