Woodland has seen a decade of major growth

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

Published:

 
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Woodland

• Population: 5,509

• Must see: Horseshoe Lake, Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, Cedar Creek Grist Mill

• Web: http://www.ci.woodland.wa.us; http://www.lewisriver.com.

Portrait

For more information on life in Clark County, visit www.columbian.com/portrait.

Woodland’s population sits at about 5,509, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. That’s up from 3,790 in 2000.

That climb over the 5,000-resident mark wasn’t just a numerical milestone. In September 2008, two additional members were appointed to Woodland’s city council, bringing the governing panel to seven members. That marked Woodland’s promotion from the “small city” category of Washington municipalities after its population topped 5,000.

Voters in November 2011 approved a 0.1 percentage point increase in the city’s sales tax to build a new police station and replace its aging 1970s-era jail. In April 2012, the Woodland School Board will ask voters to approve a $39.8 million bond to pay for the construction of a new high school to accommodate 850 to 900 students.

The increased population and easy highway access also brought big-box retailers to town.

A little over a year ago, Walmart opened its 51st Washington store in Woodland at 1486 Dike Access Road. The store ditched the usual tire and express lube center to make room for a larger garden area to cater to the city’s outdoorsy residents.

Community celebrations in Woodland include the annual Planter’s Days, held on the third weekend in June. First held in 1922, it is the longest continuously running civic celebration in the state. The festival celebrates the completion of the dikes along the Columbia and Lewis rivers that protected low-lying farms from flooding. This year’s event will run from June 16-19.

Another event — the annual lilac festival — commemorates Hulda Klager, who was 13 when her family came to Woodland in 1877. She became a renowned lilac breeder, and the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. This year’s Lilac Festival is April 16 through May 8, Mother’s Day.

And another floral-themed event, the annual Tulip Festival, is scheduled from April 2-30.

Other regional attractions are the Cedar Creek Grist Mill, northeast of town. Built in 1876, it’s the oldest operating grist mill in the state.