The 24th annual Fox Creek Cleanup will take place on Saturday, April 20th, 2013. the public and all the usual Fox Creek volunteers are invited to join the event, which is co-sponsored by SOLVE.
The time is 9 am to 1 pm. Volunteers are advised to dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes for trail work on uneven ground. Friends of Fox Creek will provide gloves and hand tools and buckets, but anyone is welcome to bring their own, visibly marked. FFC will treat the volunteers to a barbecue at the site at the end of the event.
Volunteers will assemble at 9 am at the Fox Creek trailhead, with parking on West C Street near 2nd Street West, or in the lower parking lot of Riverside Community Church. The registration tent will be along the path to the Fox Creek Trail sign.
Volunteers may skip filling out the SOLVE waiver on the day of the event by registering ahead of time (before April 19th) at the SOLVE website. Register today at www.solv.org .
Rainier Revisited, the annual re-enactment of events of 1853 in Rainier, is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th. The public is invited to attend the event any time between 10 am and 4 pm at Beaver Homes Grange, 31105 Beaver Homes Road, Rainier, Oregon 97048. Admission is one can of food or donation for H.O.P.E. of Rainier.
This is the fourth year of the re-enactment, which is produced by the Rainier Jr.Sr. High School History Club, under the tutelage of Social Studies teacher Andrew Demko, Friends of Fox Creek is one of several sponsors of the event.
Friends of Fox Creek received a grant of $1,400 last August from the Columbia County Cultural Coalition to design and fabricate a historical sign about Charles E. Fox, the founder of Rainier in 1851. Fox Creek was named for this pioneer settler. A committee has been working steadily to research the biography of Fox and to design the layout of the sign, which will be two feet by three feet in size, rendered on high-pressure laminate and mounted on a steel frame to be placed near the A Street bridge in Rainier.
An equal partner with FFC on the sign project has been the Rainier Junior/Senior High School History Club, advised by Social Studies teacher Andrew Demko, who first conceived the idea of the sign acknowledging Fox. The History Club, which has won national awards, produces an annual re-enactment of events of 1853 in Rainier at the Beaver Homes Grange. (This year’s event is April 13th.) The sign project has also received the full cooperation of the Rainier School District, the City of Rainier and Rainier Masonic Lodge #24; the latter supplied the portrait of Charles Fox for the sign.
The grant received by FFC is part of a distribution of lottery dollars to county cultural coalitions by the Oregon Cultural Trust for use by nonprofit organizations sponsoring cultural events and projects.
An unveiling ceremony in Riverfront Park for the completed sign is expected to take place in May or June of this year.
Friends of Fox Creek held its annual meeting on March 7th, 2013, at El Tapatio Restaurant in Rainier. About 30 people attended, and all enjoyed a brief review of the year’s activities, some pleasant conversation, the annual election of two directors and some fine Mexican food.
The highlight of the evening was the program presented by Kerry Tymchuk, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society, who brought a suitcase full of artifacts from the Society’s museum in Portland. Mr. Tymchuk told the story behind each artifact, and passed around ones that could be safely handled, including Lewis & Clark’s branding iron (retrieved from the Columbia River!) and a chunk of the Willamette Meteorite. Mr Tymchuk was introduced by Andrew Demko, history teacher and advisor to the History Club at Rainier Junior/Senior High School.
Pursuant to the history theme this year, one of FFC’s projects for 2013 is installation of a sign near the creek commemorating the founding of Rainier by Charles e. Fox in 1851. Andrew Demko and the History Club have been spark plugs for this project.
In the election of Directors the recommendations of the Nominating Committee (Sally Bledsoe, Brandy McGladrey and Saundra Morris) were accepted unanimously: Amy Poulos was re-elected to a three-year term, and JoAnne Booth rejoined the Board for a three-year term after a hiatus of several years. Board officers will be elected by the Directors at a subsequent meeting.
President Bob Burnham honored Michal Kelly Miller for her years of service as a Director on the Board, and specifically, as FFC Treasurer.
For the Annual Meeting on March 7th, 2013, FFC President Bob Burnham reviewed the organization’s activities during 2012 as part of the annual President’s Report to the membership.
2012 was our 21st year of restoring and enhancing Fox Creek and Nice Creek, Bob reported, and it included sponsoring the 23rd annual Earth Day event in Rainier, dressing up the Fox Creek Trail and making good progress against the ubiquitous English ivy.
“We were pleased once again to have the partnership of the City of Rainier, Riverside Community Church, SOLVE, Boy Scout Troop 332, Willapa Hills Audubon Society and plenty of volunteers from the community. Pacific Fibre Products provided the bark for the trail surface.”
Spawning surveys were conducted by FFC volunteers in the winter season just past, with no official sightings of fish or redds, although there were reports of Coho spawners from other sources.
In 2012 FFC worked with the city to allow FFC to retrieve waste cedar chunks from the watershed to be milled into lumber, which was used to build wood duck nest boxes and bat boxes. The boxes were then placed in the watershed, and they will be maintained by FFC volunteers in the future.
An important achievement of Friends of Fox Creek in 2012, Bob reported, was winning a $1,400 grant to build a Charles E. Fox historical sign for the city park.