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Date: July 18, 2012
Contact: Cassie Anderson, 360-816-6247


The National Park Service debuts an array of brand new programs alongside community favorites for a summer packed with active, educational, hands-on fun in your urban national park. From hikes to the Columbia River waterfront to historic weapons demonstrations, and from walks outside the park's newly transferred East and South Barracks to afternoons where National Park Service rangers read aloud to kids, visit your urban national park for three programs a day, every day from July 7th to September 3rd, 2012.

"From July 7th to September 3rd, we offer a program at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m." begins Cassie Anderson, park ranger. "The 11:00 program is always a walk or tour – either around the outside of the East Barracks, on the Land Bridge Trail that leads to the park's Public Archaeology Field School, or on the Spruce Mill Trail that connects the reconstructed fort to Pearson Air Museum. The 1:00 program is often a demonstration, and six days out of seven, the 3:00 program is a fun, participatory activity aimed at kids."

"Visit your national park this summer!" Anderson continues, "There's something for everyone with our new and exciting programs – half of which are free."

All programs are listed on the park's schedule of events, available online here. Visitors may also visit the park to learn more, or call the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center at (360) 816-6230 to inquire about program offerings.

The National Park Service protects and preserves the resources of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site on behalf of the American people. To better connect the public with the diversity of stories and resources in their national park, National Park Service staff have crafted summer programs that take visitors to all corners of the park. A few of this year's new highlights include:

Flora, Fauna, and Future – Reconstructed Fort, Land Bridge Trail, Old Apple Tree Park, Columbia River Waterfront

·Right in our backyards and too often overlooked, discover how this area's native flora, fauna, and the Columbia River intersect in the region's habitat, history, and future.

·1.5 miles, 1.5 hour hike from reconstructed fort to Columbia River waterfront. ADA accessible, moderate elevation. Please bring appropriate footwear and water.

Barracks Walk – Officers Row, Parade Ground, East, West, and/or South Barracks

·Vancouver Barracks holds the archaeological remains of the Vancouver arsenal and boasts a resume of Ulysses S. Grant, Oliver O. Howard, and George C. Marshall. It was also a site where the US Army incarcerated native peoples, deployed troops in the Yakima Wars to WWII, and hosted the world's largest spruce cut-up mill during WWI. Join a ranger for walk highlighting the evolution of Vancouver Barracks.

·1 mile, 45 minute walk from Visitor Center to locations on Officers Row, East, West, and/or South Vancouver Barracks. ADA accessible, slight elevation.

Spruce Mill Walk – Reconstructed Fort, Spruce Mill Trail, Pearson Air Museum (additional charge applies for Pearson Air Museum admission)

·Where do old growth forests, world conflict, influenza, military aircraft, and union gridlock intersect? At the Spruce Production Division's Vancouver Spruce Mill. Discover how the mill affected the region's population and forests and what extraordinary events happened on the footprint of the mill soon after it was dismantled.

·Walk lasts 45 minutes. ADA accessible, no elevation. Approximately 3/4 mile round trip.

They All Have Roots – Visitor Center, Parade Ground

·Walk, touch, and learn about the changing urban landscape of Fort Vancouver by identifying the variety of species that compose the park's tree canopy, and by discussing the balance between preservation and visitor use in national parks.

·Walk lasts 1 hour. Slight elevation, over grass. Approximately 1/4 mile round trip.

Historic Weapons – Parade Ground or Reconstructed Fort

·Employees of the Hudson's Bay Company and soldiers of the US Army used black powder weapons for sport and defense. Join costumed interpreters as they demonstrate the flintlocks, percussion rifles, revolvers, and artillery used by the people who lived here.

·Program lasts 30 minutes. ADA accessible.

Knead History – Reconstructed Fort

·Join a costumed baker for some hands-on fun! Unleash your inner flour power to mix dough, knead your own sea biscuit, and take home hard tack that's ready to go in your oven!

·Not for consumption. Aimed at kids aged 3-10. Program lasts 1 hour; drop in. It takes 10 minutes to make a biscuit. ADA accessible.

In addition to three programs every day this summer, the National Park Service also offers special summer programs – like mock archaeology Kids Digs, History in the Park at Esther Short Park, Collections Open House, and Victorian Handcraft Demonstrations and the Brown Bag Lecture Series at the McLoughlin House. Visit the park website,, to learn more, or call the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center at (360) 816-6230 to inquire about these special programs.

Cost: Programs at the Visitor Center are free. A $3 entrance fee applies to select programs at the reconstructed fort site. All programs are drop-in.

Where: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661 and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center, 1501 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661. Please visit the schedule of events at to learn specific program locations within the park.

When: Programs are offered at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. every day from July 7th – September 3rd, 2012.

Background: Background:Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is at the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.


Last updated: February 28, 2015

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612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

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