By Nancy Messmer
When the Hoko-Ozette Road was built along the Hoko River, the heritage orchard at Cowan Heritage Farm was cut down. While some fruit trees still live at the farm, the Friends of Hoko River State Park/Clallam Bay Sekiu Lions are now planting Olympic Peninsula Heritage apple trees gifted to them by the Olympic Orchard Society, cultivated from Olympic National Park pioneer homesteads.
After two years of planning, mapping, and permissions, the plots were marked by Ranger Erik Plunkett, holes were dug by Roy Morris, Paul Bowlby, and Al Couper, fencing materials were delivered to the farm by State Parks, and a work party of Lions Larry Burtness, Roy Morris, and Mike Dukes working with Matt Polinqua, Amy Cramer, and Buddy Cloy, planted five of the 10 donated trees on Saturday, May 12. Elk fencing was installed around each tree. During Memorial Day weekend, five more trees were planted.
Work continues to improve the fenced enclosures and the watering systems. All look forward to the future, enjoying apples linked to Olympic Peninsula families from the past.
For more information about the project, contact Nancy Messmer, PR Clallam Bay Sekiu Lions, Secretary-Friends of Hoko River State Park, at 360-963-2442.