I'm fairly certain that Elsie is not a woman who's name most people in Spokane know. But in and around the Beaverton area her name shows up on community centers and in many things park-related.
I knew Elsie when she was retired, but even then she was a force to be reckoned with. She lived next door to my grandparents, and many times I was told the stories of the changes she initiated in the community - chief being the creation of the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District.
In 1953 Beaverton, Oregon was benefitting from the new migration to the suburbs...but as Elsie saw, while the developers were building houses everywhere, no one was planning for greenspace. There were only 2 small parks, and a tennis court...no pools or other public recreation spaces to be found. So she lobbied for the creation of a new park district to remedy the situation.
We here in Spokane are lucky - parks have been planned for in most cases. The County has a master plan that spells out how much park acreage we should have for every new household. The City was developing a plan back in the early days of the 20th century - almost 50 years before Elise got started.
I like to think that when Elsie Stuhr was looking around at how to plan for park development, she looked a bit north and east to Spokane.
Read the full article about Elsie Stuhr and the creation of the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District here.