The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

The Times 

Community-building Spark in the Park event is June 8

Several Waitsburg and Dayton residents participated in the Community Leadership Program project


PRESCOTT—A group of community leaders, local sponsors and the Sherwood Trust Community Leadership Program (STCLP) 2018 Cohort will host the first ever “Spark in the Park” – a family-friendly, fun Touchet Valley community-wide party with a purpose – on June 8, in Prescott.

The purpose of the Touchet Valley 2019 Spark in the Park is to light up community connections and build positive relationships between all members of the Touchet River Valley. It will be a celebration that showcases community assets and inspires pride, engagement, and new traditions. Strong community-wide connections enhance a healthier, happier, and more resilient community.

“It’s been so inspiring to see this whole thing come together. They took just about the most far-flung group of people you can imagine and less than a year later, we’re a team.  It’s been a wonderful experience with lots of wonderful new friends!” said project participant and Waitsburg resident Emma Philbrook.

The event is free to the public with a food drive that will support the Waitsburg Resource Center food bank that receives support from the Blue Mountain Action Council. Area residents are asked to consider igniting the “spark” by bringing a nonperishable food item to Spark in the Park.

The Spark in the Park Party starts at the Prescott Pool located at the Fields View park at 1pm. Food vendors will be on site and the pool will be open from 1-4 p.m. The park will be filled with vendors, local fire trucks, LifeFlight, and various social service providers. The Dayton Kiwanis Club will provide free hotdogs, and there will be games and activities for the whole family.

Later in the day, Main Street will be closed off as dancers from Chiquillas Ballet perform at 3 p.m. on the stage at the Prescott Plaza Park, next to The Tux. At 5 p.m., the FrogHollow Band will take the stage for a community street dance. Dinner will be available for purchase from the Prescott Lions Club.

The Prescott Library is hosting an art contest for all children ages 18 and under with the top three artists being awarded prizes announced at the Spark in the Park event.

This program is made possible thanks to the 2018 STCLP cohort volunteers and a host of community partners. The Cohort thanks the Prescott City Council for approving the permits for this event. Sponsors and partners in the program include: Blue Mountain Action Council, Prescott Park and Recreation Department and thePrescott Lions Club.

The Sherwood Trust Community Leadership Program started in 2004 as a partnership of Sherwood Trust and the nonprofit Rural Development Initiatives, Inc. It is a skills-based program that offers an interactive learning experience with a curriculum that includes communication strategies, conflict resolution skills, project management, and decision-making models.

Skills obtained in the program are immediately put to use during the class when the cohort decides on a community project. This year’s Community Leadership Program began in the fall of 2018 with classes held in Dayton. The last STCLP offered in the Touchet Valley was in 2005; that class was responsible for the Unity Art Walls, a public art installation in Dayton, Waitsburg, and Prescott. Learn more about the program at:

Learn more on Facebook at Touchet Valley Spark in the Park or contact STCLP cohort member Chris Oliver at phone (509) 849-2396 or email


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