Volunteer Updates, 2016
Wednesday, January 13, marked an exciting day for Clark County Parks. On a cold, rainy day, volunteers, a county corrections crew and grounds maintenance staff spread more than 100 cubic yards of wood chips under the new play equipment at Stockford Village Neighborhood Park.
This was the final step in the installation process, and the new play equipment was opened to the public that day. Since then, children have played on the equipment daily, rain or shine. Funding for the project came from Clark County and a Parks Foundation of Clark County 2015 Community Grant.
On February 18, the Washington Trails Association completed the Vancouver Lake trail extension at Vancouver Lake Regional Park.
Volunteers have been working on this project since September 2013, and the Washington Trails Association played a major role in the trail construction. Association representatives donated more than 2,100 hours to the project. The completed trail is now open to the public.
On Saturday, April 16, volunteers from Autism Empowerment worked on sprucing up Pacific Community Park.
The non-profit group works to empower the lives of those affected by autism and Asperger's syndrome.
The group picked up two full bags of litter, raked wood chips in the playground and cleaned the park benches and tables.
The month of April served as the anniversary for the environmental movement we know as Earth Day.
On Saturday, April 22, a group of 41 volunteers, comprised of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and passionate members of the community, volunteered at Blurock Landing in Vancouver.
They made their way around Blurock Landing, down to the Flushing Channel that connects to Vancouver Lake, as well as along the beach toward Frenchman's Bar Regional Park. Volunteers collected 42 bags of mixed waste weighing more than 1,000 pounds.
Volunteers from Summit View Church volunteered at Pacific Community Park, Bosco Farm Neighborhood Park and Hazel Dell Community Park on Sunday, May 15.
Despite the rain, the church had more than 650 volunteers giving their time that day in celebration of "Love Vancouver." They pulled weeds, removed non-native English ivy, planted ferns, spread wood ships and cleaned park amenities.
Clark County Parks joined forces with hOur Impact to celebrate their one-year anniversary with a cleanup at Salmon Creek Regional Park on Saturday, May 21.
hOur Impact is a time bank in the Vancouver area. A group of Girl Scouts and volunteers from the community joined hOur Impact at the park.
Together, they cut back blackberry vines and other vegetation along trials, cleaned playground equipment, picked up litter, removed downed branches and cleaned signage throughout the park.
Volunteers with GATE (Gateway to Adult Transition Education) worked on a painting project at Salmon Creek Regional Park this spring.
GATE is a Vancouver School District program that helps youth 18-21 with developmental disabilities gain important work experience and training.
Volunteers did a great job painting the storage area for the park's dumpsters. The fresh paint improved the appearance of the area, as well as extended its longevity.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteered at Whipple Creek Hollow on Saturday, June 4.
The crew worked hard to improve the trails starting at two different entrances. Volunteers spread gravel on the trailhead at the Northwest 164th Avenue entrance, as well as located, hauled and laid edger logs, leveled out uneven paths and completed trail and vegetation cleanup.
They also weeded the entire area at the Northwest 165th Ave entrance and hauled out 12+ tarps loaded with debris that had been dumped along the trails.
June was a special month for Clark County Parks as the county sponsored a National Civilian Community Corps team for the second year in a row.
The team worked on various projects throughout the month, including restoration of Camp Hope. Team members practiced leadership skills as they guided about 100 other volunteers from Crossroads Community Church.
Together, the two groups planted 200 trees, relocated fern plants, built a rock wall, maintained cabins, burned brush, cleared downed branches and spread grass seed.
Clark County Parks and Vancouver Watersheds Alliance partnered with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a beach cleanup at Frenchman's Bar Regional Park on Saturday, June 18.
The Vancouver Watersheds Alliance works to educate the public on restoration and protection of waterways.
Together, the groups volunteered 54 hours as they removed litter along the Columbia River shoreline.
Clark County hosted an Adopt-a-Rain Garden event in the Mt. Vista neighborhood on Saturday, June 25. The event served as an educational gathering for those interested in helping maintain rain gardens in the neighborhood.
Mt. Vista residents learned how they can help maintain and advocate for the benefits of rain gardens. They subsequently adopted the rain garden in front of their home and have been tending to any necessary weeding, pruning and general maintenance.
Clark County is grateful for their leadership and looks forward to collaborating with other residents or organizations to maintain rain gardens.
On Saturday, July 9, 17 volunteers from Crossroads Community Church gave their time at Orchards Community Park as a part of their "Second Saturday" event.
The volunteers donated 34 hours and completed a variety of tasks throughout the park. They removed a substantial amount of non-native English ivy from trees and the surrounding area.
They also raked wood chips in the playgrounds, cleaned up litter in the park and hauled downed branches and debris to a dumpster.
Cisco Systems employees and community members came together on Friday, July 22, for a volunteer work party at Whipple Creek Regional Park.
The event attracted 11 volunteers, some of whom were able to use volunteer hours their employer provides each year for various events in the community.
Together, the group made great progress in clearing encroaching vegetation on trails, making them more accessible and safer for walkers, runners, hikers and cyclists. They also removed weeds and raked loose twigs and vegetation from trails.
On Wednesday, July 27, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Battle Ground joined us for a park cleanup.
The group helped improve the appearance of one of the shelters by cleaning tables and benches, removing staples and nails, and sweeping the floors. It was a short, yet fun and effective cleanup.
We hope to have more groups out there for similar events soon.
Naomi Miller, Shift Leader for Whole Foods Markets Mill Plain, coordinated a volunteer event with Clark County Parks on Friday, July 29, at Capt. William Clark Regional Park in Washougal. Together, Whole Foods and missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filled an entire dumpster with vegetation that was removed from around the tree line. This included encroaching Himalayan blackberries and other vegetation, as well as downed limbs and branches. One volunteer picked up a full bag of litter from the park.
The Foley Orchard Harvest event took place on Tuesday, August 16. Volunteers helped with a pear harvest for donation to the Clark County Food Bank.
Following the harvest, folks piled in for the featured speakers' presentations touching on "Statewide Efforts to Conserve Farmland" and "The Financial Dynamics of Farming in a Rapidly Urbanizing County."
Attendees also enjoyed great food prepared with Clark County grown ingredients, fresh pressed cider and live music. It was a spectacular event hosted by Slow Food Southwest Washington.
Clark County Parks combined forces with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership on Saturday, August 20, for the “Love Your Columbia” cleanup event at Vancouver Lake.
Twenty-two volunteers picked up six bags of trash and one bag of recyclables.
The group included Girl Scouts and other dedicated volunteers in the community.
We had an incredible turnout for the Clark County Connects to Day of Service on September 10.
Volunteers donated their time and effort to improve more than 25 locations, parks and schools.
Two hundred volunteers participated in Clark County Parks' projects, including English Ivy removal at Lucia Falls Regional Park and trail maintenance at Whipple Creek Regional Park.
The event raise awareness of community needs and provides volunteer opportunities to meet those needs. Thank you to all who participated in this annual event!
Clark County and the city of Vancouver partnered for Annual Trail Counts from September 11-18. Volunteer trail counters collected data on trail usage at 15 locations.
If you are curious about what all of that data looks like, click here to view the prior year's data.
Although it was raining heavily on Saturday, September 17, volunteers from Salmon Creek United Methodist Church were not deterred.
They brought a small army of volunteers to the 78th Street Heritage Farm in Hazel Dell. The 79-acre farm offers educational and recreational opportunities. The farm is a community-driven effort as much as it is a county effort.
Together, the group hauled wood chips to trails between community garden plots to define walkways and suppress weed growth.
Volunteers from Heritage High School’s Key Club did a litter cleanup around Orchards Community Park on Saturday, October 1.
The group also pitched in during “The Butt Stops Here” cigarette refuse pickup on Saturday, October 22, which is held in conjunction with the national “Make a Difference Day.”
Vancouver Lake Regional Park, a 190-acre park that stretches for 2.5 miles along the west shore of Vancouver Lake, received a nice cleanup on Thursday, October 20.
Clark County Parks hosted a fantastic group of volunteers from 52 Limited, a technical and creative staffing agency in Portland that organizes quarterly volunteer events for its team members.
Despite the rain, the group worked hard to weed and remove invasive blackberry from mitigation plantings along the trail extension. They also raked leaves and branches from the trail.
Saturday, October 22, marked the sixth annual “The Butt Stops Here!” cleanup, which was held in conjunction with national Make A Difference Day. This event is a joint effort between Clark County and the city of Vancouver.
Ninety-three volunteers participated in this cleanup at various parks in the Vancouver area. Together, volunteers collected 27 bags of trash and 14 pounds of cigarette butts!
Since the first cleanup in 2011, volunteers have removed 106 pounds of cigarette butts and 127 bags of litter from city and county parks.
Students from the Skyview High School's Gear Up program gathered at Chinook Neighborhood Park on Wednesday, October 26, for a park cleanup. The Gear Up program started in 2006 and helps prepare students for college.
Skyview High School plays an important role in the vitality of Chinook Neighborhood Park after the school formally adopted the park in 2015. The student volunteers spent the afternoon raking leaves at the park.
Clark County Parks partnered with the Portland Parks & Recreation and the No Ivy League on Saturday, October 29, for the annual No Ivy Day.
Volunteers gathered at natural areas in the Portland-Vancouver area to remove non-native English Ivy. In Vancouver, volunteers met at Orchards Highlands Neighborhood Park to remove ivy from this site.
Each year, the event aims to not only remove ivy, but to also spread awareness of the negative impacts that invasive plants have on natural areas. The event wrapped up with free lunch at some Portland parks.
The Hazel Dell Lions Club coordinated a park cleanup on Saturday, November 5, at Hazel Dell Community Park in Vancouver.
There were 14 volunteers who came out to spruce up the park, including youth and their mentors from Restorative Community Services.
They hauled downed branches and debris to a dumpster and removed non-native English ivy from around several trees and surrounding areas.
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