“We definitely need some space to fly,” he said.
Joiner, 70, has been a member of Fern Prairie Modelers club since 2008, but has enjoyed assembling and flying model airplanes since 1968. He currently serves as vice-president of the club, which leases a five acre site at Grant Street in the industrial park from the Port of Camas-Washougal.
However, the group has been told it will need to vacate its current site within the next year or two to make room for development. Finding a new location poses a challenge, especially since 5 acres and a 50 acre fly zone are needed.
“The Port has been very good to us and we understand that they need to develop and grow,” Joiner said. “But the expansion of the Port means the termination of our flying field.” He noted that the group has several older members, which makes traveling to Skamania County, where land is more plentiful, difficult.
“But with everything going on in Clark County and the cost of land, we don’t have the financial wherewithal to buy a field,” he said. “We would need to lease property. We don’t care what is done with it, we just need five acres.”
Fern Prairie Modelers was founded in 1981 with a loose association of five charter members flying at a site that is now Grove Field in Camas. Currently, the club has more than 100 members and is chartered by the internationally recognized national modeling organization, the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The club is open to anyone with an interest in model aviation. Club members range in age from 11 to 88.