County communities will become a tad more welcoming this week as a number of specially designed banners have begun to be placed in cities from Scappoose to Clatskanie.

The banner project - created to promote the uniqueness of each Columbia County community - has been in the works for a year by the Columbia County River Communities Cohort 3, part of the Ford Institute Leadership Program. That group has been raising money, designing the promotional banners and working through bureaucracy to get the materials installed along Highway 30.

Each community will feature shared banner designs, one with a blue heron and another with a salmon and sailboat. Larger communities will also have a banner specially illustrated to tailor to their area: the Watts House in Scappoose; an osprey and the county courthouse in St. Helens; a sternwheeler in Columbia City; the Lewis and Clark Bridge in Rainier and the Flippin House with an eagle in Clatskanie.

The banners were designed by Kannikar Petersen of AKAAN Architecture + Design in St. Helens.

Financial support for the project came from area cities, the Scappoose Community Club, Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce, Columbia River PUD, State Sen. Betsy Johnson and State Rep. Brad Witt.

Scappoose had its banners installed June 25. The other banners will be put up over the next few weeks.

-Stover E. Harger III

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