Happy Meadows a Hidden Treasure in Ford, WA

by Cassie Nixon

Nestled along Highway 231, 52 miles Northwest of Spokane, is an unincorporated area called Ford. With plenty of trees and open areas, it makes for a secluded camping spot or a peaceful place to call home. That is exactly what drew Paul and Marlene Coffman to the area, when they were searching for a property of their own in 2016. When they stumbled upon the 22 acre parcel, now known as Happy Meadows, they knew it was for them. Despite being strewn with garbage and building refuse, Marlene could feel the peace that surpassed the chaos of the impending clean up. It took two years, and daily trips to the dump as they traveled to their jobs in Spokane, but it eventually became a haven for them and their friends to relax and enjoy nature. 

Paul and Marlene Coffman Paul and Marlene Coffman, photo by Emily Nixon

They began hosting events on their property in 2018, and since then, they have seen many friendly and familiar faces return. Paul began offering event managers their land for rent to host gatherings of all kinds from weddings to family camping weekends to their most recent event, GlowFest. They have established a natural outdoor amphitheater that works beautifully for drum circles, a separate stage for performances or live music, and at the center of Happy Meadows, a permanent tent kitchen, which is run by friend Levi, of Harrington, WA. Along the perimeter of the acreage are campsites for campers and vendors. Vendors of all varieties return a few times each year to enjoy the serenity that Happy Meadows offers, no matter what type of event is being hosted. Marlene is very proud of the “family” that they have become through hosting at her property. 

Paul spoke with excitement as he shared his plans to expand Happy Meadows as a business venture. He is looking forward with anticipation to next year, when Happy Meadows will be the official event host, rather than just the property host. Paul and Marlene are busy planning all the details to make their property an event center, taking the pressure off the production companies to secure the behind-the-scenes workings to run an event. They will use their connections with friends and neighbors to build business relationships, which only adds impetus to their end goals. The feeling of community is truly what makes Happy Meadows special. From returning vendors, to traveling campers who frequent the events at the site, and former event hosts, they have truly built a wonderful village of loving support. 

Their friend, SafeT has built a “Tree of Life” from recycled materials with the help of Paul and a few others. They have used resources from both Paul’s land as well as neighboring areas, and they invite their guests and friends to hand handmade wrapped ornaments from the tree to commemorate their visits to Happy Meadows. It was wonderful to be able to visit and be welcomed with open arms into the “family” and to be serenaded with a drum circle of happy drummers and encouraged to visit again at future events. SafeT will be hosting “SafeT Stock” in August, which will be a 50th anniversary commemoration of Woodstock, and will be an unplugged event with the goal of promoting peace and harmony with each other and the world.

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