Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
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News Releases
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Receives Field Trip Grant from the National Park Foundation - 09/21/17

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site was selected to receive a 2017 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. This $10,000 grant will reimburse the costs of transportation for Title I fourth grade class field trips to this national park.

This grant, part of the Foundation's Open OutDoors for Kids program, supports Every Kid in a Park.

"I can still remember the excitement of exploring my first national park as a kid and it made me want to discover more," said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. "I'm thrilled that our National Park Foundation grants make it possible for hundreds of thousands of kids to experience the wonder of parks for the first time, sparking a lifelong love for national parks."

Park Superintendent Tracy Fortmann said, "There's so much to discover at Fort Vancouver! We typically welcome over 12,000 students on field trips each year, but we know that not all schools can easily afford to come here, even though we waive fees for all educational groups. We hope that this grant will help more schools bring young visitors to learn and have fun, and develop a lifelong connection to our nation's history."

During their time on site, the focus is on a place-based learning program called "Talk of the Trade," which is aligned to the upper elementary state history curriculum. During this program, students explore the historic site through the eyes of a fur trader of mixed ethnicity. Interactive elements include learning vocabulary of Chinook Jargon, the common language of the multicultural fur trade, how early trade and barter systems worked in a region with no currency, the environmental effects of fur extraction, and how people from many different backgrounds lived here together. After their field trip, the students may complete a curriculum packet (developed by staff from the park and from the local Educational Service District) that uses archaeology and material culture as a lens for investigating the past.

"We've learned that helping to provide transportation to Title I schools for a visit to the Fort Vancouver site is a tremendous chance for all students to learn about cultural exchange between Native Americans, international trade and the development of communities in the Northwest. These activities are memories they will recall and cherish as adults, too," said Mary Rose, Executive Director of the Friends of Fort Vancouver.

For the full list of grantees and their projects, visit https://www.nationalparks.org/sites/default/files/npf-ekip_grantees-2017-2018.pdf

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America's national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service's 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America's National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.

Donate Your Eclipse Glasses to Astronomers Without Borders -- Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Listed as Designated Collection Center - 09/19/17

Give your solar eclipse glasses a second chance to serve others!

On the day of the recent solar eclipse, Fort Vancouver distributed approximately 700 eclipse glasses free of charge. Prior to that day, the Friends of Fort Vancouver sold approximately 800 glasses. Throughout the area, thousands of people purchased or received donated eclipse glasses.

"With so many eclipse glasses out in our community most likely gathering dust or adding to clutter, we wanted to recommend that members of the public consider dropping off their glasses here at your national park and we will see that they are packed up and mailed to "Astronomers Without Borders," in order to see that they are put to new use," shared Superintendent Tracy Fortmann. She added, "Education is our primary focus and it seemed to make sense to reach out to the public. Think about it, if only 50% of the glasses that were provided by way of the National Park Service and our Friends of Fort Vancouver NHS, we will be able to donate 750 glasses to serve young students in need."

The public should bring their gently used eclipse glasses to be donated to Astronomers Without Borders to the Visitor Center at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a designated collection center. The National Park Service's Visitor Center at Fort Vancouver NHS is located at 1501 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661. You can also drop off glasses at the McLoughlin House Site in Oregon City, Oregon, which is also part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. For addition information about our location or when to drop them off, contact our Visitor Center by calling (360) 816-6230.

Astronomers Without Borders and Explore Scientific are collecting glasses to be sent to schools in South America and Asia when eclipses cross those continents in 2019. "We are so fortunate that our national park is surrounded by Vancouver and in Oregon City by generous caring communities. I just knew that there were many who might want to participate by helping students elsewhere have the opportunity to view the eclipse as we did here. I applaud Curator Theresa Langford who has served as lead on this thoughtful initiative to serve students," noted Superintendent Fortmann.

Glasses will be sent to schools and other institutions in countries where they're needed but aren't available. The next two solar eclipses across populated areas are in 2019 - a total solar eclipse in southern South America and an annular eclipse in southeastern Asia. But a partial eclipse will be seen throughout most of South America and southern Asia so the glasses are needed by millions. If there are glasses left they will be distributed to more schools in countries with eclipses beyond 2019.

For more information on Astronomers without Borders and this recycling program, please go to: https://astronomerswithoutborders.org/awb-programs/resource-sharing-programs/eclipse-glasses-donation-program.html

For more information on Fort Vancouver National Historic Site please go to: www.nps.gov/fova

Friends of Fort Vancouver to Host 1950s Swing Dance at Pearson Air Museum on September 23 - 09/14/17

Dust off your saddle shoes and join local nonprofit Friends of Fort Vancouver at their Swing Back to the 50's fundraiser on Saturday, September 23, 2017, from 7 pm to 10 pm at the Pearson Air Museum Historic Hangar. The mission of the Friends of Fort Vancouver is to inspire, inform and connect visitors, supporters, advocates and the community to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the only national park in the Portland/Vancouver metro area.

Music will be provided by the VanPort Jazz Band, which is widely acclaimed throughout the region for popular swing and jazz tunes. Attendees are invited to wear 1950s styles, either casual or "dressed to the nines." A no-host bar will provide refreshments. This is an opportunity to join in the fun -- on the dance floor or just to listen to the wonderful old songs!

"This is a great chance to help support the terrific educational and volunteer programs at Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum, which are visited by thousands of schoolchildren every year," said Executive Director Mary Rose for Friends of Fort Vancouver. "The Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum provides a great venue where guests can experience history and have fun while helping to support our local community."


What: Swing Back to the 1950s, a fundraiser hosted by the Friends of Fort Vancouver

Where: The Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661

When: Saturday, September 23, 2017, 7 pm to 10 pm

Tickets: Admission is $30 per ticket. Ticket sales are limited and must be purchased in advance through the Friends website: friendsfortvancouver.org or in-person at the Friends Bookstore in the Visitor Center at 1501 East Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661. Tickets will not be available for sale at the event.

REVISED: National Park Service and Academia Duellatoria Offer 19th Century Military Saber Training Course at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site - 09/08/17

The National Park Service and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, in partnership with Academia Duellatoria, would like to announce a 19th Century Military Saber Training Course, Beginning and Intermediate levels. This course is open to the public.

In 1854, troopers with the U.S. Army's 1st Regiment of Dragoons arrived in the Pacific Northwest. At that time, dragoons (mounted infantry) were the only U.S. Army enlisted-rank soldiers that were issued sabers as part of their personal weaponry. This training course will focus on the saber techniques adopted by the U.S. Army in the mid-19th century. There will also be information provided related to the history of Fort Vancouver, the dragoons and their weaponry, and saber-driven military tactics. Once a certain level of expertise has been achieved, there will be reenactment opportunities for trainees during events at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Unlike sword work seen in the movies and media, true sword training is similar to many other martial arts - requiring physical discipline, mental control, and the development of muscle memory. Beginning Level training will start with basic footwork, then move into solo and partner drills on offensive cuts and thrusts, and defensive guards and parries. The drills provide a good sense of what sparring is like. Intermediate Level training (for those who have previously participated in a Beginning Level training), will consist of additional solo and partner drills focusing on perfecting form and more advanced interactive sequences.

The training course lasts seven weeks, and takes place on Sundays, October 1 through November 12, 2017, from 4 pm to 5:30 pm, at the Pearson Air Museum Historic Hangar (or outdoors during good weather).

Participants ages 12 and older may participate. The cost is $100 per person for the seven week training course. Training sabers will be provided. These training sabers have dull edges and rubber covers on the tips. Safety glasses will be provided. Anyone acting in an unsafe manner will be assigned solo drills, or their saber will be taken from them.

The training fee is payable to Academia Duellatoria, by check or money order. Fees must be paid before the training sessions begin. No payments will be accepted at the training sessions. Your enrollment in the training is not guaranteed until your payment is received.


What: 19th Century Military Saber Training Course, Beginning and Intermediate Levels, with Academia Duellatoria at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

When: Sundays, October 1 through November 12, 4 pm to 5:30 pm

Where: Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum

Cost: $100 per person for the seven week course

How to enroll: To sign up and to learn more about payment information, contact Elaine Dorset at (360) 816-6254 or by email.

National Park Service and Academia Duellatoria Offer 19th Century Military Saber Training Course at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site - 09/08/17

The National Park Service and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, in partnership with Academia Duellatoria, would like to announce a 19th Century Military Saber Training Course, Beginning and Intermediate levels. This course is open to the public.

In 1854, troopers with the U.S. Army's 1st Regiment of Dragoons arrived in the Pacific Northwest. At that time, dragoons (mounted infantry) were the only U.S. Army enlisted-rank soldiers that were issued sabers as part of their personal weaponry. This training course will focus on the saber techniques adopted by the U.S. Army in the mid-19th century. There will also be information provided related to the history of Fort Vancouver, the dragoons and their weaponry, and saber-driven military tactics. Once a certain level of expertise has been achieved, there will be reenactment opportunities for trainees during events at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Unlike sword work seen in the movies and media, true sword training is similar to many other martial arts - requiring physical discipline, mental control, and the development of muscle memory. Beginning Level training will start with basic footwork, then move into solo and partner drills on offensive cuts and thrusts, and defensive guards and parries. The drills provide a good sense of what sparring is like. Intermediate Level training (for those who have previously participated in a Beginning Level training), will consist of additional solo and partner drills focusing on perfecting form and more advanced interactive sequences.

The training course lasts seven weeks, and takes place on Sundays, October 1 through November 12, 2017, from 4 pm to 5:30 pm, at the Pearson Air Museum Historic Hangar (or outdoors during good weather).

Participants ages 12 and older may participate. The cost is $100 per person for the seven week training course. Training sabers will be provided. These training sabers have dull edges and rubber covers on the tips. Safety glasses will be provided. Anyone acting in an unsafe manner will be assigned solo drills, or their saber will be taken from them.

The training fee is payable by mail to Academia Duellatoria, by check or money order. Fees must be paid before the training sessions begin. No payments will be accepted at the training sessions. Your enrollment in the training is not guaranteed until your payment is received.


What: 19th Century Military Saber Training Course, Beginning and Intermediate Levels, with Academia Duellatoria at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

When: Sundays, October 1 through November 12, 4 pm to 5:30 pm

Where: Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum

Cost: $100 per person for the seven week course

How to enroll: To sign up, contact Elaine Dorset at (360) 816-6254 or by email. Send payment via check or money order to Academia Duellatoria, 4755 SW Oleson Rd.,
Portland, OR 97225