Wednesday - September 28, 2016

Partnership Wins 2016 American Cultural Resources Association Industry Award

Partnership representatives Joel Komarek and Terry Buchholtz accept ACRA award from Duane Peter, ACRA president.

September 28, 2016

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. – The Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership recently won a 2016 American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA) Industry Award-Public Sector for outstanding commitment to protecting cultural resources, as part of construction of a $254 million water project.

The award was presented during a ceremony at the ACRA annual conference in Palm Springs, California on September 19.

“It’s an honor to be acknowledged for our stewardship and proactive approach to minimizing impacts to cultural resources,” said Joel Komarek, P.E., Partnership Project Director. “We collaborated with many stakeholders to install vital water infrastructure for our two communities in a sensitive manner, while also protecting and commemorating Lake Oswego’s cultural and tribal history through a unique exhibit.”

Portions of the Partnership project were sited in known culturally sensitive areas, including the Burnett site in Lake Oswego. The Partnership worked with consulting archaeologists from a local firm Archaeological Investigations Northwest, Inc. (AINW), the State Historic Preservation Office and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde to develop a comprehensive mitigation plan for construction, which involved two key phases. First, a team of AINW archaeologists conducted a comprehensive exploration and recovery effort to collect and curate artifacts along the pipeline route. An analysis of the recovered artifacts allowed archaeologists and tribal representatives to reconstruct the history of when and how the area was used by Native Americans prior to Euroamerican settlement during the nineteenth century.

In the second phase, the Partnership developed a cultural resources exhibit in collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The installation, located in George Rogers Park, incorporates a unique sculpture and exhibit commemorating the cultural and tribal legacy of Lake Oswego. The artwork, “The Man from Kosh-huk-shix,” was created by tribal artist Travis Stewart and was inspired by the story of a man who harvested eels from Willamette Falls and taught his village how to cook them to fend off starvation during a particularly brutal winter.

The American Cultural Resources Association is the national trade association for the cultural resource management industry. The Industry Award-Public Sector is awarded to a public sector organization that has demonstrated accomplishments and commitments above and beyond those required to meet laws and regulations relating to cultural resource management. AINW nominated the Partnership for the award.

For more information about the project, email lotwater@ci.oswego.or.us or call 503-697-6502.

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