Winners of Florence B. Wager Awards selected

Parks Foundation event also benefits children’s programs

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter

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The Parks Foundation of Clark County is honoring Glenn Lamb, Joyce Lindsay and James Barhitte with its annual Florence B. Wager Awards for their contributions to parks, trails and recreation programs.

The 11:30 a.m. lunch on May 9 also will help raise money for outdoor and recreational programs, including camps for children who have limited opportunities.

With summer approaching, it’s not too early to note “the absolute importance of summer camp programs,” said Executive Director Dianna Kretzschmar.

They include programs for disadvantaged children as well as Sensory Camp for youngsters on the autism spectrum. It benefits “children who don’t have a program in the summer,” Kretzschmar said Tuesday, after the seventh annual awards were announced.

“If they are not in a structured setting, they go backwards in socialization. Sensory Camp keeps them engaged and thriving. This camp fills up within 24 hours of registration. More money means more kids” who can attend camp, Kretzschmar said.

Camp Hope gives disadvantaged children, some from homeless families, a chance to experience nature at a former Girl Scout camp near Battle Ground.

In addition to outdoor recreation, “Kids are learning skills and social interactions that will help them,” Kretzschmar said.

The Parks Foundation also will announce its annual community grants at the awards presentation at WareHouse ’23, 100 Columbia St., Vancouver.

The awards are named for Florence B. Wager, a tireless parks advocate who was named Clark County’s First Citizen in 2009. She died in 2012. The awards also are known as the “Flossie” awards (the name she preferred). The 2017 winners:

• Leading Eagle Award: Glenn Lamb, executive director of the Columbia Land Trust.

The award recognizes a community leader who has made contributions that have significantly influenced the life, health, and direction of our parks, trails, and recreation programs, according to news release from the foundation.

As a planner for Clark County, Lamb was instrumental in getting the Conservation Futures Program off the ground. In the 1990s, he and other volunteers formed the Columbia Land Trust, which has conserved more than 32,000 acres in Washington and Oregon.

• V-Formation Flyer Award: Joyce Lindsay, Washougal city councilor and Washougal Parks Board member.

The award recognizes a volunteer whose dedication goes above and beyond the norm.

Lindsay has worked tirelessly through the years, fund-raising and securing grants through public and private means, acquiring lands for community parks and trails, as well as volunteering to help build recreation programs, according to the press release.

• Tributary Award: James Barhitte, caretaker of Abrams Park in Ridgefield.

The award recognizes parks and recreation professionals who go above and beyond their daily duties to connect the public to parks and recreation in new ways; create new efficiencies to trim costs; or secure or develop new revenue concepts.

Since 2010, Barhitte has been the face of Abrams Park, and is always ready to greet visitors with a smile, according to the news release. He spends his weekends helping parents during sporting events, ensuring the restrooms are stocked and clean, and is available to help during special events.