Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a dynamic non-profit organization focused on activities that encourage cultural awareness and participation at this Site. By engaging visitors in the myriad of interests represented here, the Friends seek to raise public awareness of the region’s heritage and its evolving development.
The Friends work in the forefront and behind the scenes to inspire, inform, and connect visitors, supporters, and the community to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
The Friends actively fundraise with programs that broaden public awareness, help transport school children to the Site, and benefit community participation. We work closely with government agencies like the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, as well as other organizations to encourage visitation and to welcome new audiences to a greater appreciation for the Site.
Members of the Friends assist the National Park Service and its volunteers by engaging in fundraising events and collaborating with several organizations and institutions to enhance the effect of our mission and goals. We also share a unique partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest — home of Mount St. Helens — is headquartered on the site with a ranger posted in our Visitor Center. Working as a team — National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and the Friends strive to make the visitor's experience rich and memorable.
The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Today, visitors come from all over the world just as the Native Americans gathered here to trade in ancient times. The British Hudson’s Bay Company declared it their premier fort in the West and strengthened international trade routes with China, Europe, and the Hawaiian Kingdom. When Americans arrived by ship or by crossing the Oregon Trail, they discovered a well-established, vibrant community of merchants and farmers at Vancouver. In 1849, the U.S. Army established their headquarters here for the entire Department of the Columbia. The Friends’ Shop in the Visitor Center represents the many eras of trading heritage from American Indian art to the earliest days of flight at Pearson Air Field.
The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is one of the few urban national parks in the country — easily accessible to communities in Washington and Oregon and to large numbers of school children studying Pacific Northwest history and our international heritage. Over 1.5 million tourists visit here each year and the numbers are growing!
The Friends are governed by a Board of Trustees whose members are dedicated and active volunteers.
Liz Luce serves as the Board President. Standing Committees oversee special events and fundraising programs.
Friends of Fort Vancouver is a 501(C)3 organization incorporated in 2014 for the purposes stated above.