Ogdens win new "Mighty Columbia" award

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For several years the Parks Foundation of Clark County has bestowed three different awards on local parks and recreation leaders, be they professionals, volunteers or visionaries. All are named for beloved parks activist Florence B. Wager, who died in 2012.

Now, here's a new Wager award honoring "people who have done absolutely incredible things" that have made "a deep and lasting impression on our community," Parks Foundation Executive Director Cheri Martin said. As Wager liked to say, the key to such achievement is "endless pressure, endlessly applied."

Just like the Columbia River, which supplied the name for this new award.

The first "Mighty Columbia" Award went to avid hikers and mountain climbers Dan Ogden and the late Val Ogden at the Parks Foundation's recent annual luncheon. The dynamic couple was honored for a lifetime of "relentless" parks and recreation advocacy, Martin said.

During the 1960s Dan served as assistant director of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and later budget director for the U.S. Department of Interior. He helped advance today's National Scenic Trails Act, which established the Pacific Crest and Appalachian trails.

Val Ogden's first accomplishment as a new state representative in 1991 was to secure funding for Vancouver's waterfront Renaissance Trail. She was also instrumental in finding funds to dredge the Columbia River. She served as chairwoman of the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation.

Martin said the "Mighty Columbia" award will not be bestowed annually, but as appropriate, and will not come from community nominations but from the Foundation's award committee itself.

Learn more about the Parks Foundation at http://parksfoundation.us.