Fort Vancouver Blog
Partnership with Providence Employees Brings Color To Providence Academy
Employees from Providence Health and Services will volunteer to conduct a cleanup and planting of colorful flowers on the property of the Providence Academy (400 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver WA.)from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 26. The employees are members of ProvNext, an organized networking group of professionals within Providence Health & Services.
"This planting not only gives the historic Providence Academy a springtime facelift, it symbolizes new beginnings for the property," said Fort Vancouver National Trust President and CEO, Mike True. The Academy was awarded $1 million out of the Washington state supplemental budget in April, to replace the roof and repair the front porches of the 143-year-old building. That work is scheduled to begin this summer. "We are grateful for our friendship and partnership with Providence, and for their heartfelt commitment to this beautiful Vancouver landmark."
Over 20 ProvNext volunteers will plant about 100 annuals and perennials. The plants and five yards of bark dust are being donated to the cause by LandCare in Tigard, Oregon. The plants will be arranged within the heart-shaped grassy area that is encircled by the original carriage turnaround at the Academy entrance. It was made in the shape of a heart by Mother Joseph, who designed and built the Academy, to represent the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
"ProvNext organizes group service projects and events designed to serve the local community," said Eric Robinson, Providence Health & Services, Oregon -- Strategic Management Services.
"The Providence Academy Clean-up/Beautification of the Sacred Heart event is a great example of just such a community-oriented project."
Providence Academy was designed, constructed, and opened as the first "House of Providence" in 1873 by Mother Joseph and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who traveled to Vancouver from Montreal, Canada. The Academy served an orphanage and school, and now is home to 65 small business tenants. The chapel and ballroom are available for events and weddings.
"For the residents of this community, the Academy is a significant reminder of the early days of the Pacific Northwest. For People of Providence, the House of Providence holds great significance in our heritage, tradition and culture as an organization," said Robinson. "The more we learn and understand the fundamental depth and importance of Providence Academy to the past and to our ongoing Mission, the more invested we feel in working to ensure that this sacred landmark is preserved in honor of Mother Joseph and the pioneering Sisters of Providence. The opportunity to partner with the Fort Vancouver Trust on this cleanup project not only benefits the community with a beautiful area to relax and enjoy, it deepens our connection to our history and the amazing group of women who came before us to serve the Northwest. We hope to form a lasting relationship with the Trust and look forward to contributing to the conservation of this beautiful property."
This event has inspired a next level of interest, in a proposed project with the Fort Vancouver Rose Society. They are hoping to propagate roses to plant at the Providence Academy landscaping project. The roses are from the era in which the Academy was built, and are currently growing in the Heritage Rose Garden at the O. O. Howard House, on Officers Row.
"ProvNext", is an organized professional networking group and has established a venue for motivated professionals within Providence to connect and network across the organization. With a primary focus on building long-term business relationships that lead to a sense of community, this group provides members with growth and development opportunities in line with the Mission and core values of Providence Health & Services. Members are People of Providence who live that Mission and are called to serve as future leaders in the organization.