Earth Day volunteer opportunities abound this weekend

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

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Clark County residents eager to celebrate Earth Day this weekend likely won’t have to look far to find something close to home.

Earth Day technically arrives Sunday. But local Earth Day events — tree plantings, cleanups and fairs among them — won’t wait that long. Here’s a partial list:

• Captain William Clark Park cleanup: The Port of Camas-Washougal will host a cleanup along the Columbia River for the third consecutive year. Participants are invited to gather at Washougal’s Captain William Clark Park on Friday afternoon. Volunteers should meet by the restrooms at Recognition Plaza in the park, according to the port.

The cleanup will last from about 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday. Garbage bags, gloves and refreshments will be provided.

• Central Park cleanup: The Vancouver Watersheds Alliance and Oregon-based nonprofit SOLVE will host a community cleanup in Vancouver’s Central Park area Saturday.

Volunteers will gather at 9 a.m. at the Marshall Community Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd. After starting the day with donated bagels and coffee, participants will break into groups and clean up the area, organizers said. The effort will extend as far as the Columbia River to the south, according to the watersheds alliance.

Residents can find a registration form at Vancouver Watersheds Alliance, though it’s not required to participate. Volunteers should wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes. Gloves and trash bags will be provided.

The cleanup will continue through at least noon.

• EcoFair: An “EcoFair” and tree plantings will highlight an Earth Day celebration Saturday at Salmon Creek Regional Park, near Klineline Pond. The event, hosted by Clark Public Utilities’ StreamTeam, is now in its 13th year and includes more than 40 participating organizations, according to the utility.

Plantings will start at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday, wrapping up at about 12:30 p.m. Workers will also pull non-native garlic mustard plants. Volunteers must register in advance to participate.

The free EcoFair offers nature walks and talks, entertainment and information booths from local environmental organizations and businesses. Other activities include a wildlife show, painting and disc golf. The fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Clark County’s Environmental Services Department is a cohost of the event.

More information about the planting and EcoFair is available at Stream Team or by calling 360-992-8585.

• Burnt Bridge Creek planting: SOLVE will also host a planting Saturday along Vancouver’s Burnt Bridge Creek, putting native plants around the popular greenway that surrounds it.

Participants will gather in a gravel lot at the end of Northeast 65th Avenue, just south of 18th Street in Vancouver. A truck will be available for storing personal items. The cleanup will last from about 9 a.m. to noon.

• Do-It-Yourself Fair: Clark County’s Environmental Services department will cosponsor an Earth Day fair geared toward sustainable practices. The Do-It-Yourself Fair lasts from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Clark College’s Gaiser Hall, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way.

The fair will cover a wide variety of home-related topics: recycling, composting, weatherization, rain barrels, rain gardens, mold, radon and lead, among others. A series of presentations from nearly a dozen partners will help participants learn how to incorporate more environmentally friendly practices into their lives.

Attendees can also bring up to four grocery bags full of documents for shredding at the fair, according to organizers.

More information is available at Clark County Environmental Services.

Eric Florip: 360-735-4541; http://twitter.com/col_enviro;eric.florip@columbian.com.