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Washougal, WA — Washougal area artists are once again opening their studio doors to offer a fascinating and art-filled family outing for Mother’s Day weekend.  The 2021 Washougal Studio Artists Tour, to be held May 8-9 from 10 am to 4 pm, will include 8 stops and features 15 local artists representing a vast array of creative works and mediums.

“We are excited to safely invite visitors back into our studios and outdoor display areas for this year’s event,” said Shirley Bishop, WSTA co-coordinator and local glass artist.  “Last year we held a virtual tour and promoted our artists online. It just wasn’t the same. The art experience is so much richer when a patron can visit an artist’s studio. They are able to see where the magic of creating art happens and learn about both the art and the artists.” 

Now in its fourth year, WSTA has drawn much interest and support from the local community and visitors from the Portland area and beyond.  

“We are delighted that many people taking the tour are discovering Washougal for the very first time,” said Bishop. “And they really enjoy the tour route that winds along the scenic Washougal River and through the Washougal foothills.  It’s nearly as beautiful as the art!”   

Washougal
www.clarkcountyrelocations.com

The Washougal area boasts many high-quality professional artists. 

“It is no wonder,” said Bishop. “There is so much natural beauty to be found here that it serves as inspiration to these talented artists.”

New to this year’s tour are Trish Johnston, watercolor; Dana Bergdahl, acrylic & watercolor; Stu Ager, mixed media: organic metalwork design; India de Landa, contemporary art jewelry; Samuel Shrout, casted metal and wood, and Nancy Carkin, acrylic, oil and watercolor. 

Returning artists are: Char McHugh, ceramics; Anna Wiancko-Chasman, clay & mixed media; Cyndee Starr, mixed media; Kathy Marty, handwoven eco-friendly rugs; Shirley Bishop, fused glass; Tamara Dinius, mixed media; Toni McCarthy, original beaded jewelry; Sharon Ballard, acrylic painting; and Jean Hauge, multi-media.

New this year is the Runaway Kitchen food truck at tour stop #4, offering delicious meals and snacks for hungry shoppers. 

Preview participating artists’ work and see the tour map on the Washougal Studio Artists website 

www.WashougalStudioArtists.org   

You may also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Participating artists will also have copies of the map available, as well as many local businesses.

Washougal, WA — A recent Camas-Washougal Community Chest grant will support Washougal School District efforts to address historical, systemic inequalities for students with disabilities. The CWCC funds will provide the community with on-demand viewing access of the award-winning documentary Hearts of Glass on June 2-12, 2021.  This will be the first showing of the movie promoted in Washington State. 

This 2018 film follows the initial months of operation of Vertical Harvest, a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse that grows crops while providing meaningful, competitively paid jobs for people with disabilities working alongside people without disabilities.  

“Our goal is to bring awareness of the needs for competitive employment opportunities within our community for young adults with disabilities,” said Jessica Nickels Washougal Adult Transition Program Teacher.

A follow up webinar discussion panel will also be presented on June 9, featuring a Washougal community member, former WSD student, and the films’ cast and crew.  

“The discussion aims to create awareness of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities from the perspective of the individual and the employers,” said Nickels.  “This conversation and collaboration between the school district and community will also help improve employment outcomes for these young workers.”

“Our goal is for the film and webinar to provide a platform to advocate for greater inclusion of individuals of differing abilities into all aspects of our community,” explained Heather Kassel, WSD ELA/EdTech Instructional Coach. “The discussion around the film is meant to serve as a catalyst for change and the creation of new partnerships between local businesses and the school district.”

“This film shows that innovation and inclusion can go hand-in-hand, benefiting citizens with disabilities and the community at large,” said filmmaker Jennifer Tennican in a press release.

“Our vision with this project is to align with the Washougal School District’s mission to Know, Nurture, and Challenge ALL students to rise,” said Kassel.  “The district strives to promote equitable educational opportunities for all students, and this film provides a model of what is possible.”

“It is our task as a school district to prepare students for successful post-secondary outcomes,” said Nickels. “It is our task as a community to recognize individual’s abilities and to work toward equitable inclusion into social and economic aspects of our community.”

Find the movie during the June 2-12 view period on the WSD website. The trailer can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuBSMUZa8wQ. For additional information about this film, please visit https://www.heartsofglassfilm.com/

Washougal, WA — Washougal High School students’ woodworking skill and creativity is on display at the new Downtown Community Garden at 2036 Main Street in Washougal. Decorated cedar bird houses, many with a WHS theme, sit atop poles along an edge of the park with a bird bath and benches set nearby.

The City of Washougal/WHS collaboration began last spring when WHS Wood Technology students were creating bird house kits to help community children build them as a part of the first-ever City of Washougal Hello Spring event that was cancelled due to the pandemic.  The materials, donated by Rick’s Custom Fencing, were then sent to students at home as a kit to be completed during distance learning this past semester.

“It was a challenge to get materials to students for them to demonstrate woodworking skills without being in the shop,” said Brent Mansell, WHS Woodworking Teacher. “This project gave students an opportunity to demonstrate learned skills by building a product and helped them do something besides look at a screen. Students take my class to develop trade skills, build projects, and gain employability and needed 21st Century skills. This work facilitated those lessons.”

Giving the bird houses they created back to the City also helped students understand the value of producing something for others.  “Some students struggle with the idea of creating something for someone else,” said Mansell. “They want to keep their projects or question what’s in it for them. We try to do these types of projects every semester. I think it’s important to connect my shop activities to being a better person, employee, and community member. It prepares them for work and being productive members of society, like donating your time to help others.” 

Mansell hopes his students will go to the park, take their family and friends, and take pride in their work.  And there is discussion about more birdhouses for even more Washougal parks. “Our goal for the next round of birdhouses is to have lots of color,” he said. “We want to celebrate spring.”

“I love it when a plan comes together,” said Washougal Mayor, Molly Coston.  “This is another example of building wonderful community projects by working together with other groups in Washougal.”

There is also another flock of birdhouses built by community member George Gross and painted by Washougal middle school Club 8 art students installed along the parking lot at City Hall.  This project is sponsored by Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance who has sponsored several other student art projects in town.  For a map and more information on Washougal public art displays go to www.washougalarts.org.

The City of Washougal’s new Community Gardening Program promotes community building, sustainable practices, and ecologically responsible gardening. For more information on lease of garden plots, visit the City website or email [email protected].

Sandi Onstwedder, National President of AFW Auxiliary, was honored at a dinner on Wednesday, April 6, by members of the Camas-Washougal VFW Auxiliary 4278, the Toutle VFW Auxiliary 10882, Vancouver Auxiliary 7824 and members of other Auxiliaries within the state. Her three-day visit to Southwest Washington included meetings with members as well as a tour of the Historical Museum in Vancouver. The members of the auxiliaries are united by a common theme: Honoring Our Mission to Serve Veterans.  It is a concept that reflects the common goal that brings every member of the VFW Auxiliary together and supports the passion and purpose of members to serve American veterans who gave up so much not only for us, but our nation.

Following a short welcome and presentation of a City Proclamation by Molly Coston, Mayor of Washougal, at the Black Pearl dinner, Onstwedder spoke to the members of the various auxiliaries.  Onstwedder stated that one of her personal goals this year is to listen to members.  “They are the backbone and reason the organization is still in existence today.  Members know what works and what doesn’t at the Auxiliary level.  They want their voices heard and I believe that National Headquarters has made great headway in opening those lines of communication for every member.  I will be the public relations ambassador and help to connect those entities even more.”

For her personal special project this year, Onstwedder’s has organized a Stars, Stripe and Support focus on combating food insecurity among veterans, service members and their families.  This project was necessary due to the fact that 25 percent of our nation’s total active duty and reserve personnel are currently seeking aid from food pantries across the nation.

To achieve this goal, Onstwedder implemented the Auxiliary’s Community Outreach Program, encouraging auxiliaries to take active roles in their local communities and to partner with other community service organizations on projects for the betterment of their community.  This brings awareness to communities about the Auxiliary mission and provides much-needed services to communities while creating a stronger bond between auxiliary members and local military families.  Onstwedder stated, “Respecting all veterans while Honoring Our Mission to Serve Veterans should be our number one priority.”

The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce is kicking off its first Chamber Eats event this Thursday, April 8 at 5 pm at Salud Wine Bar in downtown Camas.

The twice-monthly Chamber Eats series is an informal networking event for Chamber members and the general public encouraging people to support local restaurants and reignite business connections.

“This is a step toward normalcy to begin networking in person and to support local restaurants,” said Jennifer Senescu, Executive Director of the CW Chamber. “We also think the food at Salud is fantastic.”

The Chamber Eats networking series is held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. The second one will be held on Thursday, April 22 at A Beer At A Time in downtown Camas.

“We hope to see you at Salud on Thursday,” said Senescu. “The fun begins at 5 pm, but you’re welcome to attend at a time that’s convenient for you.”

Salud Wine Bar is located at 224 NE 3rd Ave, Camas, WA 98607.

Salud Wine Bar serves Italian cuisine and offers a deep selection of wines. Its members are able to store their favorite wines in climate-controlled lockers and can enjoy outdoor dining in their back patio. Prior to the pandemic they offered live entertainment. The restaurant follows all COVID-19 safety protocols and recently expanded their kitchen.

Washougal, WA — April is “Child Abuse Prevention Month” and General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Camas-Washougal (GFWC) has a list of events that they will be participating in. GFWC will be planting pinwheel gardens in Camas and Washougal. Both Cities of Camas and Washougal have signed proclamations to help raise awareness about child abuse prevention.

“This is such an important issue that I feel passionate about raising awareness and getting the word out to our communities.” said Susan Bennett, Vice President of the GFWC Camas-Washougal. “We want families to know that there are resources and places to find help. We want families to feel supported in the important work of raising their children,” added Christine Kamps, President of GFWC.

Bennett serves as the Pinwheel Projects Committee Chair. In an effort to increase the reach and impact of the project this year, she reached out to Unite! Washougal Community Coalition to partner on this project and invited Unite! to plant gardens with the GFWC. “I was so excited to partner with the GFWC on this project!” said Ann Stevens, Unite! Washougal 501c3 President. “GFWC is such a hardworking and dedicated organization that really contributes to the good of our communities! In addition, improving the health and wellness of our youth, families and community is the core mission of Unite!, so this is a perfect project to partner together.”

GFWC, a 501c3 organization, has been serving the cities of Camas and Washougal since 1947. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is one of the world’s oldest and largest women’s volunteer service organizations. GFWC is a vibrant and connected sisterhood of women who are creating better communities, expanding their own possibilities, and extending friendship and support to women near and far.

Unite! Washougal Community Coalition is a substance misuse prevention coalition that works with all sectors of the community to increase community connections and promote health and wellness. “We are always looking for community partners that want to promote connection, health and wellness in our community, remarked Angela Hancock, Unite! Vice President. “We also have other resources for parents and our community including parenting classes such as Incredible Years, and our semi-annual Drug Take Back on April 24th from 10 am to 2 pm.”

Both organizations are seeking new members who want to volunteer, learn new skills and serve their communities. For more information and resources to help prevent child abuse visit: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/resources/resource-guide/  For more information about the General Federation of Women’s Clubs please email GFWC Camas-Washougal at [email protected], contact Susan Bennet at (916) 330-7932 or visit their Facebook page GFWC Camas-Washougal.  For more information about Unite! contact Margaret McCarthy at washougalunite.com or call (360) 954-3203. Unite! meets the 4th Thursday of every Month at 3 PM. Currently, meetings are by zoom. Check out our Facebook page or Website for more information. http://unitewashougal.org/

More than 100 animal residents of the Washougal-based Odd Man Inn sanctuary will take a 2,700-mile journey to their new home in Tennessee.

Washougal, WA – Today, Odd Man Inn Animal Refuge and Wildlife Rehab announced its immediate relocation to a 93-acre property in Jamestown, TN and the adoption of an additional 160 large pigs formerly of the Pig Preserve. This move establishes Odd Man Inn as one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the country dedicated primarily to larger breeds of farmed pigs. 

Since its founding in 2016, Odd Man Inn has helped nearly 400 vulnerable animals of 15 different species–including pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, and turtles–get adopted into forever homes. The sanctuary has specialized in rescuing pigs of all kinds and personalities, from the special-needs three-legged Eppah to the 600lb curly-haired Sid the Swamp Pig. “We love helping the underdogs. Pigs are the bottom of the barnyard hierarchy and very rarely have safe options. It feels great to run an organization that helps them find safe passage into a home that treats them as family,” said Co-Founder Wendy Smith.

In their nearly five years rescuing farm animals from neglect and abuse in Southwest Washington, Odd Man Inn filled a critical local need and became part of the community. They have worked alongside animal control agencies throughout Washington and Oregon, providing shelter and medical care for farm animals that the agencies aren’t as well equipped to handle. Local farms and farmsteads like Blue Door Farm (https://www.bluedoorfarmwa.com/) in Brush Prairie donated excess produce to help feed the refuge’s residents. Cedar Street Bagels in Camas (https://www.cedarstreetbagelco.com/) named one of their bagel sandwiches in honor of Odd Man Inn’s photo-contest winning resident Melvin, a lovable potbelly pig that lost a leg and both his ears in a dog attack.

“We’re grateful for all the relationships we’ve created, and the support we have received from local businesses, community members, farmers, animal control agencies, humane societies, fellow sanctuaries, and the State Department of Fish and Wildlife. It’s bittersweet; while we are excited about the prospect of saving more animals from harm, we feel sad about leaving such a wonderful community. It will be hard, but we hope to  take all that we’ve learned here and work to duplicate those exact partnerships in Tennessee,” said Wendy.

The transition poses huge logistical challenges. Over 100 current residents of Odd Man Inn – including two 1500lb steers and 38 pigs up to 650lbs – will be carefully transported the 2700 miles to Tennessee. Aging and special needs residents will require extra accommodation to ensure their safety and comfort during this multi-day journey. “We will make as many trips as needed to ensure the animals are comfortable while we transport them to their new sanctuary. Their comfort and security is always our primary concern,” said Josh Smith, Co-Founder and Farm Manager.  While transporting the current residents, Odd Man Inn will also simultaneously care for the 160 new pigs and provide them with needed veterinary assessments, vaccines, and hoof care. 

Odd Man Inn is raising money through a GoFundMe campaign (gofundme.com/oddmaninn) to help with the safe transportation of its current residents and the restoration of their new Tennessee home. 

ABOUT ODD MAN INN

Odd Man Inn (www.oddmaninn.org) is a farm animal sanctuary and permitted Washington State wildlife rehabilitation facility formerly based in Washougal, WA. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit’s mission is to help as many animals as possible find safety, rehabilitation, socialization, and a forever home while giving them a voice as ambassadors for their own kind against imprisonment, abuse, and consumption.

Odd
Odd Man Inn’s mission is to help as many animals as possible find safety, rehabilitation, socialization, and a forever home while giving them a voice as ambassadors for their own kind.

Washougal, WA — Washougal School District (WSD) is expanding its hybrid learning program for students in grades 6-12 to four days of in-person learning, starting Monday, April 19, 2021.  

The change was made possible by the State of Washington Department of Health adoption of the three-foot physical distancing guidance for students in classrooms that was adopted earlier this month by the Center for Disease Control.

“We are working with teachers, staff, administrators, and public health officials to ensure we can provide safe learning environments for larger numbers of students,” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent. “Staff will be working over the coming weeks to implement protocols for areas where the six-foot social distancing rule still applies, like during lunch and passing time, and in some classrooms where students are exhaling more frequently such as P.E., choir, and band. All district staff will have had the opportunity to be fully immunized by that time.”  

Middle and high school students will continue to have an asynchronous day on Wednesday, which provides time for teachers to plan lessons and make contact with students who are not able to return to in-person learning at this time. K-5 students will also continue to have an asynchronous Wednesday, along with the current schedule which has a 1 hour late start.  Teachers use this time each day to contact students who are fully remote. 

“Our goal is to continue to provide service to both in-person hybrid and fully remote students this way through the end of this school year,” said Templeton. “We are also committed to providing the least amount of disruption to our students and families as we make this last transition for the school year. As we plan for next school year, we plan to offer five days of full-time, in-person learning for students in grades K-12, unless they are enrolled in the new online Washougal Learning Academy.  We are delighted that WLA is available to serve families who need flexibility or who are unable to return to in-person learning.”

These opportunities for schools to expand in-person educational offering are the result of the community at large doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Clark County’s rate per 100,000 must remain under 200 to use the new 3-foot guidance in grades 6-12, which is critical for supporting four days per week. The rate per 100,000 over 14 days is currently 105.6. “To keep students in school, all of us must wear masks, watch our distance, and wash our hands,” urged Templeton. “Health officials studying the spread of COVID emphasize these simple, but critical steps in our daily lives to be able to take next steps in our reopening.”

Timeline

  • April 12Students in grades K-5 will begin hybrid four-days per week, with the same late start schedule they have now. 
  • April 19: Students in grades 6-12 will begin hybrid four-days per week with the same schedule they have for hybrid now. 
  • Students with special needs who are attending in-person on a special schedule will be contacted by the student’s case manager if there are schedule changes.

Safety

School staff continue the safety routines and protocols that are keeping students and staff safe.  These include daily health screening, mandatory face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, and additional cleaning, signage and training.

Washougal

Washougal, WA – Volunteers at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum are excited to open their doors for visitors on Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting April 3 after their sudden shut down last March due to the pandemic.

“We can’t wait to welcome guests and our membership back to the museum,” said Jim Cobb, Camas Washougal Historical Society President.  “All volunteer docents will have full vaccine protection and we will of course be following all COVID 19 safety protocols including masks, social distancing and cleaning.”

The museum’s reception area and is now home to the “Gorge” display, created in 2019 by Discovery High School students.  This 9×4 foot scale model presenting 90 miles of the Columbia River Gorge with landmarks that light up, is now more accessible with better viewing opportunities.  The room also received a new coat of paint and the museum gift store has been reorganized and has a fresh new look.

“Spring of 2020 we were all ready to open with fresh paint and new displays created during our regular winter closure,” said Karen Johnson, display committee member.  “We made significant changes in both the Museum main building and the Carriage House.”

Museum interior work was made possible by volunteer Walt Eby, who worked out a plan for rearranging the spaces and made sure all the pieces would come together in a cohesive design. “There was a lot of measuring, right down to tape strips on the floor where cabinets would be placed,” said Johnson. Big Al’s Movers was hired to help move the large display pieces into place.

The four-year-old “School Days” exhibit in the rotating display room was taken apart with some artifacts sent back to storage while others were moved to displays in other parts of the museum. 

“That room has now been turned into an impressive Native American exhibit with woven baskets and stone bowls and tools,” Johnson said.

The Carriage House, built in 2009, was also transformed with new displays to make the area more interesting for visitors.  A vintage buggy was moved from the floor to a high ledge which provides much better viewing and made room for more items.

A new display in the Carriage House, “All Boxed Up,” is located on the corner ledge over the doorway.  It features vintage folding wooden grocery boxes branded with names of local stores.  The addition of large banner pictures of local markets from the past adds a special touch and informative signage helps to tell the story.  

A collection of surveying and mineral artifacts can be found in another new Carriage House display, “From Here to There.”  

“It describes how the survey tools and the Donation Land Act of 1851 are related to the history of our community,” Johnson said.  

Another new display focuses on mining in the area and is called “Relics from the Last Chance Mine.”  

Display Committee volunteer members are Karen Johnson, Richard Johnson, Walt Eby, Gayle Godtlibsen, and Ivar Godtlibsen.

Visitors will also be impressed by the progress of the Native American-inspired Gathering Place at Washuxwal longhouse pavilion that sits on the museum’s southern side.  The four-year construction project is now in its final stages of completion.   

The pavilion’s design is based on the traditional cedar plank houses used by Native American tribes who lived in what is now East Clark County in the early 19th century.

“We are looking forward to telling stories of the area’s earliest inhabitants and to use the space for cultural and community events and field trips,” said Cobb.

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum is located at 1 Durgan Street in Washougal and is currently only open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Admission costs are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and free for children under 5 and all CWHS members.  Group tours are available any day of the week (by appointment only).  Call 360-835-5449 for scheduling.

“Our community has so much to be proud of in this museum,” said Cobb.  “We hope local folks who have not had a chance to see the museum will stop in and look around at all we have to offer.”

CWHS is always looking for volunteers and new members to join and help support the preservation of local history. More information about the CWHS and the Two Rivers Heritage Museum can be found on their website at www.2rhm.com.

Museum
Getting a tour of Two Rivers Heritage Museum.

Washougal WA — Books inspire young readers and lay an important foundation for their success in education. Getting books into the hands of Washougal preschool children has been the work of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Camas-Washougal (GFWC C-W) since 2017.   Now, thanks to a very generous $6,000 grant from the Camas-Washougal Community Chest (CWCC) in early March, GFWC C-W will be able to purchase books for all children enrolled in both Washougal and Camas School District Pre-K programs.  Extended Learning Coordinators from both districts will be ordering and distributing the books throughout the year. 

GFCW C-W’s original program was to reward students for attending a weekly 1-2-3 Grow & Learn session at Hathaway Elementary School.  An additional program was created in 2020 to place books into the hands of all children enrolled in Pre-K programs in the Washougal School District. Books are distributed several times each year to preschool programs through WSD Community Education and Developmental preschools, EOCF (HeadStart), ECEAP, and 1,2,3 Learn and Grow.  

“We are thrilled and grateful for the generous support that the GFCW CW provides to our early learners in Washougal” said Lisa Young, WSD Extended Learning Manager. “We feel very fortunate that the GFCW CW understands the value that these books provide to our community. We are so fortunate to benefit from their continued commitment to our youngest students and their families.”

“We believe by making books available to young children we are helping to enhance their love of reading and their school readiness skills,” said GFCW C-W Vice President, Susan Bennett. 

In 2020 GFCW received a CWCC grant to expand the program to include all children enrolled in Pre-K programs in the Washougal School District. “But due to greater community needs brought on by the pandemic, we, like many local organizations, were asked to return any unspent funds to CWCC for redistribution,” Bennett explained. 

Because of the connections that have been established within the school district, books were able to be delivered during the 2019-2020 school year, even though students were engaged in distance learning.  Young learners were able to stay engaged by attending online classes. More than 140 children attended virtual classes daily via Zoom that are presented by four Early Care and Education Specialists from ESD 112 who are part of the 1-2-3 Grow & Learn Program.  Children throughout Clark County and Washington State attend these daily sessions.  Washougal attendees are receiving backpacks full of books through this program. Mid-year books were delivered by school bus to students who attended a specific number of classes.  

“We have been reading books to our four-year-old son Luca every day since he was born,” said preschool parent, Willa Bateman, of Camas.  “He loves reading books, and he can’t go to bed without a story or two! We are so thankful for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Camas-Washougal and their Reach for the Stars through Books program. By attending preschool children learn valuable lessons and skills as well as have lots of fun with teachers and classmates. This is a great program to build a strong foundation for young learners!”

Children enrolled in Washougal School District Pre-K programs were awarded books numerous times throughout the year. And at the end of the year, more books were handed out as a reward at the drive through Washougal preschool graduation.  Another set of books were given out this fall to students attending the preschool programs. 

“CWCC as our main benefactor of the Reach for the Stars Through Books,” said Susan Bennett. “Without the CWCC funding we would not be able to offer this amazing program.”

Chest