Jace Sams with skateboards photo

Jace Sams and his skateboards. Sams is working on the development of a skateboard park for his senior project.

CLEARWATER VALLEY — Signs of spring are everywhere, from the grass greening up, daffodils emerging, an osprey gathering nesting materials along the South Fork, Nick driving fence posts, ground squirrels popping up and dashing about. This weekend, I enjoyed photographing the return of the Kamiah Kiwanis Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning. Fun to see the little ones running around with their parents at Riverfront Park. Great to see the kids from the Teen Center and the Kamiah Fire Rescue people jumping in and helping with the event.

The Kooskia Chamber had their egg hunt an hour before the Kamiah one, so some dedicated egg hunters reported catching both events. It seems like people were ready to gather again and many lingered in the park to visit and play on the playground afterwards. Kamiah’s Riverfront park will be closed for the next few months to redo sprinklers, grass and other work funded by a FEMA grant.

More good news for the expansion of parks and recreation in Kamiah. The Tony Hawk Skate Park project just awarded a grant for the development of a skateboard park. Kamiah High School student, Jace Sams, has been working towards this goal for his senior project. Although a previous grant request was not successful, he did not give up. One step closer to the reality of a Kamiah Skate Park. Sams is one of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) members of the Upriver Youth Leadership Council who have developed the Teen center and are working to provide activities for young people in Kamiah and the surrounding area.

Speaking of the Teen Center, UYLC was just awarded a large grant, so they are working on increasing their staffing. A Facebook post on their UYLC page says they are looking for someone “to empathize with the teen experience and create fun, meaningful and inclusive spaces for all teens to thrive. Work includes evenings and weekends. Submit a cover letter, resume and two references to upriverylc@gmail.com.

On Easter weekend, we did a Zoom call with extended family, with participants from Seattle, Cleveland, Boston and Copenhagen, Denmark. For anyone who is still bummed about COVID restrictions in rural Idaho, be glad you don’t live in Denmark. While things in the Clearwater Valley are returning to somewhat normal, they still have no dining in restaurants. People are limited to a group size of five adults, even in their own homes. Fines if you are caught travelling or gathering in a larger group. With all the extra time at home, people are building or remodeling and there is a six-month wait to buy 2X4 lumber. COVID shots have only been available to people ages 75 and older.

I’m getting my second vaccine this week, so looking forward to building up some more antibodies. I’ll be ready to cover more of the community events that are starting to happen again. Also looking forward to more time outside with the warmer weather. Happy spring!

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