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A fundraiser using bark dust has brought in $3,000 for the annual Clatskanie Heritage Days celebration.

Bark Dust Fundraiser

Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce President Monica Seidle stands at the front of the back dust pile before the fundraiser started Saturday, May 1.

The bark dust is donated from Stimson Lumber Company, Swanson Bark, Groat Brothers, and RSG Forest Products and sold by the Heritage Days Committee as a fundraiser.

The bark dust sells for $30 for one and a half yards, approximately one scoop by a large construction front loader. The material is also delivered free to the purchaser's property.

Organizers said the successful event, held Saturday May 1, connects the community and helps to beautify Clatskanie.

"This is an event that follows our April Bulky Waste clean-up efforts, Heritage Days Committee member and Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce President Monica Seidle said. "We want to encourage residents in April to clean-out their garages and yards, then a month later purchase bark dust to beautify their yards."

The bark dust fundraiser was started in the late 90’s by local business operator Sherri Lumijarvi, the Heritage Day Chair at that time.

"It was a huge hit with a line of continuous pickup trucks for hours until the product was depleted, Heritage Days current chair Debi Smiley said. "There was a period of time that it was not done, but Greg (Debi's husband) and I brought it back in 2015 with the local partners and we just did our 6th annual fundraiser in a row."

Bark Dust Fundraiser

Debi and Greg Smiley with the front loader at the bark dust pile.

The free delivery was introduced in 2019, allowing residents that don't have a pickup truck to receive the bark dust.

"It is our hope to continue offering events that will help our community, Seidle said. "This is something we could continue in spite of COVID restrictions with social distancing being implemented."

"This fundraiser would not be able to be conducted if it was not for the generosity of the companies, Stimson Lumber Company, Swanson Bark, Groat Brothers, and RSG Forest Products," Smiley said. "We would also like to thank the Clatskanie Park and Recreation District for allowing us to use their parking lot area to hold the event."

Volunteers that took part in the park duct fundraiser include Kynsi Construction-Mark Kynsi on the loader, Bob Olson, Jake Pinard, Chris Martin, delivery, and Nikole Young who handled advertising for the event.

Heritage Days organizers said any money collected through fundraisers over the year for the community celebration will now be moved forward to help support the next Heritage Days.

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