Residents of Mosier celebrated partnerships and progress on the city's waterfront improvements during an early celebration of April Fool's Day.
"The Mosier Alliance and the people working on the waterfront wanted to celebrate that we've made it through the planning process for the waterfront grant," explained Gay Jervey, project coordinator. A USDA Forest Service grant, coupled with local donations and an Oregon Economic and Community Development grant, funded the planning process.
To celebrate, residents coordinated a number of events including opportunities to tour the waterfront trail, a Grand Parade of Fools, a ceremony honoring partners in waterfront efforts, and an event barbecue and dance.
"There are a lot of silly people here and we like it that way," said Jervey, who greeted the parade from a high-lift, dressed in orange and yellow coat and scarf, a broad-brimmed hat, and pink boa.
Parade entries included a celebration of "Rude Food," by Margaret Haupt and Tom Herrera, the Landspeeder that set the record for human-powered vehicle speed in the early 1980s and the "World's Smallest Logging Horse," among others.
Please turn to page B10 for related photos.
Work on the Mosier Waterfront has gone well beyond the planning stages, Jervey reported. A trail now extends along the shore of the Columbia River between Mosier Creek and Rock Creek. Extensive plantings of native plants have been done along the route and alongside Rock Creek, which is being revitalized as part of the project. Steelhead and salmon have already been spotted in the creek.
AmeriCorps workers from the Northwest Service Academy in Troutdale have played an active part in waterfront revitalization efforts.
"First and foremost, we have these remarkable men and women to thank for being ahead of our planned work timeline," Jervey said.
MacKenzie Winchel, an AmeriCorps volunteer from Wisconsin, is Mosier's lead AmeriCorps assignee. She has a bachelor's degree in environmental design and plans to pursue her master's degree in landscape architecture.
"There are two main components to the project," Winchel noted, "a recreational component and a habitat restoration component." After studying the theoretical aspects of such projects, Winchel says it's good to be "on the ground," doing the construction part."
Winchel is also helping with event coordination and played a major role in organizing the April Fool's Celebration.
Several AmeriCorps crews will be back in Mosier during April to help with downtown revitalization including flowerbed planting and general sprucing up of the downtown area.
Those honored during the April Fool's Celebration included:
Margaret Suppah, Emily Waheneka, Madeline McInturff and Viola Kalama of the Warm Springs Culture & Heritage Committee; Jeanette Kloos of Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Region 1, Historic Columbia River Highway; Sam Wilkins, ODOT; Jack Wiles, Kevin Price, Diane McClay, Oregon Parks and Recreation; Wilton Hart, Diane Barkheimer, Columbia Gorge Windsurfing; Wayne Wooster, Goldendale Aluminum; Cyndy DeBruler, Columbia Riverkeeper; Tom Mazrello, Mosier American Legion; Daniel Harkenrider, Mike Ferris, USDA Forest Service; Martha Bennett, Doug Crow, NSA Columbia Gorge Commission; AmeriCorps volunteers; Tiffany Newton, Friends of the Columbia Gorge; Scott Hoeffer, National Marine Fisheries; Jerry Igo, Mike Igo and Barbara Robinson, Mid-Columbia Native Plant Society; U.S. Senator Ron Wyden; U.S. Senator Gordon Smith; Ron Graves, Jennifer Clark, Tammy Tripp, Wasco County Soil & Water Conservation; Steve Pribyl, Oregon Fish & Wildlife.