Fort Vancouver NHS Joins National Find Your Park Movement

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Date: March 31, 2015
Contact: Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian, 360-816-6231
Contact: Aaron Ochoa, Park Ranger, 360-816-6233

Fort Vancouver NHS Joins Find Your Park Movement
National Park Week 2015 Encourages Everyone To Find Your Park 

VANCOUVER, WA – Fort Vancouver National Historic Site joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at Launched yesterday by the National Park Service and the National Park FoundationFind Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service.

Find Your Park invites the public to see that a national park can be more than a place -- it can be a feeling, a state of mind, or a sense of American pride. Beyond vast landscapes, the campaign highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as the National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide.

Find Your Park is also the theme for this year's National Park Week, April 18 –26. At Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, visitors can enjoy ranger-led programs and special events onsite each day during this special week.

National Park Week Calendar of Events: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Saturday, April 18, 2015
All day: Entrance fees waived at all national parks

10 am to 3 pm: Meet the Cavalry at Vancouver Barracks
Location: Great Meadow, north of 5th St. near Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
A living history encampment with volunteers portraying members of the First Oregon Volunteer Cavalry, who served at Fort Vancouver during the Civil War.

11 am, noon, 1 pm & 2 pm: Historic Weapons Programs
Location: Great Meadow, north of Fifth St. near Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
Volunteers portraying members of the First Oregon Volunteer Cavalry will be demonstrating the firing of small arms from the Civil War era.

Noon to 5 pm: Fort Vancouver's Junior Ranger Day
Location: Pearson Air Museum & Reconstructed Fort, 1115 E. Fifth St & 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
Hands-on activities for kids will be featured at two park sites. At Pearson Air Museum, aspiring Junior Rangers can complete a Junior Ranger Aeronautical Booklet that includes a basic aeronautics course, puzzles and more. Junior Rangers will work with park rangers and park volunteers to build balsa wood aircraft, construct and launch 2 liter rockets. At the reconstructed fort site, Junior Rangers can explore the British Hudson Bay Company's Fort Vancouver and learn from costumed volunteers about the people, events and practices of the past.

Location: Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
"Yuri's Night" is an international event that celebrates the first person to orbit the earth in space: Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who was launched into near earth orbit 54 years ago, on April 12, 1961. 
  • 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm: 2 Liter Rocket Making Lab for children ages 8-18. A rocket making area with free materials and suggested instructions will be provided for children, who will be encouraged to design and build their own water and air powered rocket! 
  • 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm: The Oregon L5 Society (a chapter of the National Space Society) will host an informational table with exhibits discussing the future of space exploration. 
  • 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm: Portland State University Archaeologist Dr. Cameron Smith will show his DIY space suit in the Tex Rankin Theater. Dr. Smith is making waves in the history of space exploration by attempting to be the first non-state funded human to reach near space conditions over 50,000 ft. in a self-designed and constructed space suit. 
  • 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm: 2 Liter Rocket Launching Competition. Children will be able to launch their own personally designed and constructed 2 liter bottle rocket from the paved area west of Pearson Air Museum. 
  • 7:30 pm to 9:15 pm: In cooperation with the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department, the 2012 Disney animated film WALL-E will be shown in the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum. WALL-E is rated G. 
  • 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm: Ranger-led Sky Tour (weather permitting). Join certified Star Guide Ranger Robert Gutierrez as he leads a one hour walking star and moon tour along the Spruce Mill Trail between Pearson Air Museum and Fort Vancouver.
Sunday, April 19,2015
All day: Entrance fees waived at all national parks

1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, & 4 pm: Discover the Fort –A Guided Tour
Location: Reconstructed Fort, 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
Join a park ranger for a guided tour of the reconstructed fort site and experience the park from an 1840s perspective. Visit building interiors that are off the route of the self-guided tour and find your park!

Monday, April 20, 2015
10 am to 3 pm: Meet the Fort Vancouver Gardeners
Location: Fort Vancouver Garden, 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
Stop in and talk with volunteers who work in the Garden at Fort Vancouver, and stay for a demonstration and learn more of nineteenth century gardening at Fort Vancouver.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
1 pm to 2 pm: Historic Weapons Program –Weapons of the Fur Trade
Location: Reconstructed Fort, 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
Park rangers will talk about and demonstrate weaponry used by the Hudson's Bay Company, American trappers, and Native Peoples in and around Fort Vancouver and the West in the nineteenth century.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
12:15 pm to 12:45 pm: Range with the Rangers!
Location: Bandstand, southeast of the Grant House, 1101 Officers Row, Vancouver, WA
Join Chief Ranger Greg Shine &Vancouver Barracks Project Manager Ray Cozby at 12:15 pm for a brisk 25-minute lunchtime walk around the historic parade ground at Fort Vancouver NHS. With a focus on noon-time exercise and lightning-fast updates, Greg & Ray will lead the group from the Bandstand and around the Parade Ground, pausing for two quick stretch breaks to talk about the past and future of Vancouver Barracks. The program is timed to allow for noon to 1 pm lunch breaks, so please join us.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
12:15 pm to 12:45 pm: Highlights of Fort Vancouver's Collection (Reservation Recommended)
Make a reservation to join Museum Technician Meagan Huff for a behind-the-scenes look at some of the more than two million items in the national park's museum collection. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by phone at 360-816-6244. Tour capacity is 15 visitors.

Friday, April 24, 2015
10:15 am, 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, & 3:15 pm: A Look into the Life of the Father of Oregon
Location: McLoughlin House, 713 Center St., Oregon City, OR
Join Park Guide Mike Twist and volunteers for an exploration of the historic McLoughlin House, with a focus on the life of Dr. John McLoughlin, known as the Father of Oregon.

11 am & 2 pm: Tour Fort Vancouver's Costume Department (Reservation Required)
Location: Costume Department Building, adjacent to Park Headquarters, 612 E. Reserve St., Vancouver WA
Join Eileen Trestain, author, volunteer and costume department coordinator, for a behind the scenes look at the national park's extensive costume and textile operation. Reservations are required, and can be made by phone at 360-816-6244. Tour capacity is 20 visitors.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
10 am to 1 pm: 18th Annual Nez Perce / Chief Red Heart Ceremony
Location: Great Meadow north of Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA
Annual memorial to remember Chief Red Heart's band of the Nez Perce, including singing in honor of the ancestors, the Riderless Horse (Empty Saddle) Ceremony, Sacred Pipe Ceremony, and recognition of veterans. Each year Nez Perce citizens travel to sites important to their history to conduct traditional memorials to honor their ancestors. This event is coordinated in partnership with the City of Vancouver.

2 pm: Screening of the 2008 film The Oregon Experience: C.E.S. Wood
Location: Tex Rankin Theater, Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
This film, co-produced by Laurence Cotton, tells the story of young U.S. Army Lt. C.E.S. Wood and his participation in the Nez Perce War of 1877. As Adjutant to General O.O. Howard, stationed at Fort Vancouver, Wood went off to report on the campaign for his superior. During the conflict, Wood's sympathies began to turn toward seeing the events from the Nez Perce point of view. Wood recorded the speech that Chief Joseph delivered, upon presenting his rifle to the U.S. Army in conjunction with the cease fire, on the Bear Paw Battlefield in Montana. From then on, C.E.S. Wood and Chief Joseph became lifelong friends. Wood continued to advocate the cause for the return of Chief Joseph's band to their traditional homeland in the Wallowas. Chief Joseph visited Wood's family in Portland and young son Erskine Wood lived with Chief Joseph and his family for two summers at the Nespelem Agency (now the Colville Reservation) in Washington State. C.E.S. Wood earned a law degree, resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and settled in Portland, where he left a huge imprint on the city and its cultural institutions. Wood also become a nationally renowned progressive voice and a respected writer and poet. After the film, producer Laurence Cotton will talk more about the friendship between C.E.S. Wood and Chief Joseph and the extraordinary friendships that continue to ripple across time.

Sunday, April 26, 2015
1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, & 4 pm: Discover the Fort –A Guided Tour
Location: Reconstructed Fort, 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA
Join a park ranger for a guided tour of the reconstructed fort site and experience the park from an 1840s perspective. Visit building interiors that are off the route of the self-guided tour and find your park!  

"We invite everyone to celebrate National Park Week at Fort Vancouver," said Superintendent Tracy Fortmann, "and we encourage everyone, wherever you are, to get outdoors and find your park!"

Visit to learn more about how you can join parks, programs, and partners in celebrating National Park Week across the country. 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: March 31, 2015

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612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

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