Parks Foundation of Clark County announces 2023 Florence B. Wager recipients

Larry Smith, Terry Snyder and OnPoint Community Credit Union honored

Established in 2011, the Florence B. Wager Awards honor Flossie Wager’s influence and leadership by recognizing public agency staff, volunteers, leaders, and corporate partners who have brought a significant impact to the development and enhancement of parks, trails, and recreational programs throughout Clark County.

The Leading Eagle Award recognizes community leaders who have launched or guided initiatives that have significantly influenced the life, health, and direction of our parks, trails, and recreation programs

2023 Recipient: Larry Smith, Retired Community Advocate and 2017 Clark County First Citizen

Larry Smith
Larry Smith

Larry Smith retired as a Colonel of Infantry from the US Army after serving for 26 years. He then became an Assistant City Manager for the City of Vancouver in 1991, a position he held until 1996. From there, Larry was appointed as the Director of Vancouver/Clark Parks and Recreation Department until 2003. Following his 13-year tenure as a city employee, he successfully ran for public office and served three terms as a City Councilor until his retirement in 2015.

During the 1990s, Larry led the annexation efforts in the Vancouver City Manager’s office, which resulted in the largest annexation in the state’s history, significantly raising Vancouver’s profile as the fourth largest city in the state. Later, he served as the director of Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation, a newly created city-county department. Afterward, he was elected to the Vancouver City Council, where he accomplished many feats, including completing the Esther Short Park revitalization, implementing the Greater Clark Parks District, and acquiring land for the new Vancouver Waterfront, among others.

As a Vancouver City Councilmember from 2005 to 2016, including service as the Mayor Pro Tem from 2010 to 2016, Larry left a lasting legacy as a champion of the community’s prosperity. He helped establish the Parks Foundation as a thriving non-profit agency that funds numerous critical projects and programs throughout the county and has served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors since the organization was founded in 1999.

Throughout his career, Larry was a passionate advocate for the development and improvement of parks, trails, and recreational programs in the community. He played a pivotal role in numerous key projects, such as the construction of the Firstenburg Community Center, the renovation and expansion of the Marshall Community Center, and the creation of inclusion programs to better serve individuals with disabilities. One of his most notable achievements was his involvement in the leadership team responsible for Vancouver’s civic reconnection to the Columbia River, the Waterfront Park, and development.

Larry Smith’s unwavering vision, determination, and commitment to the community transformed Vancouver’s trajectory and created a lasting impact.

The Tributary Award recognizes parks and recreation professionals who have gone above and beyond their daily duties to create or enhance innovative programs that connect the public to parks and recreation in new ways. This includes creating new efficiencies to ease cost burdens or securing/developing new grant sources or revenue concepts.

2023 Recipient: Terry Snyder, Vancouver Parks and Recreation Landscape Architect

Larry Smith
Larry Smith

If you’re not familiar with parks and recreation in Clark County, you may not recognize the name Terry Snyder. However, if you’ve ever visited Vancouver, Washington, you’ve undoubtedly witnessed the results of Terry’s work. From the award-winning Waterfront Park, Grant Street Pier, and Esther Short Park to the cherished neighborhood parks scattered throughout the city, Terry Snyder’s expert guidance has been instrumental in creating Vancouver’s most iconic places.

Since 1987, Terry has utilized his expertise as a landscape architect and his passion for parks and recreation to design and build the spaces where Clark County residents love to gather and play. Despite not seeking the limelight, Terry’s impact is felt at the grand openings of parks where he can be found blending into the crowd. Little do people know that the person who designed and oversaw the creation of this recreational masterpiece is standing right next to them.

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, Terry immediately went to work identifying city parks and trails that needed to be modified, advocating for necessary improvements to serve all members of the community. As understanding of the power of inclusive play grew, Terry stayed up to date, using innovative materials, collaborating with new manufacturers, and working with leaders in inclusive design and construction.

Terry’s respect for the environment also informs his work, ensuring natural resources are protected and environmental impacts are minimized during park development, construction, and ongoing maintenance.

Terry consistently goes above and beyond his daily responsibilities, arriving early and staying late to address project challenges. His ability to think creatively and pay attention to detail has contributed to the successful completion of numerous projects. For Terry, his work is his canvas to create beautiful parks for everyone to enjoy, and that is his ultimate reward.

Without Terry Snyder’s contributions, Vancouver would not be the same. For nearly four decades, he has quietly shaped the region’s parks and natural areas, inviting all of us to disconnect, play, and explore.

The J. Scott Campbell Award recognizes corporate leadership of parks, trails, and recreational programs. This award honors businesses or organizations that have a dedication of service to our community, and that through their actions, influence, and examples they make a significant impact on the development and enhancement of the parks, trails and recreational programs throughout Clark County. 

2023 Recipient: OnPoint Community Credit Union

Larry Smith, retired community advocate and former City Councilor of Vancouver, has been awarded the Leading Eagle Award for his contributions to the development and enhancement of parks, trails, and recreational programs in Clark County, Washington. Additionally, the Tributary Award went to Vancouver Parks and Recreation Landscape Architect Terry Snyder, and the J. Scott Campbell Award was given to OnPoint Community Credit Union for their dedication of service to the community.

“We know that the Pacific Northwest is a uniquely beautiful spot, and having public places like parks and trails to help people feel more connected to the environment (and their neighbors) is key to a strong community,” says Amy Reeves, Vice President and SW Washington Area Manager.

OnPoint Credit Union is a valuable partner and a staunch supporter of the PFCC, and has been instrumental to the ongoing success of the PFCC.

Through volunteer engagement, financial contribution, and board leadership (Amy Reeves), OnPoint is a great example of comprehensive corporate engagement to advance the mission of the PFCC.

Amy shares, “It’s our purpose to build strong communities, and we’re excited to continue supporting your work to create spaces and recreational programs that everyone can enjoy. We hope all of you will join us in supporting PFCC’s mission.”

Thank you OnPoint for your dedication to great parks, trails, open spaces, and recreation programs in Clark County!

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