Gov. Inslee signs House Bill making Palouse Falls an official state waterfall

Gov. Inslee signs House Bill making Palouse Falls an official state waterfall »Play Video
Washtucna students did the research and wrote the bill.
PALOUSE FALLS STATE PARK, WA - Washington now has an official state waterfall thanks to a group of students from Washtucna.

We're at Palouse Falls State Park and this gorgeous body of water behind me is now the official waterfall of Washington."

"As governor, I'm signing House bill 2119," said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. "We're naming Palouse Falls the official waterfall of the state of Washington, I'm signing the name right here…"

Washtucna grade school students made history on Tuesday.

"They did the work, they did the research, they actually wrote the bill," said Washington State Representative Joe Schmick. "And I was actually surprised how few changes there were when it came back from the code reviser."

The students asked Washington State Representative Joe Schmick to sponsor the Palouse Falls bill last October after they learned about civics. Both the House and Senate approved it with an overwhelming majority.

"Students made that decision, and they were very ambitious and eloquent in making their case," said Inslee. "And their case was, it's tall, it's in a place that's dry, and it's in a spectacular geological bowl."

The idea for the project came from a couple creative teachers.

"They answered the call," said Inslee. "Good teaching, good students, and a great falls. That makes a great combination."

"We're really proud of our rural districts, you know we have an opportunity to really get to know the kids and understand the kids," said Washtucna School District Teacher Janet Camp. "And we try and offer every opportunity for them to have advantages."

Janet Camp was one of the teachers that came up with the idea. And for her, this occasion wasn't just historic... it was also emotional.

"These kids, I hope, for the rest of their lives, will have something they can remember from education," said Camp. "It's not the book, or sometimes what you do, it's how you do it and what you can accomplish."

"I hope when you're a hundred years of age, you'll bring back your great grandkids and you'll tell them you made law here today," said Inslee. "That's quite an accomplishment."

Now even though the state park is named "Palouse," we're actually in Franklin County, near Washtucna.

Wednesday, all Washington state parks, including Palouse Falls will be free and open to the public to celebrate the 101st Birthday of state parks.