Local citizen Dan Kavanaugh is an American citizen with Irish roots, being part of the MacMurrough Kavanagh clan. The clan has roots in Ferns, occupying the Ferns Castle from 1402 to 1536. Kavenaugh moved to Yelm in 1992 and, during a trip to Ferns in 1995, proposed the idea of 'twinning" with Yelm to the people of Ferns.
On July 24, 1996, Mayor Kathy Wolf reported to the City Council on Kavanaugh's proposal. Amos Lawton moved that "the City enter into a sister city relationship with Ferns, Ireland." The motion was seconded by Martha Parsons and passed unanimously with Velma Curry and Adam Rivas joining in the adoption of the proposal.
Yelm has been a sister City, or "twinned", with Ferns ever since. Every year on Saint Patricks day, Yelm proudly flies the Irish flag. Likewise, Ferns flies the US flag on the 4th of July.The official site of Ferns has much more information about the rich history of Ferns, which dates back to 598 AD.
On November 13, 1991, the City Councils of Lacey and Yelm jointly adopted a resolution establishing a Sister City partnership. The goal of the partnership is to s hare technical expertise, training opportunities and support and to encourage the communication of ideas and sharing of information. The Sister City relationship is most visible during the annual Arbor Day celebrations where each city gifts a tree to the other. As you drive the streets of Yelm and Lacey, it is nice to know that many of the trees have been planted in honor of this special partnership.