The biggest threat to the park trees was the increasingly warm and dry summers over the last seven years
Parker’s Landing Historical Park volunteers were recognized at a recent Port of Camas-Washougal Commission meeting for their efforts to deep-water park trees throughout the summer and fall. Port Commissioners and Executive Officer David Ripp applauded the volunteers and presented them with a reusable water bottle with the CW Port logo on it. Many Commissioners commented on how pleased they were to see a growing number of community groups and volunteers supporting the park.
When the Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee to the Port (PAC) decided to nominate the historic apple grove, cherry, and walnut trees for Clark County Heritage Tree designation, Arborists from Cascade Tree Works donated time to meet with PAC Members David Parker, Jim Cooper, and Susan Tripp.
“They measured the trees and assessed their health, to help complete the nomination form,” explained Tripp. “Thanks to their help, the PAC received a letter dated July 20, 2022, from the WSU Master Gardener Program announcing that all Parker’s Landing Historical Park tree nominations have been included in the Clark County Heritage Trees.”
Over a few visits with the arborist, PAC members learned that the biggest threat to the park trees was the increasingly warm and dry summers over the last seven years. “The park, registered as a national, state, and county historic site, does not have irrigation due to it being a Chinookan archeological site,” said Tripp. “Any deep watering to help preserve the trees would need to be done by volunteers.”
PAC members reached out to volunteers from the first annual Parkersville Day and others. An early morning watering schedule was formed with Boy Scout Troop 562 watering on the first and fifth Mondays, the Garden Club of Camas and Washougal watering on the second Wednesday, the PAC watering on the third Tuesday, and the Rotary Club watering on the fourth Monday.
The Port agreed to pay for the additional water, the staff cleaned out the shed used by the Garden Club volunteers in the 1950s to 1970s, and purchased three 100-foot hoses, and various nozzles, including a small yellow tractor that traveled the hose slowly for deep watering. The Port added a combination lock to the shed for volunteer access.
“Volunteers did additional shed clean-up and donated other supplies, including clippers to prune the roses and other plants during the watering time,” Tripp added. “PAC member Jeff Buchholz built a shelf inside the shed door and donated a mallet needed to pound the nozzles into the hard grass.”
Jeff Carlson, who walks his two Jack Russell terriers twice daily in the park, saw the watering effort and donated his own raised 360-degree nozzle. It had so much power that it required a board and rock leaning on the tripod to keep it standing. Carlson has since joined the PAC.
PAC member Jim Cooper spent one day each month using the Port’s yellow “Rain Train” traveling sprinkler to complete its slow soaking hose runs.
After Nancy Harrington of the Soroptimist Club of Camas-Washougal pruned the rose arbor roses, Elena Marchand from the Sisterhood group related to Journey Community Church, arrived every Monday to hand water the roses, allowing them to look their best. After the Soroptimists planted the Silo planter, Harrington brought jugs of water weekly to water it until she discovered a branch that could be removed to allow a sprinkler in the raised bed to reach it. In 1988, the Soroptimist of Camas-Washougal donated and installed the brick planter, one year before the 1989 Washington State Centennial Celebration in the park. The club now maintains the plants in the silo planter year-round.
Boy Scout Michael Moran led the Scouts in organizing the hose layout. He took a thorough approach to watering each zone, exceeding the suggested time period. He singlehanded gathered and returned the heavy 100 foot hoses to the shed.
For more information about volunteering activities at Parker’s Landing Historical Park, the Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee to the Port, and the second annual Parkersville Day on the first Saturday in June, email ParkersvilleHeritageFoundation@gmail.com or send a message on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ParkersLandingHistoricalPark
Information provided by Parkersville Heritage Foundation.
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