Ribbon Cutting Today

The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and Ridgefield Main Street are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for our two newest downtown businesses this afternoon, Thursday the 27th, at 4 pm.

Three-Sixty Burgers & Brews and Fin & Feather on Pioneer Avenue will be honored. The public is invited to attend.

Shiny Geranium: A Little Green Tsunami

Shiny Geranium on Smythe Road

Shiny Geranium is new to Ridgefield and Clark County.  It was listed as a class A weed by the state of Washington Department of Agriculture in 2009 and then a class B in 2015.  Class A lists are mandatory removal and Class B leave it up to the county.  King county requires removal but Clark County does not.

I had never heard of this little geranium before 2015.  I noticed a pretty little weed in the parking lot at the post office but didn’t know what it was.  Later, in October of that year, I found that it had turned a couple acres  green on some property north of Ridgefield.  Then it was found on Pioneer, mostly on the right of way from  S 9th Avenue to the junction.  Since it only seemed to be in a few places I thought it might be possible to control it and prevent it’s spread.  I’ve worked very hard to eliminate it, putting in hundreds of hours.  Last year, I put in several hours/week on six acres north of town.  Since it is an annual and the seeds germinate after the first fall rains, the strategy was to prevent it from going to seed.  It was a shock to see how much germination there was.  I would treat an area and a few weeks later would find many new plants.

Shiny geranium is rapidly spreading in the Carty Unit

There  is a lot of it in the Carty Unit of the refuge.   This fall I found it on Smythe Road. There are patches on Bertsinger Rd and on Carty Road.  It is well established on both sides of the road south of the Elani Casino.  I thought I could keep it away from Allen Canyon Creek but this fall I found it a few feet away from the stream.  Saturday afternoon, I went for a walk and took a short cut above Abrams Park through the Frisbee golf course.   In an open area there was a patch of this geranium that covered several hundred square feet and there was another patch further away.

Shiny geranium on Frisbee golf course at Abrams Park

I’ve decided to give up on it as it is just overwhelming.  The property owner north of town spent over $1000 on herbicides recommended by Clark County Weed Management.  We both worked very hard the past three to four years.  It has been reduced and grass was planted in areas we have cleared.  To maintain control  however,  would take too much work each year.

This weed is spreading quickly and will be a threat to the few natural areas we have left.  It will likely thrive in the Carty Unit and would take an extraordinary effort to contain it.  There are 4 or 5 introduced geraniums in Ridgefield and one or more is likely on almost everyone’s property.  Where these geraniums are, likely in a few years, shiny geranium will be there too.  It is different from other geraniums in that it forms a thick dense carpet that prevents other plants from growing.

According to a weed management agency in Victoria BC, it hybridizes with the other geraniums.  That will make it interesting.  There is quite a bit of it in the north parking lot of the post office if you want to see it.

By Paul Snoey

Ribbon Cutting for North Main Avenue

On Friday the 14th, Officials and interested citizens gathered at Overlook Park.  They were there to begin a one mile walk to the entrance of the Carty Unit of the refuge.  There were about sixty people who made the walk.  The purpose was to celebrate the completion of the improvements to North Main Avenue with a ribbon cutting.

At the entrance to the refuge, The Mayor of Ridgefield, The refuge project leader, and a spokesperson from the Federal Highway Administration made comments about the project.  Then, several children were each given a pair of scissors and the ribbon was cut.  This project was to improve access to the refuge, especially for pedestrians.  There is also a new entrance to the refuge through the port and a trail from there will take hikers along the west side of Carty Lake and join the Oaks to Wetlands trail near the Cathlapotle plank house. This will make for a loop  of a little more than five miles.  The trail by Carty Lake is closed now but may be open in a few weeks.

By Paul Snoey

Thought for the Week

The forecast may have been for snow, but no one told my daffodils or peonies!

Library Needs your Help

Representatives from City Council will meet with legislators soon to discuss getting funding for several projects in the Ridgefield area. One of them is funding for a new library.

Having support letters from citizens would show our support of the library, so I’m asking you to write a letter to our legislators (Senator Ann Rivers and Representatives Brandon Vick and Larry Hoff) giving your reasons that we need a new library.

If you want to write a letter (or three – all the same) please take it to City Hall before this Friday the 10th so it can be included in the packet to the legislators.

Below is the portion of the City’s request that asks for library funds. This will give you some idea of what to write.

“Fort Vancouver Regional Library needs $1,000,000 to expand the existing Ridgefield Community Library. The 2055 square foot space that has housed the library since 1994 does not come close to meeting the needs for one of the fastest growing communities in the state. A 2014 study found that at least 10,000 square feet is necessary for the needs of the community. Over $3 million has been raised from the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, the Library Foundation and FVRL. There are still funds necessary to complete construction and provide the technology and materials for a new facility. We join the request for funds to finalize funds for this incredibly important community asset.”

Please give your reasons for wanting a new libary and be sure to ask for the $1,000,000.


North Main Avenue is Open

The barricades at the refuge and at Depot Street were removed late this afternoon and traffic has begun to move through the area. This street has been closed since the July 4th week-end. The new sidewalk was poured yesterday and is covered by a plastic sheet so pedestrians will have wait a little bit while the concrete cures.  Below is a photo of the first day of the project as the contractor began mobilizing. Quite a difference!

Merry Christmas

Having been born in Cleveland, and living the first 20  years of my life there, it seemed we always had snow for Christmas. Now living in Ridgefield that seems a lifetime ago, and we seldom have snow at what seems to me the appropriate time. This poem brings back those memories.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Paving on N Main Avenue


Paving was done on N Main Avenue today and appears to be almost complete. On the west side, forms have been placed for the sidewalk, which has yet to be poured.  There still remains guard rails to be placed on both sides.  There has been an 8″ water main installed in the street ending with a hydrant at the entrance to the refuge.  Under the future sidewalk, there is a two inch sewer force-main that will carry sewage from the refuge into town.  The completion date is still scheduled for December 31st.

Looking to the north behind the two workers, the end of a new 10′ culvert can be seen.  This culvert carries a tributary of Gee Creek that used to drain into Gee Creek on the east side.  The improvement created an opportunity for a salmon incubator and I asked the state to consider it.  Yesterday, the state granted permission for a remote site incubator to be installed on property owned by Raul and Claudia Moreno.  The Lewis River Hatchery has committed 5,000 Coho eggs for early January.  This incubator will be part of an educational program with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife and likely students from Union Ridge will be visiting.

Wednesday afternoon update:  Crews were installing a guard rail on the east side today and finishing paving on the North end.  There was a lot of crew members on site today working in several different places along the project.  Heavy rain is predicted beginning tomorrow and the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Thursday evening through Sunday morning.  The original culvert under N Main was only 10 feet in diameter and tended to back up during a heavy rain event.  If we do have heavy rain, it will be interesting to see the difference the new culvert makes.

Contributed by Paul Snoey

Thought for the Week

Hieroglyphic Stairway

From Drew Dillinger’s book of poems, A Love Letter to the Milky Way

it’s 3:21 in the morning

and I’m awake

because my great great grandchildren

won’t let me sleep

my great great grandchildren

ask me in dreams

what did you do while the planet was plundered?

what did you do while the earth was unraveling


surely you did something when the seasons started failing?


As the mammals, reptiles, birds were dying?

did you fill the streets with protest?

wen democracy was stolen?


what did you do





Listen to Mr. Dillinger read the complete poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJYV9Ap2EX8

School Board Meeting About the Bond

The Ridgefield School Board is having a special meeting focused on the school bond this Thursday, December 12th @ 5pm @ the RACC. There will be a presentation by Dr. McCann and the board. There will be time to ask questions and an opportunity to speak one on one with the board and Dr. McCann.

Progress on North Main Avenue

North Main Avenue is nearing having it’s final grade with many truckloads brought in the past few weeks.  When completed, the pavement will be more than ten feet higher than the old roadbed, placing this street well above any past flood levels.  There still needs to be a 2 inch pressure sewer installed in the street which will provide sewage from the wildlife refuge.  One of the employees of the contractor said that they may get curbs installed this week and possibly paving  done before Thanksgiving.   However, he said it would be more likely the first week of December.

We’re all looking forward to the completion of this project which began  after July 4th week-end.


The National Weather Service promised that an east wind would scour out the low clouds and fog today.  But this morning was very foggy.  Drops of condensation formed on a spider web on my porch.  Would it be like this all day?  However, an hour later the fog and low clouds disappeared and the sun came out.

The early morning sun lit up N Main Ave  from North of the Liberty Theatre

North Main Avenue from south of Pioneer

The setting sun lit up Pioneer street nicely.  It was a glorious day to celebrate Veteran’s Day.





Empowerment Workshop at Mrytle’s

October Sunset

The sunset last evening was beautiful.  Sunrises and sunsets all week have been great.  Yesterday driving out of Abrams Park it was dark.  Up the hill  there was a blaze of light as the sun lit up the big leaf maples.  It was worth taking a photograph.

At the Hidden Village subdivision North of Depot street, there are few evergreen trees.  Rather, there are oak, ash, cottonwood,big leaf maple, vine maple, and the only Pacific dogwood in this section of creek.  Native trees here don’t have the brilliant reds and oranges like the Northeast but still are  a bright contrast to the green just a few weeks ago

The row of street trees on Simons seen from the post office are bright red this time of year, but the setting sun made them even more brilliant.  We have only a few more weeks left to enjoy the fall colors, then all these leaves will be on the ground.  Soon,we will see those gray damp days and not see much sunshine.  It does look that the weather should be nice through the end of the month.  The national weather service predicts a slightly warmer fall and winter. Since there is no longer an El Nino(dry) or a La Nina(wet), the NWS  has no real prediction about how much rain we get this fall and winter.

contributed by Paul Snoey


City Council Meeting

Tonight I went to the City Council meeting, and I was happy I did, because there was so much going on.

As I came up to the RACC, Shawn Donaghy of C Tran was speaking about the new Ridgefield-themed bus. Look for it on the streets of Clark County – it’s very impressive.

The other side of the bus has photos of our sports teams – sorry I didn’t get a picture of that.

Then, inside the building, Mayor Don Stose proclaimed this month as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Toni Bonacci, owner of the Ridgefield Raptors presented a framed memento of this summer’s games, with a picture taken Opening Day, sample tickets, and the line up of the two teams.

Don Bonacci and Mayor Stose

The Raptors were popular – average attendance this summer was 1200 people, and 68 seasonal employees were hired. Plus it sounds like the players loved being in Ridgefield.

Bill Bauman talked about the success of his Green Bag Project, which collects food bi monthly to take to Neighbors Helping Neighbors. There were 480 food donors, and over two tons of food has been donated in the last two years.

Sargent Cathy Doriot accepts a check from Don Walkinshaw of the Cowlitz and Ilani

Don Walkinshaw, Director of Public Safety for the Cowlitz Tribe presented a check  to the Ridgefield Police Department for use of some of our equipment.

All-in-all, a full evening! It’s too bad more people don’t attend these meetings – they are very informative.