Earlier this month, 325 volunteers descended on Camp Waskowitz, a historic outdoor education center and former Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp located south of Seattle, Wash.
These volunteers — organized by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association — didn’t come empty handed. They carried ladders and saws and hammers and nails and paint buckets and brushes.
And in a matter of 10 hours, they completed 20 major projects at this 67-year-old complex — a task that would have taken the camp staff more than five years to accomplish on their own.
Roberta McFarland, the director of Camp Waskowitz, said she felt like the camp had won the lottery. She said the real estate association contacted her nine month ago and asked for a wish list of things that needed to be done. And she complied.
How’s this for a to-do list:
- Stain the cabins, council hall and lookout tower
- Relocate a large deck to the other side of the council hall
- Refurbish numerous benches and picnic tables
- Repair trails and install trail gates
- Install an ADA ramp to the nurse and staff building
- Construct a 150-square-foot greenhouse to grow tree seedlings
- Remove extensive, non-native, invasive plants
- Place 200 tons of crushed rock on walkways and parking lots
Built in 1935 as a temporary facility for the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corp, the original buildings at Camp Waskowitz are still heavily used today. It is a state and national historic preservation site and one of only two CCC camps in the U.S. with all of the original buildings still standing.
Since the inception of its outdoor education program in 1947, nearly 350,000 students have participated in Camp Waskowitz’s week-long, outdoor experiential-based environmental education experience.
Highline Public School bought the property in 1957. Some time later, the district made additional purchases of surrounding land that increased Waskowitz’s acreage to its present 372 acres. Many schools and groups across the state use the facility each year.
Camp Waskowitz includes four large dorms and cabins, a dining hall, barn, council hall, education center, administration buildings, and other structures. In addition to the buildings, there are miles of trails on either side of the Snoqualmie River.
NAIOP brought together the expertise of the real estate, construction, engineering, and design communities to complete the 20 major projects.
We here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education applaud projects such as the one performed by this Washington State real estate association. To see a heartwarming video about what took place at Camp Waskowitz in just 10 short hours, see: