Centennial Initiative 2016

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and we invite you to join the celebration! The Centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.

Join us at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to discover this national park and programs in your own backyard!

To visit the National Park Service's Centennial Initiative 2016 web page, click here.
Public Events
Junior Ranger Day at Pearson Air Museum in April 2015



Public Events

Junior Ranger Day, which takes place every year during National Park Week in April, invites kids of all ages to take part in hands-on activities and earn their Junior Ranger badge! In 2016, Junior Ranger Day will take place on April 16.

Also on April 16, a special art exhibit will debut at Pearson Air Museum. Through a partnership between Art of Legacy, North Bank Artists, and the National Park Service, local students from the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and Thomas Jefferson Middle School have created screen prints based on artifacts in the Fort Vancouver museum collection. After a public opening celebration on April 16, the exhibit will be on display through the spring.

On May 21, Fort Vancouver will host its very first BioBlitz! At this event, visitors can learn about local species of pollinators, plants, and birds from a team of experts, and help the National Park Service document the flora and fauna of our national park.

The annual Children's Cultural Parade brings third graders from Vancouver Public Schools and Evergreen Public Schools to Fort Vancouver NHS to share their research projects on their family's heritage (or a culture in which they are interested), and celebrate our diverse community. In 2016, the Children's Cultural Parade will take place on May 27.

Fort Vancouver NHS hosts one of the nation's largest National Get Outdoors Day celebrations. Get Outdoors Day brings together representatives from public lands agencies and local businesses and nonprofits to celebrate healthy, active outdoor fun. This event coincides with our annual Brigade Encampment, which recreates the return of fur brigades to the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver. Living History Volunteers share historic crafts, dances, music, and outdoor skills at this fun family event. In 2016, National Get Outdoors Day and the Brigade Encampment will take place on June 11.

Founder's Day celebrates the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service! On Saturday, August 27, join us for a day of fun centered around your local national park.

Campfires & Candlelight is our largest living history event of the year. This community event brings together hundreds of costumed National Park Service volunteers and local reenactment groups for a candlelit evening of history and culture. In 2016, Campfires & Candlelight will take place on September 10.

At Christmas at Fort Vancouver, visitors celebrate the holiday season 1840s-style! Caroling, wreath-making, and cultural and historic weapons demonstrations bring this event to life.


Interpretive Programs & Exhibits

Our popular Kids Dig! program introduces kids aged 8-12 to the fascinating world of archaeology. In this program, kids excavate a site with trowels, screen dirt, measure and map their finds, and discover the historical secrets that lie below our feet. Kids also learn about the importance of protecting archaeological sites for future generations.

This year brings big changes to Pearson Air Museum, and we mean BIG! The National Park Service recently purchased a rare DeHavilland-4 Liberty aircraft, and it is undergoing restoration by Century Aviation of Wenatchee, Washington. It will be officially unveiled at the museum on August 27, 2016. The Liberty was the only American-made aircraft flown into combat with American crews during World War I; later they were repurposed for observation, training, and barnstorming. The 321st Observation Squadron had DH-4s at Pearson Field, including one flown by the squadron's commanding officer. Also, a full scale replica Curtiss Pusher will soon be under construction on the main museum floor, a project undertaken by our team of dedicated museum volunteers. Famed local pilot Silas Christofferson piloted a Curtiss Pusher from the Multnomah Hotel in Portland, Oregon, to Pearson Field in 1912, wowing onlookers.

A new exhibit will also be opening at Pearson Air Museum in the summer of 2016, highlighting the Chkalov Transpolar Flight of 1937. The exhibit will recount this landmark flight from Moscow, Russia, to Pearson Field within the context of aviation achievements and political reactions.

Special Programs
Fur to Fossil campers learn how to use compasses from National Park Rangers.



Special Programs

We are partnering with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument to offer several Fur to Fossil Camps. Recruitment for these week-long camps is done through local middle schools and community service organizations such as NAACP, SW Washington MESA, and the Boys & Girls Club. Participants have an opportunity to learn about these parks from a unique perspective, and join National Park Service staff for tours, hands-on activities, and campfire programs.

North Bank Artists will be bringing their Art of Legacy program to the national park. 7th and 8th graders from the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and Thomas Jefferson Middle School visited the park on field trips, and experienced artifacts from the park's museum collection first-hand. Then, with the help of expert local artists, they created prints based on an artifact in the collection. Throughout the program, instructors and National Park Service staff will help students connect history and community to their creative process. Finished pieces will be displayed at Fort Vancouver NHS from April 16 through June 4.


Infantry Barracks Rehabilitation: New Headquarters for Gifford Pinchot National Forest

In 2015, Infantry Barracks 987, one of five signature buildings that front the historic Parade Ground at Vancouver Barracks, will be rehabilitated and serve as the new headquarters for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The eastern portion of Vancouver Barracks, managed by the National Park Service, has been envisioned as a public service campus, and this long-term partnership is an important first step in that direction.

The rehabilitation work includes upgrades to improve sustainability and accessibility. In addition, modern interior walls and other recent alterations will be removed to achieve a more open and light-filled environment and a greater historical integrity. Projects like this serve to open the military post to the public as never before, and gives our sister agencies a chance to engage with the public that would not exist elsewhere.


Social Media

Follow Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on social media for updates on all our exciting Centennial projects, programs, and events!

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Follow us on Twitter at @FtVancouverNPS

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Last updated: March 31, 2016

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Mailing Address:

612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

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