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Ben Foster

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Ben Foster, Eastside Community Center Supervisor

Now the supervisor of the Portland Avenue Community Center, Ben has been involved with the planning for the new 55,000-square-foot Eastside Community Center since 2015, soon after he and his family moved to Washington from California.

He’d spent the previous dozen years at the helm of Intertribal Sports, a nonprofit Native American youth development organization he co-founded in California’s Riverside County. An Oregon State University graduate and native of Bend, Oregon, Ben is an avid hiker, and wanted to return to the Pacific Northwest. At Metro Parks, he found the kind of job he was looking for: one in which he can help a community thrive.

“We put in a lot of effort to make this center what Eastside residents want: a place where everyone in this diverse area will feel at home,” he said. “The Eastside deserves this; it’s long overdue. The center will be a source of pride, with outstanding amenities and programs.”

The new center’s location, on the campus of First Creek Middle School and close to densely populated neighborhoods, is sure to attract residents of all ages and backgrounds, he said.

Ben, 42, and his wife Christine, a Southern California native, are parents of two small boys. Their elder son, Sebastian, 4, attends Nurture in Nature preschool at Metro Parks’ Tacoma Nature Center. Sebastian recently impressed his dad by logging several miles on a backpacking trip along the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park.