April 21, 2013 in Outdoors

Local trail angels: Vic and Robbi Castleberry

The Spokesman-Review photo

Robbi and Vic Castleberry pose by boulders that keep motor vehicles off Rimrock Drive overlooking Spokane. The couple has been instrumental in the conservation of Palisades Park. Robbi, 80, died in 2013.
(Full-size photo)

Vic and Robbi Castleberry have been stalwarts of Spokane land and river conservation for a half a century.

Perhaps none of their causes stands so tall for the public as Palisades Park. They are founding members of Palisades, the nonprofit group originating from the Indian Canyon-area neighborhood that organized to take care of the park.

They’ve wielded tools on the park’s trails and filled bags of garbage with the senseless litter. More important, even in their retirement, they’ve stepped up to be become familiar faces in offices and meeting rooms of city, county and state officials.

“You can’t be silent and expect somebody else to get things done,” Robbi said. Asked to single out their most important accomplishment for Palisades, she didn’t hesitate:

“Getting (the park segment of) Rimrock Drive closed to motor vehicles: It’s made all the difference in the world. It’s cleaned up the druggies, the litter and the vandalism and the number of people and families enjoying the park has increased. People feel safe in there walking, riding bikes and horses because gates keep out what comes with vehicles.”

The Castleberrys serve as role models from city hall to their back yard. While lobbying for expansion of public protected open space at Palisades, they also drew up a conservation easement 10 years ago that assures the 14 acres behind their home will remain open space forever.

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