A labor of love

The daily ringing of the paper mill’s Westminster chimes will have special meaning when they echo through downtown Camas on Saturday.

The noontime tone will signify the beginning of a ceremony that will honor a Camas citizen who has had a significant impact on the look and feel of the downtown mall that exists today.

For those who are new to the city, the name Uta Zuendel may not ring any bells. But her efforts that began more than 20 years ago are clearly visible and have left a lasting impact.

Her story is profiled in today’s edition of the Post-Record. During the interview, Zuendel revealed that when she moved to Camas in 1974 she knew little about the town.

“I have to admit, I was like everybody else,” she said. “I didn’t even know we had a downtown.” Over the years that changed, and in the early 1990s Zuendel began cleaning up, creating and maintaining the flower beds, planter boxes and hanging baskets. She also helped start the Plant and Garden Fair in 1998.

So on Saturday, as part of the 18th annual Camas Plant and Garden Fair, Zuendel will be recognized with a plaque that will be placed at the new seating area at Northeast Fourth Avenue and Cedar Street, next to the Camas Gallery and Caffe Piccolo.

Over the years, there have been many who have contributed their time to the downtown area as it has evolved into the destination spot that it is today. What makes Zuendel’s story particularly unique is that her many years of effort toward establishing and maintaining much of the downtown landscape were nearly all volunteer based. She had a vision for downtown Camas, and she made it a reality.

Saturday’s recognition ceremony will be a time to provide a much deserved thank you to this special Camas citizen.