Critters are Counting on Fun Second Saturday

The ‘count’ down is on to the Vancouver Water Resources Education Center’s 16th annual Critter Count, a day filled with critter-finding and critter-watching. Start Saturday morning counting critters in their natural habitat. Then, see more critters up close at a live show with snakes, lizards and other reptiles at the Water Resources Education Center. Join in one or both events:

‘Critter Count’ begins at 9:00 AM until noon. The Water Center is seeking the public’s help in field surveys of amphibians and reptiles. Then stick around for ‘Second Saturday’ from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, where the Critter fun continues. Visitors have an opportunity to view snakes, lizards and other reptiles up close.

Spring Cleaning Includes Recycling Days

Clark County residents will have six opportunities this spring to recycle a variety of items, including block foam, at the Green Neighbors Recycling Day events.

Clark County residents can drop off block foam, electronic equipment, old tires without rims, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioning units and scrap metal. Participants are limited to five tires per person. Some events will provide shredding for a limited amount of paper. No business waste will be accepted.

Teens Prove Prevention is a Party

STASHA – the Strong Teens Against Substance Hazards and Abuse – is hosting its fifth annual Prevention is a Party event for Clark County middle- and high-school students. This drug- and alcohol-free party is also admission-free and scheduled for Friday, April 15, from 8:00 to 11:00 PM, at the Marshall Community Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd.

Teens can join in activities which will include basketball, volleyball, dancing with a live DJ and video and table games, or they can even bring a bathing suit and hit the pool.

School identification or Skyward photo must be presented at the door to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

New Dog Park Coming to Eastside County Property

Dog lovers have an opportunity to help create a new off-leash area where dogs can run and play in east Vancouver.

The Board of County Councilors unanimously approved an agreement with Dog Owners Group for Park Access in Washington (DOGPAW) to develop a dog park on a county-owned parcel at NE 192nd Avenue and NE 9th Street. The 10.8-acre property is west of the Humane Society for Southwest Washington and south of the Harmony Sports Complex.

DOGPAW will be responsible for developing the site with fencing, a double-gated entry and other amenities, as well as providing ongoing maintenance of the site.

CERT Classes come to ECF&R

East County Fire & Rescue recently announced their Spring CERT Class schedule.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can

Art Contest a Capitol Idea

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.

Here locally, the Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school

New Partnership Highlights History and Digital Technology

Vancouver iTech Preparatory Middle School and the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site recently announced a partnership to highlight the park’s historical resources with digital technology. This teacher-student-ranger project began with questions posed to the 7th and 8th grade students.

Green Business of the Year Award Presented

Clark County’s Green Business program will host its fifth annual Green Business Showcase from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at Fort Vancouver’s historic Artillery Barracks, 600 Hathaway Road.

A new component of this year’s showcase will be presentation of the first annual Green Business of the Year Award. This award will be given to the Clark County Green Business that has best demonstrated efforts to continually reduce its environmental impact and improve practices over time.

Fourteen businesses applied for the award, with projects ranging from:

A Splash from the Past at Vancouver Water Center

It’s 1996 all over again – without the huge flooding. :) In March 1996, the community toasted the opening of Vancouver’s Water Center at Splash! On Tuesday, March 22, the community is invited to return to Splash! Back 20, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., at Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way.

Like its namesake, Splash! Back 20 will feature fine foods and beverages, available for purchase, along with live jazz in the Water Center’s community room overlooking the Columbia River. Downstairs, Splash! Back 20 will offer Water Center activities, information about Water Center programs and more.

Watershed Alliance Workshops Set

The Vancouver Watersheds Alliance recently announced its 2016 workshop series, which focuses on water quality in urban areas and nonpoint source pollutants. These events are held in partnership with the Clark Conservation District, the Department of Ecology, Clark County Environmental Services and the Vancouver Community Library.

The next workshop covers Home Gardening and Best Watering Practices, and will be held Monday, March 7, from 6:00 to 7:00PM.

Port of Vancouver USA Public Tour Dates Set for 2016

The Port of Vancouver’s free, two-hour public tours showcase many of the industries that call the port home and provide a taste of the maritime industry and global marketplace. Tour guests may see massive ships berthed along the waterfront as well as some of the diverse cargoes handled on the docks, including steel, grain, minerals and automobiles.

2016 public tour dates…

County to Restart Stream Monitoring Program

Clark County Environmental Services is reestablishing its stream monitoring program at approximately 50 sites in the county’s 10 watersheds. The monitoring will allow the county to gauge the health of many local streams and rivers. Monitoring will begin this year and focus on selected streams each year for five years.

At the end of the five year monitoring period, Environmental Services will generate a report outlining the overall health of Clark County’s streams and rivers. Sites will be among these watersheds:

Book Swap at the Camas Library

Book Swap! Time to load up on new (to you) material. Trade your used books (or CDs or movies) with others and take as many items as you bring! Or if you’re simply looking to do some spring cleaning, you may also bring kid and teen books to donate.

Editor Note: IMPORTANT: No, you may not donate your kid or teen, sorry. :)

The Book Swap is happening on Friday, February 26, from 3:00 – 5:00 PM, at the Camas Public Library, 625 NE 4th Ave, Camas.

Vancouver Water Center Birthday Bash

Did someone say Party? Join the folks at the Vancouver Water Center as they celebrate their 20th birthday in style.

Kids and their families are invited to join in a special Second Saturday birthday celebration from 1 to 3 p.m., February 13, at Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way. They promise to have a River of Fun learning about February Floods!

Enjoy hands-on activities, water science games and birthday cupcake treats while

Vancouver Police Re-Opens East Precinct to Public

The Vancouver Police Department recently reopened the East Precinct, located at 520 SE 155th Avenue, to walk in traffic. The East precinct location has not had front counter service available since 2010, when staffing reductions forced the closure. With a recent staff increase, the department was able to open the East precinct again to the public.

Help Protect the K9’s that Help Protect Us

Sadly, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has lost multiple police K9 service dogs due to line of duty deaths.

* 1987, Clark County Sheriff’s Office K9 Brie was killed in the line of duty; Brie’s handler was Deputy Dennis Meats
* May 1990, Clark County Sheriff’s Office K9 Lucky was killed in the line of duty; Lucky’s handler was Deputy Tom Mitchum
* April 2, 2011, Clark County Sheriff’s Office K9 Kane was killed in the line of duty; Kane’s handler was Deputy Rick Osborne

These dogs were heroes in every sense of the word, and their loss was significant to all those who served with them. Now, we have an opportunity to help protect those who serve.

Fire District 6 Places New Fire Engines Into Service

Clark County Fire District 6 will place two beautiful new Pierce fire engines into service this week in two of their firehouses. Engine ‘E61’ will be placed in service on January 21, 2016 at Fire District 6 Headquarters, 8800 NE Hazel Dell Avenue. Engine ‘E63’ will be placed in service on January 22 at the Salmon Creek Station 63, 1200 NE 134th Street, both at approximately 7:50 AM on each respective day.

The pumpers will be put to work after a traditional “wetting down” ceremony prior to shift change on those days.

Industry Fair in Works at Battle Ground PS

Employers in and around Clark County are invited to reserve a table at the Battle Ground Public Schools (BGPS) Industry Fair on Thursday, February 25, and help educate young people about career opportunities in southwest Washington. The event, sponsored by BGPS, WorkSource and YouthWorks, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Battle Ground High School, 300 W. Main Street, in Battle Ground.

Organizers are seeking employers from all industries: healthcare, manufacturing, technology, construction, finance, hospitality, retail, apprenticeship and transportation to share their job opportunities and career path possibilities with students and community members who attend the event. It’s certain to be an educational evening at Battle Ground High School about the many career opportunities in our region.

Green and Clean Neighborhood Recycling Event

Clark County residents can safely dispose of a variety of holiday wastes at the 2016 Green Neighbors Holiday Cleanup. The event will be Saturday, January 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cascade Middle School, 13900 NE 18th Street.

Clark County residents can drop off block foam, used electronics, artificial Christmas trees, strings of lights and metal-frame lawn ornaments. No other recyclables or wastes will be accepted.

New Play Equipment Available at Stockford Village Neighborhood Park

Clark County Parks and Recreation unveils new play equipment available for public use in Stockford Village Neighborhood Park, along NE 105th Street just west of Interstate 5. The 4.2-acre neighborhood park built in 1978 previously offered a swing set and monkey bars. The equipment was outdated and did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act so Parks Department staff had recommended its replacement.

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