by Ty Brown
When Dick Vandervert passed away earlier this year, the Little Spokane River Valley lost one of its most valued residents. Over the years he made many monetary contributions to the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley, which helped foster its vision of creating a place where people can enjoy its beauty, feel secure, and experience a sense of community. He also recently granted an easement on some of his property, allowing the FSLRV trail project to stay off Little Spokane Drive and continue north of Midway Road.
One of Dick’s biggest impacts in the valley was the development of the Little Spokane River Estates subdivision off of Golden Road. This 124-acre property met some protest from area residents when it was proposed in 1978, but in the end, a compromise was reached to change the size of the lots abutting the river in order to reduce the impact on the wildlife and the land. Dick and his wife Bonnie constructed a home in the development and enjoyed many years living along the Little Spokane River. Dick made a name for himself with many quality development projects in the Spokane area, often spending extra time and money on landscaping. After his passing, the family established a memorial fund in his name, which will provide grants to non-profits to provide landscaping and beautification in the local area. These projects may include walkways, park benches, planting trees, and improving wildlife habitat.