Parks, Trails, and Trees

I believe it is our responsibility to care for and enhance our natural resources, such as the tree canopy, open spaces and wildlife habitat. This also protects and improves our air and water quality. These are issues that are extremely important to our citizens.

Several surveys declare the “livability of our neighborhoods” as people’s reasons for moving to Vancouver. That includes parks, trails, and trees. “Trees are the lungs of the earth.” They are our “green infrastructure” and provide noteworthy environmental, social and economic benefits. Businesses and employers are more likely to come to Vancouver because of “quality of life” issues.

I believe our work with A Stronger Vancouver is still vital. This three-year service and funding package had four capital projects. One was to enhance the parks system to increase safety, increase access and attract private development around key community parks. In addition, we want to support programming that helps our at-risk youth, increases access for children to attend the summer playground program, activates public spaces with events, and reduces financial barriers to recreational programs.

Parks and Forestry Groups – My Participation

  • Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission
  • Urban Forestry Commission
  • Served on the City of Vancouver’s Planning Commission for 5 years
  • Vancouver Lake Watersheds Council
  • Stormwater Technical Work Group
  • Local and Regional Parks Blue Ribbon Commission
  • A Stronger Vancouver

Parks and Forestry Projects – My Involvement

  • Development and Funding of Shumway Neighborhood Park
  • Tree plantings
  • Street Tree Ordinance
  • Aquifer Recharge Water Ordinance and Wellhead Protection of the Aquifer
  • Critical Areas Ordinance
  • Fruit Valley Sub Area Plan
  • Parks Foundation Member


“Compared to cities of similar size, Vancouver has less than half of the median parks acreage, half the number of parks employees and more than twice the population served by our community centers.” (ASV)

I know what it takes to build parks. It took more than seven years for the neighbors in Shumway to write the grants, testify at meetings, work with the property owners, and help draw the plans for the little park. I led neighbors in partnering with the Vancouver School District and the city of Vancouver to achieve this milestone. We transplanted shrubs that folks wanted saved and planted trees that were needed for shade.

It is important that we keep our parks open for all to enjoy, including our elderly, families and the physically challenged. I support the continued use of the REET monies to continue the preservation of our valuable parks space.


I partnered with Friends of Trees, Vancouver School District and the City of Vancouver to write grants to plant more trees.

Since 1990, my family and I volunteered to restore our canopy-deficient city by planting over 200 trees. I know how important it is to help trees survive their first few years as they grow roots and we continue our stewardship by watering and maintaining them during the summer.

As the mayor, it is my goal for our city to plant at least 1000 trees each year. Our staff and volunteers have made that happen. We have celebrated the TREE CITY USA award each year since 1989. This national status shows our commitment to our stewardship.

Our Young People and Our Elderly

Preserving existing trees and parks requires community involvement. Terry and I work, with our community youth, to help our elderly neighbors care for their trees. It is not unusual to see us raking leaves, trimming branches, sweeping the street and hauling yard debris to recycling. I will continue to foster a civic involvement in managing our urban forest. Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and join us as we pull invasive ivy along Blandford Drive, cut back blackberries along Burnt Bridge Creek Trail, plant native shrubs on the banks of our streams and distribute tree care brochures.

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