Family-friendly activities focus of Get Outdoors Day at Fort Vancouver

Fishing, archery among the activities at free Saturday event

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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Introductions to a range of family-friendly outdoor activities — including fishing, disc golf and archery — will be part of Saturday's Get Outdoors Day at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

The free event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a section of East Fifth Street, near the reconstructed fort stockade, and a portion of the grassy area on the north side of the street.

More than 40 groups and agencies that are involved in outdoor recreation — local as well as regional — will participate.

Families will be able to plan outings by getting information about walks and hikes on local trails and in state parks and national forests.

"Hosting Vancouver's Get Outdoors Day allows us to partner with other national parks in the region, just like we've done in years past at Northwest National Park Family Day," said Cassie Anderson, park ranger at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

"This year, we are joined by several of the region's national parks," offering opportunities to pan for gold with rangers from Klondike National Historic Site or venture inside an inflatable cave from Oregon Caves National Monument, Anderson said in a news release.

Admission is free to the Fort Vancouver stockade Saturday as part of the event.

Other partners include the city of Vancouver, Parks Foundation of Clark County, U.S. Forest Service, REI and Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation.

At the city's booth, families will learn about summer day camps offered through Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation. And children can participate in a water obstacle course and an agility course.

Children can have their photos taken with Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl, Ranger Rick and Buddy Beaver.

Fort Vancouver's annual Brigade Encampment will take place in conjunction with Get Outdoors Day. Costumed re-enactors representing a fur-trapping community of the 1840s will demonstrate cooking, beading, and children's games.

Visitors will hear the languages and the music of the Hudson's Bay era at Fort Vancouver and will see firing demonstration of historic weapons.

Tom Vogt: 360-735-4558; http://www.twitter.com/col_history;tom.vogt@columbian.com.