Marine Park occupies the site of the Kaiser Shipyards, where “Rosie the Riveter” hurriedly constructed more than 140 ships during World War II before the facilities were decommissioned and dismantled. Today you can climb a three-story riverside tower next to Kaiser Center for dramatic views of Vancouver and Portland.
Also in the park is the new Water Resources Education Center (4600 S.E. Columbia Way, 360/696-8478, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., free). The center houses hands-on exhibits, a video theater, and a 350-gallon aquarium filled with Columbia River creatures.
Not far away is the Chkalov Monument, commemorating the Soviet transpolar flight of 1937, when three Russian aviators were the first to cross over the north pole and into America.
Old Apple Tree Park, along the river just east of I-5, honors what is believed to be the oldest apple tree in the Northwest. The tree was planted in 1826 and still bears small green apples each summer.
Shady Esther Short Park (W. 6th and Esther) contains the historic Slocum House Theater, along with a Victorian rose garden, playground, and a monument to pioneer women. The site is a popular one for festivals and concerts throughout the summer.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition