NEWS BRIEFS: Oregon State Parks waive parking fees
In observance of "Green Friday," Oregon State Parks will waive its day-use parking fees in 26 Oregon State Parks the day after Thanksgiving to let families explore nature for free.
"We started this tradition three years ago to encourage people to (go) outside," said Lisa Sumption, director of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. "Why not get some fresh air with your family and create a new holiday tradition?"
The nonprofit Oregon State Parks Foundation will offer free hot drinks and snacks at Tryon Creek Natural Area, Fort Stevens State Park, Rooster Rock State Park, Silver Falls State Park and Cape Blanco State Park. Refreshments — donated by Starbucks Coffee, Nossa Familia Coffee, Smith Tea, Stevens Cocoa and KIND BARS — will be served by volunteers.
Parking is free year-round in almost all state parks, though the waiver for 'Green Friday' applies to the parks that charge $5 for daily parking. The waiver applies from open to close on Friday, Nov 24, except at Shore Acres State Park, where it expires at 3 p.m.
A list of parks that require day-use parking permits can be found at http://bit.ly/1QGYgaJ.
Christmas couple returns to Harlow House
The esteemed couple — Kris Kringle (Santa Claus) and Jessica Kringle — will receive guests again this year on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Harlow House Museum.
The halls of the 117-year-old farmhouse will be decked, tinseled and lit with holiday decor in anticipation of this high society occasion that runs from noon to 3 p.m.
Children, young and old, will be allowed to take photos with the gracious visitors fresh from their home at the North Pole.
Hot wassail and cookies will be served. Admission is free for the event at 726 E. Historic Columbia River Highway in Troutdale.
Visit businesses to help with food drive
Two upcoming events will help support SnowCap Community Charities while customers enjoy some tasty food.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, Frenzi Frozen Yogurt, 234 N. Main Ave., will donate 25 percent of sales to SnowCap.
Then from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, eat at Swine Dining, 2067 N.E. Burnside Road. The restaurant will donate 15 percent of its sales during those hours to the nonprofit organization.
Frenzi Frozen Yogurt and Swine Dining are among the businesses helping during the Fill-A-Bag food drive, which stocks the shelves at SnowCap, the largest food pantry in East Multnomah County.
Last year the drive raised the equivalent of 875,000 pounds of food for local families in need.
A $20 donation to SnowCap can buy 400 pounds of food, while donations of non-perishable food is also welcome.
The Fill-A-Bag campaign has multiple events scheduled to allow the community to give in fun and unique ways. The Outlook is previewing those events as they happen.
Gorge2020 plan subject of review
The Columbia River Gorge Commission is formulating a 10-year review of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Management Plan, and staff are looking for input from the community.
The project is called Gorge2020 and it seeks to make the region a better place to live, work and play. The commission wants input regarding issues that are important to residents and visitors. To find out more, visit http://www.gorgecommission.org/management-plan/gorge2020/.
The Outlook is tracking the process and will share information regarding upcoming meetings and opportunities for community involvement as they are scheduled.