Camas Scout helps revitalize historic Washougal park

Harris Royer helps beautify Parker’s Historical Landing

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Camas High School senior Harris Royer, 17, needed to find an Eagle Scout project. Parker’s Landing Historical Park in Washougal needed some work done. Now, both of those needs have been met.

Royer, a member of the Camas-based Boy Scout Troop 562, and several of his Scout friends spent a significant amount of their summer vacation revitalizing the historical Washougal park — removing grass that had blocked the Apple Tree Heritage Grove’s access to water, enlarging the bark ring that surrounds the trees by two feet, adding bricks to the trees and refinishing the park’s garden shed.

“I’m pretty satisfied. It turned out pretty well. The trees look pretty good,” Royer said. “It was actually pretty enjoyable to do. When I was starting to work on it, it was pretty fun, especially with all my friends helping me. By working on the trees and getting new bricks, the park just looks cleaner. A lot of the bricks hadn’t been cleaned in a very long time. And since we put down the new soil, it looks like a fresh new part of the park.”

Royer’s father, Jeffrey, said his son worked at least 80 hours revitalizing the park with his friends.

“All the guys turned out for those critical weekends before they went to summer camp, so we were really happy they could help,” Jeffrey added.

Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee volunteer Susan Tripp helped set the project in motion.

“Our group kind of has a relationship with that advisory committee,” Jeffrey said. “Susan mentioned back in the wintertime that there’s lots of projects to do (at the park) if the guys needed something. That’s kind of how we knew about it.”

“I was looking for a project to do; I kind of started off a little late,” Royer added. “I was wondering how I was going to get it done. (The work at the park sounded) like the perfect opportunity, perfect timing for me to get the Eagle Scout project started.”

Royer and his father attended the park committee’s April meeting to share their ideas for the project, gather feedback and respond to questions and suggestions. The committee’s president, Bruce Fuerstenberg, approved the project at the organization’s June meeting.

The committee donated $100 to help Royer get started, and Royer secured other donations, including a Home Depot gift card that paid for bark, bricks and wood stain.

Royer finished the project in late July, and went “beyond his Eagle Scout commitment” by contributing to the park’s summer watering projects, according to Tripp, who added that the park “needs more volunteers for summer watering.”

Tripp said the park committee organizes volunteers to “preserve the park trees and keep the grass green for the public who enjoy picnics and other gatherings in the park.”

“The summers have been getting warmer consistently for the past eight years, a threat to the park trees,” Tripp said.

To learn about the park’s volunteer needs, email or text 562-805-5189. For more information, email or visit face ghistoricalpark.