Cassi Marshall is one of the award winners this year. She epitomizes the saying, “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.” As a full-time employee with the Washougal School District Cassi’s passion for Camas parks, trails and trees are evident in her volunteerism and the drive she brings to each need and group.
Serving on the Camas Parks and Recreation Commission since 2010 Cassie has participated in several ad-hoc committees, ranging from park naming to tree preservation. In 2017 she founded the Ivy League, a group of 40 to 50 volunteers who meet regularly to remove ivy from trees at Camas’ Fallen Leaf Lake Park. The Ivy League’s efforts will improve the health of, and possibly save, numerous trees at Fallen Leaf Lake Park. As a member of the Commission Cassi has been instrumental in collaborating on the Parks Comprehensive Plan, a guiding document for Camas park projects, including the recent planning for Crown Park.
Cassi also served as a member of the steering committee to develop the Urban Tree ordinance to ensure Camas’ tree canopy is maintained as the city and community continue to expand. She has been involved in the Sierra Club, Lacamas Little League Softball, Hellen Baller PTA and a host gardener for the Clark County Natural Beautiful Backyards Program.
Her volunteerism doesn’t stop there. Cassi has been instrumental in fundraising for the Partners with Camas Parks and Recreation group, which seeks to raise money for park projects, advocate for the Community Center, and the completion of several Community Center projects.
“Cassi’s continued dedication exemplifies her understanding of the value of the Camas Parks system, and its contribution to the quality of life in our community,” noted Shannon Turk, Mayor of Camas. “She is always willing to roll up her sleeves and do the hard work to improve the parks. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude make her someone that you want to work with. The fact that she can encourage so many people to give up several of their Saturdays to remove ivy from trees demonstrates her passion for our parks is an inspiration to others. If Cassie volunteers to do something, you can rest assured that it is in capable hands.”
Jerry Acheson will also be receiving the award this year. Not many communities have the benefit of 30 years of impassioned leadership from one individual. However, Camas has had Jerry Acheson at the helm as Parks and Recreation Manager for nearly 30 years. The population of Camas has increased by 350% during that time and Jerry has been instrumental in helping to create a beloved parks system that will maintain the natural beauty of Camas’ trails, open spaces, and parks long into the future.
“Typically you’ll find Jerry quietly working behind the scenes to accomplish things that benefit the citizens of Camas and Clark County,” noted City Administrator, Pete Capell. “The past several years Jerry has been working on a legacy project and this has brought Jerry and his dedication into the spotlight.”
Through devotion to the legacy project, Jerry acquired a Clark County Conservation Futures Grant. This combined with bonds supplemented by the City of Camas launched the charge to acquire 140 acres on the north shore of Lacamas Lake. This Legacy Lands Project will ultimately provide space for the community to enjoy passive and active recreation all around Lacamas Lake. Camas-Washougal Wildlife League and the CJ Dens, Mills, Rose and Buma Family properties as part of the Legacy Lands Project and Jerry’s vision. To-date 70 acres of the project have been donated or acquired. Through Jerry’s service to the community and property owners, purchase of the remaining properties are in progress. Once all the land is acquired, plans to create large community parks, build connecting trails and possibly restore the Leadbetter house for wedding and special occasion use will continue.
In addition to the Legacy Lands Project, Jerry has been working with Georgia-Pacific to acquire some of their property for the City of Camas as they complete their partial closure of the paper mill. Camas Parks and Recreation has gained the two dams that create Lacamas Lake and the Mill Ditch, which previously deliver water to the paper mill. Plans for the ditch include converting it to a multi-modal trail that will connect many trails to the downtown area.
The Lacamas Lake and Georgia-Pacific projects bring Jerry’s vision to life of a parks system that conserves and highlights Camas’ natural beauty and attraction long into the future. We are all the beneficiaries of his service and passion.
Join us in celebrating Jerry Acheson and Cassi Marshall at the May 14th Annual Luncheon & Membership Meeting from 11:30 – 1:00 p.m. at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. Tickets and table sponsorships are still available.