On Thursday, March 23rd, Director Mainella, Congressman David Wu, Clatsop Nehalem Confederated Tribes Chair Diane Collier, and Pacific Northwest Living Historians participated in a ceremony to dedicate the new Fort Clatsop exhibit and the Netul River trail. After this ceremony, the Clatsop Nehalem Confederated Tribes passed a paddle to the Nez Perce Tribe, who are hosting the next bicentennial signature event in June of 2006 (see www.thesummerofpeace.org).
“Today marks 200 years to the day when Captain Lewis gave the original Fort Clatsop to the Clatsop Indians,” said Mainella in her speech. “(He and his men) then got in the canoes and started back up the Columbia River on the return home.”
While the Lewis and Clark bicentennial organizers in the local region and in Oregon and Washington have hosted a number of special events, the overwhelming focus of bicentennial activities has been on “legacy projects.” These are projects that have been made possible as a result of the bicentennial but that will have lasting value to the communities, state and nation.
At the park, legacy project goals include creation of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, creation of the Fort To Sea trail, creation of the Netul River trail, building the new Fort Clatsop exhibit, creating the new Netul Landing day use area, creating the new Lewis and Clark shuttle system, creating new visitor center film ("A Clatsop Winter Tale"), renovating the visitor center theater, expanding the park's museum store, and, most importantly, creating new and lasting working relationships between the park the local communities and two states. Most of the legacy projects were accomplished through partnerships; including use of fee funds.