Landscaping turns Ilwaco Community Building into a hardy landmark

A 20-member Tongue Point Job Corps landscape team was busy last week placing a number of hardy plants at the entrance to the Ilwaco Community Building.

ILWACO — Patrons at the Ilwaco Timberland Library walked up to a brand-new entrance last week after a team of 20 Tongue Point Job Corps horticulture students spent a day planting a number of hardy trees and bushes. 

The team and their leader, Kris Saulsbury, placed the plants on the street and at the entrance to the Ilwaco Community Building all in one day.

“We’ve been working on this since the building’s remodel was completed two years ago,” said Ann Saari, former president of the Ilwaco Library Board and a tireless worker on the project. 

“It was a committee of two, with the help of the Friends of the Ilwaco and Ocean Park Libraries,” she said, adding that the landscaping ran into a snag when it became necessary to build a ramp from the sidewalk to the building’s parking lot to aid access for seniors and the disabled. “Things came to a halt while we figured out how to pay for building the ramp,” she said. With the help of a grant from the Templin Foundation, it all came together.

Kathleen Sayce designed the landscaping. “I’ve used as many native plants as possible,” she said. “They’re tough and don’t need a lot of care. They look good without any fiddling with them.” 

The plants include Pacific sunset maple trees, which will line the sidewalk, mugo pines, rhododendrons, red twig dogwood, witch hazel, lavender, Oregon grape and heather. Bulbs will be planted in the fall and Sayce asked local gardeners to remember to set aside any spares, which she will stockpile.

“The goal was to have plants that will settle in well and take the wet winters and dry summers,” Sayce said. “Steve Clarke from Clarke Nursery, acquired the plants for the project, which were paid for with private donations.”

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