Yard sales unite neighborhoods

From Rose Village to La Center, events have gained popularity in Clark County

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

Published:

 

IF YOU GO

• La Center citywide garage sale, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 20; map of sale sites at http://ci.lacenter.wa.us/

• Edgewood Park Neighborhood Yard Sale Extravaganza, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 3; maps will be at Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters, 703 Grand Blvd.

Rose Village's first neighborhood yard sale on June 8 gave people a chance to clear out unneeded items, raise money for good causes and share some neighborly pride.

Rose Village joined local communities that have been holding sales for years, ranging from subdivision events to a citywide project in La Center.

One of them inspired the Rose Village effort. Some of her relatives live in a north Vancouver neighborhood, said Lisa Watson, a member of the Rose Village Neighborhood Association board.

"This is something they have done for many years; it's a whole neighborhoodwide thing," Watson said, adding that, "I've been collecting stuff for a garage sale for a while."

Some of the proceeds will benefit Washington Elementary. The school's Parent Staff Partnership teamed with Memorial Lutheran Church for a one-stop-shopping site at the church. People who didn't want to hold a sale at their house could pay $10 for a spot in the church parking lot.

"I was able to sell eight spaces and we had a steady flow of customers throughout the day," Eleanor Livengood said.

The sale at Watson's house included items from several donors; it netted about $300 for the association's general fund and "will be put to use throughout the year," Watson said.

That wasn't the only benefit: "I got to meet a lot of people I hadn't met before," Watson said.

Rose Village — bounded by Interstate 5, state Highway 500 and Grand and East Fourth Plain Boulevards — will hold another sale in 2014, Watson said. "I think we will coordinate it better, with maps identifying places having sales."

It's a tactic that is going online. La Center, heading into its July 20 sale, no longer hands out maps on the bridge into town.

For a $3 registration fee, sellers can have their sites listed on a map that will be available on the city's website, http://ci.lacenter.wa.us; they also can designate categories of items for sale.

"It's grown over the years," said Candi Irish, the organizer since 2005. "Last year, there were 77 paid participants," and a lot of unregistered people set up sales tables, "Which is fine."

"The whole city benefits," Irish said. "It gives exposure to local businesses, brings families together, and in an economic downturn, we saw a lot of people benefitting who couldn't afford to buy new" items.

"It's always the third Saturday in July, and people plan vacations around it," Irish said.

After trying it out in 2012, Edgewood Park will hold its second neighborhood yard sale on Aug. 3.

"It's fun to integrate different corners of the neighborhood," said Bonnie Long, vice chairwoman of the neighborhood association. Edgewood Park is east of Grand Boulevard and bisected by East Evergreen Boulevard.

"It's huge, and it's very diverse: high-end homes in one part, and subsidized housing, and everyone in between," Long said. The sale "helped build a sense of community."

Not everybody was a fan of the traffic and unfamiliar faces going through the neighborhood, however.

"There was some feedback, people concerned about the traffic up and down their street," Long said. "I thoroughly understand why people are concerned about that issue."

One neighborhood adopted a traffic-management plan for its sale, said Judi Bailey, with Vancouver's Office of Neighborhoods.

"The Cimarron Neighborhood put in a one-way pattern to keep traffic going in the same direction. They've done a street-use permit to do that," Bailey said.

Other than that, neighborhoods don't have to do any city paperwork to hold a yard sale, Bailey said.

Long said she was surprised by the number of customers who didn't live in Edgewood Park.

"People came from all over the county," Long said. "A couple rode their bikes from Brush Prairie. They bought a big wicker chair from us" -- even though they couldn't pedal it home.

"They came back the next day to pick it up," Long said.

Tom Vogt: 360-735-4558; http://www.twitter.com/col_history; tom.vogt@columbian.com.