Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Karen Bertroch

Denise Blanchard and family dog, Willow, who greets visitors at Johnson Park.

From Marie Green, Athletic Director at Naselle GRV High School: "Congratulations to our baseball boys on their win against Rainier Christian Saturday. With that win they will now move onto the regional round of State Playoffs. Baseball will be playing Crosspoint on Saturday. Place and time to be announced. Last week we concluded our Middle school track kids where we had 24 of our kids qualify for League. Our 7th grade girls were league champs. Congrats. Softball is entering their round of districts this week." Congratulations athletes and coaches.

Honoring Gordon Lightfoot: "There was a time in this fair land when the railroads did not run, when the high majestic mountains stood alone against the sun, long before the white man and long before the wheel, when the dark majestic forests were too silent to be real." I loved him.

I've been working on articles for the Focus insert coming in the Eagle, so last week I interviewed Denise Blanchard while being distracted by her bundle of love, Willow, a miniature Australian Shepherd who was full of love for everyone. Denise and Marshall are dog lovers and having seen photos of Marshall with dogs on top of each wheel well on his quad, I know Willow has a good life. I was so impressed with how the Rosburg School looks with new paint, new signs, and the rooms full of activity, people, puppies and volunteers. I think we need to re-think Johnson Park. We may remember an earlier time when the building looked forlorn and forgotten, the grass was high and the rooms were storage places for old stuff and equipment. Not so now.

Denise, (8 years on board/ president 6 years) of the Johnson Park Advisory Board, is a doer and a shaker. She has a good board with active members who volunteer and help with the work. At the Park almost every day, she's busy organizing classes, making schedules, renting rooms, setting up for Bingo or arranging a big summer event. I know it has cost the county a lot of money to bring the building up to code, to bring the kitchen up to the commercial level, and to support an active board that deserves local support as well as county investment. They are now ready to have campers and motorhomes use the fields for overnight stays if self-contained. "Tenters" can stay overnight with a code for the doors to access restrooms. Large events are perfect there, such as weddings and family reunions. I'd like to suggest better and bigger signage on the road, and an office for the PUD guys be set-up so they have a place to stop and have lunch inside in bad weather instead of in the PUD trucks, where they can change clothes in nasty storms as well as a dry place to sleep if needed in emergencies.(Good for safety plan?) They could have 24 hour access to back-up tools, parts/small equipment on site on the west end. We love our PUD guys and the rent for space at Johnson Park would be peanuts in their budget. Denise loves crafts and kids so her craft groups for kids are popular, the library is impressive, and the activity room is a big one, perfect for family reunions. Then add the kitchen and I think we're not yet fully aware of the potential for this property. I'm planning on going to the County Commissioners' meeting to sing their praises and encourage the Commissioners not to complain about the money, but help get the word out. It's a lovely place for the Chamber to focus on. Wouldn't it be interesting if the Chamber of Commerce had a spot with brochures and info for visitors? There could be a community garden in a field out there. Those stunning trees could be trimmed with picnic tables under them. The old trees are gorgeous and need to be trimmed for all to enjoy. I suggest a Bob Saari "makeover." If Bob would take off the lower limbs making beautiful spots to sit in the shade, oh and let's add a hammock, too? Denise told me there used to be a trail through the woods along the back of the property. I wonder if there are any men who would know how to reclaim it? That would be so fun for the summer days. Maybe the American Legion would help with that or the guys who have coffee at Rosburg Hall in the mornings? The thing is the property belongs to the county, so in a way it belongs to all of us. Just some thoughts after too much coffee and time in the early morning sun on such a dreamed for sunrise.

Events Calendar: These do not include all the monthly or weekly meetings. They'll be back next week.

May 20: American Legion's pancake breakfast 8-11:30 at Rosburg Hall.

May 20: 4-H Great White Tail Run in Skamokawa beginning at Vista Park. Register at 8:30.

May 20: Mother and Child Tea/Luncheon 11-1 at Naselle Community Center $5.

May 20: Archives Center Book launch party at Archive Café 1-3 Na-Hi-An book $5 off.

May 25 and 26: Fish Preservation Classes at 10 a.m. and Friday, May 26th at 1 p.m. in Johnson Park kitchen. Contact the County Extension Office at 360-795-3278 or email to register for a class. May 25: Workshop #1 for landowners in Grays/Seal/Deep Rivers at Rosburg Hall 6-8 Email to reserve for pizza.

May 28: Concert at Naselle Comm Ctr with Kim Angelis and Jennifer Goodenberger at 3.

May 31: Evening of Excellence at Naselle GRV Schools: at 6.

June 3: Vendor Blender sale at Naselle Comm Ctr from 10-4 $25 per stall.

June 3: Barbeque Potluck at Johnson Park 2-6 with live music. Meat provided.

June 6: Spring Music Program at Naselle GRV Schools at 6.

June 10: Naselle GRV High School Graduation at 4.

June 20: Naselle GRV School Board meeting at 6:30 in school library.

June 24: Midsummer Afternoon Tea 1-3 Tickets $24 at Archives Center.

June 24: FAFF Salmon Dinner 5-7 and Concert 6-8 at Rosburg Hall: $20 Music by Emily Rudolph and Sunnyside. Tickets at

July 29: Appelo Archives Nordic Music Concert at Chinook School, tickets $20.

August 19: Appelo Archives Loggers Reunion.


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