A passion for local parks

Virginia Frosh is an active volunteer in the community

For Virginia “Ginny” Frosh, preservation of the Parker’s Landing Historical Park is personal.

The park, located near the Port of Camas-Washougal office and marina, at 24 S. “A” St., Washougal, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington State Heritage Register.

Parker’s Landing is where Frosh, of Washougal, walked by herself on a regular basis, to recover from a 2003 car accident that resulted in a head injury.

Her doctor recommended meditation, walks in parks and going to familiar sites such as Marylhurst University, where she had earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and management.

Friends dropped Frosh off at the park, two to four times a week.

“They felt Parker’s Landing would help me to regain my strength in mind and body, with a calming effect,” she said. “I had no job or medical to cover expenses. I had an opportunity to talk to other people who made it a habit to spend time enjoying the beauty of Mt. Hood, the Columbia River and Parker’s Landing — either picnicking, walking or bird watching.”

Frosh, 72, still enjoys walking around Parker’s Landing and Marina Park two or three times a week.

“This is where I find my tranquility,” she said.

Frosh said work can be stressful as a first responder at a senior living residence. She also works in the commercial laundry area.

Frosh previously worked at Hewlett-Packard.

Serving in leadership roles

Frosh stepped forward in January, to serve as vice president of the Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee. She has been a member of it since 2010.

Frosh heard about the group from committee member Jean Zawistowski. Its mission statement includes assisting the port “to protect, enhance and promote the value of the site for the enjoyment of current and future generations.”

Projects organized by the committee have included the Van Vleet Brick Plaza and the Chinook Plaza.

After being appointed to the Parkersville committee, Frosh found herself to be among experts about local history.

She described it as “a rude awakening,” and she was tempted to quit before she talked to committee leader Roberta Tidland.

Frosh said Tidland convinced her to stay on the committee.

“She said, ‘listen and don’t speak your mind until you are certain of the subject. Be patient,'” Frosh recalled.

“I love those guys,” she said. “They volunteer a lot of hours. They have a passion and commitment to this park. I treat every one of them as my best friend.”

Frosh was named president of the Parkersville Heritage Foundation, by other members of the foundation in January.

“They have confidence in me,” she said. “That’s how we will succeed.

“I am always learning something new,” Frosh added. “We are supportive of each other.”

The principal purpose of the foundation is to solicit funding that will assist in the preservation and development of the Parkersville National Historic site.

Frosh is also a member of the port’s arts and history committee, which has submitted ideas for the waterfront trail and park that will be located on a portion of the former Hambleton Lumber Company site, at 335 S. “A” St., Washougal.

She has served as a member of the Washougal Parks Board since 2013.

Frosh praises Tidland and Suzanne Grover, the Washougal parks, cemetery and facilities manager.

“The Parks Board really changed me,” Frosh said. “People depend on me and the group to run things smoothly.”

She said challenges faced by the parks board include recruiting more volunteers to help at events, such as “Make a Difference Day.”

There are also issues, such as drug use, homeless individuals and vandalism, at Hathaway Park.

Grover described Frosh as a passionate spokesperson for Washougal parks and the heritage of the city.

“She is also extremely compassionate about the people around her,” Grover said. “I believe she would do anything in her power or capability to help someone if they needed her.

“Ginny is eager to learn the complexities of city government and has shown interest in expanding that knowledge through state functions,” she added.

Frosh plans to attend a rally in Olympia later this week and lobby for additional statewide parks and conservation funding. That will be followed by a reception with Gov. Jay Inslee and some legislators at the Governor’s mansion.

“I’m just a little pebble in a pile of rocks,” Frosh said.

She will be joined by fellow Parks Board members Barbara Curry and Diana Gordon.

Frosh has previously been to Olympia with Grover, to seek Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office funding for playground equipment at Hartwood Park.

Frosh, a Camas native, aspires to serve as a volunteer with the RCO, representing Clark County.

Additional interests involve helping others

Her community involvement also includes serving in the area of senior ministries at Bethel Community Church, in Washougal.

Frosh said her inspiration to serve is a desire within.

“I want to be a proactive volunteer, to give support where needed,” she said. “I am interested in others who volunteer their time. It’s a no-brainer. I believe a random act of kindness can change the outcome of a situation, for the better.”