Mount St. Helens Eruption ‘Victim’ to Be Reborn
Cowlitz County officials believe they’ve found a cheaper way to add overnight RV camping to Harry Gardner Park in southwest Washington’s Toutle Valley.
RV camping sites had to be scrapped from this year’s construction work after officials discovered they had to meet federal fire flow standards. Initially, they thought an underground water tank would be required and estimated the cost at $35,000, The Daily News, Longview, reported.
Further review, though, has determined there’s enough water flow there to just install a fire hydrant. That’s expected to cost about $12,000 to $15,000, said Ron Junker, the county’s parks director.
He hopes to have that work completed in 2013 to allow RV camping that summer.
Junker also hopes to see a pavilion constructed at the site and more picnic tables, fire pits and grills added in 2013. The county has applied for a state grant to cover the pavilion material costs, and then volunteers will build it.
The 80-acre park was heavily used before the May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens eruption, which buried the campground under more than three feet of mud and debris. Volunteers have restored the park, and the county has assumed control and continued the restoration. Overnight tent camping will return to the park this summer.
The park is named for Harry Gardner, who donated the original 10 acres in 1964.