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Contact: Kimm Fox-Middleton, 360-816-6243
VANCOUVER, WA- The National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve announces its 2007 Summer Program Schedule.
In addition to the numerous special events occurring onsite, the National Park Service has scheduled regularly occurring programs specifically for this year’s summer season. These programs are offered on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Programs are designed to fit the needs of many types of visitors. The program entitled "Fast Facts at Fort Vancouver", for example, offers visitors with little time a basic orientation and introduction to the site. For those with a little more time, they may join a ranger in "Digging Deeper into History" or "Fort Vancouver Beyond the Fur Trade" - programs that provide a more in depth look at the intriguing history of the site.
"As we continue to develop our program offerings," explained Kimm Fox-Middleton, Supervisory Park Ranger, "we keep in mind our goal of providing a little something for everyone."
PROGRAMS OFFERED DAILY: The following programs will be offered daily from July 8 to September 3, 2007, unless the park is holding a special event. (To view the park’s special event calendar, point your web browser to: www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/events.htm or pick up a hard copy at the Visitor Center.)
· AUDIO TOURS - Want to learn more about the fort on your own schedule? Available for $3.00, the audio tours provide the first time and the returning visitor an introduction to the fort. Both the one hour adult tour and the forty-five minute family tour (designed for adults and children) take you through many of the fort's buildings, blending sound effects, authentic dialects, and period music with a fascinating historical narrative. Available at the Entrance Station.
· FORT VANCOUVER: A HISTORICAL TOUR BROCHURE - A self-guided brochure for $2.00 offers historical information for each of the buildings inside the fort as well as information on buildings yet to be built. Outside the fort, the brochure shares the history about the extensive agriculture activities and the growing community known as the village. Available at the Entrance Station.
· FAST FACTS AT FORT VANCOUVER - This 15 minute introductory talk is available upon request at the Entrance Station. Visitors on-the-go will learn why Fort Vancouver is considered nationally significant and operated as a unit of the National Park System.
· CULTURAL DEMONSTRATIONS OF THE HBC WORKERS - The Blacksmith Shop, Carpenter Shop, Kitchen, and/or the Bake House come to life at the fort as staff and volunteers, in period clothing, share with visitors the hard work the company employee did and how it supported the Hudson’s Bay Company enterprise here at Fort Vancouver. One of four locations will be open daily for the visitor to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the work done at fort. This program is ongoing during the day.
· DIGGING DEEPER INTO HISTORY - Although the HBC’s Fort Vancouver burned down in the 1860s, many of the buildings have been reconstructed. Join a park ranger as you tour the buildings and grounds, finding out how the pieces of the Fort Vancouver puzzle hidden for so many years were put together into what you see today. This program is a 45 minute walking tour, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Entrance Station.
· FORT VANCOUVER BEYOND THE FUR TRADE -The fort has many untold stories that go beyond the fur trade. Discover the rich history of the area that is now a historic site and surrounded by homes and businesses. Find out more about what was here and the impact it had regionally, nationally, and internationally. This program is a 30 minute talk or walk that begins at the Entrance Station. It is available Monday through Friday at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
· STROLL THE ROW AND VANCOUVER BARRACKS WITH A ROVING RANGER -Was George C. Marshall really here? Did Ulysses S. Grant live in the Grant House? Was Fort Vancouver a fur trading post or a military Fort? What was the soldier’s life like back in the 1800’s? Look for the Roving Ranger along Officers Row and the Vancouver Barracks to learn more about those who are well known and unknown to us. Offered daily from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
PROGRAMS OFFERED WEEKLY: The following programs will be offered weekly from July 8 to September 3, 2007, unless the park is holding a special event. (To view the park’s special event calendar, point your web browser to: www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/events.htm or pick up a hard copy at the Visitor Center.)
· HISTORIC WEAPONS: IMPORTANT TOOLS OF THE PAST - Both the employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the soldiers of the US Army used black powder weapons for sport and for defense. Join rangers and volunteers as they explain the role of various weapons used by the people who lived here. Fort entrance fees do apply and free on the parade ground. This program is a 30 minute program featured on Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. at the Parade Ground and on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. at the reconstructed fort.
· INSIDE THE GARDEN - A stroll through today’s Garden gives you a glimpse of the fort’s agricultural history. Many of the vegetables and flowers grown in today’s Garden are heirloom varieties, many of which may have been grown here in the past. Stop and chat with one of the dedicated Garden Volunteers, whose countless hours of labor make this garden possible. This program is free of charge, and takes place in the Garden on Thursday and Saturday mornings.
· THE COLUMBIA RIVER: THE OLDEST INTERSTATE AND LIFEBLOOD OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST - What is it that brings so many people to the Pacific Northwest? Look for the Ranger along the Columbia River Waterfront to learn more about the lifeline of the region- the Columbia River. Find out how the Columbia River has provided transportation, commerce, and more for the people of yesterday and today. This program is free of charge. It is a 30 minute program, featured on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. at the Columbia River Waterfront.
PROGRAMS OFFERED MONTHLY: The following programs will be offered monthly from July 14 to August 31, 2007, unless the park is holding a special event. (To view the park’s special event calendar, point your web browser to: www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/events.htm or pick up a hard copy at the Visitor Center.)
· KIDS DIG -Children ages 8-12 are introduced to archaeology by participating in a "dig", mapping their artifact finds, and filling out site forms. As they excavate and screen with the help of park staff and volunteers, we will discuss how we learn from archaeology, and why we should preserve these pieces of our past. Each two-hour session is limited to 20 children, on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is offered at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the fort on July 14 and October 6 and at the McLoughlin House in Oregon City at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on July 28. Fort entrance fees do apply. The event is free at the McLoughlin House.
· THE COMPANY SERVANT - Do you think life at Fort Vancouver was glamorous? For the 220 plus "servants" of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the 6-day work week meant hard work and long hours. Come and experience the day to day work of a baker, fur trapper, gardener, and carpenter at 1840’s Fort Vancouver. Visitors will try their hand at kneading the dough and cutting the sea biscuits in the Bake House, weighing and pressing the furs in the Fur Store, or using the tools of the 1800’s in the Carpenter Shop. Fort fees do apply. This program is offered on two Fridays, July 27 and August 31, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
· FIRST FRIDAYS - Visitors will learn more about Fort Vancouver’s intriguing past. Look for the Ranger at the Bandstand located at the north end of the historic parade ground. This 30 minute program is free of charge and offered on August 6 and September 7 at 6:30 p.m.
"We have such a wonderful opportunity to share with visitors visiting from near and far the rich history that makes Fort Vancouver nationally – and internationally significant," exclaimed Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian. "As the only national park in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area, Fort Vancouver is a hidden jewel that more and more people are finding and experiencing. We are excited to have a wealth of opportunities available for the public to connect to our nation’s history on a local, hands-on level."
BACKGROUND: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is 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.