Make a big difference in just one day

Vancouver-Clark Parks gives people several chances to participate Saturday in annual day of volunteering

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian Arts & Features Reporter



We enjoy pointing out that Make a Difference Day, the largest annual community service day in the nation, was started by the print media.

It was magazine-style USA Weekend, an insert carried by many newspapers, that launched the annual day of volunteerism in 1992. Since then, millions of Americans have signed up and shown up on the fourth Saturday in October to do something positive for their communities.

This year, the Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Department has four opportunities for volunteers who want to clean up Clark County. Everybody is invited to participate — all ages and groups of all sizes — on Saturday. Here are the details.

• Parks and public areas: “The Butt Stops Here.” Volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. at Luke Jensen Sports Park, 4000 N.E. 78th St., and then fan out in search of cigarette butts and other litter in parks and public areas. You must provide your own transportation. Volunteers will re

turn to Jensen Park at 12:30 p.m. to weigh their bags of litter and to eat lunch. Orientation coffee donated by Starbucks and lunch donated by Blind Onion Pizza.

• Uptown Village: Cleanup and witness tree dedication in honor of the late Ryan Woods, who died of cancer last year. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at 1919 Main St. to enjoy donated goodies, witness the witness tree dedication, and then go to work cleaning up Uptown Village. Bring your own work gloves. Event ends at noon.

• Burnt Bridge Creek: Restoration and tree planting. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the covered picnic shelter in Leverich Park, East 39th Street and East Leverich Park Way, to work with the Vancouver Watersheds Alliance and the city’s Greenway/Sensitive Lands Team to plant trees and improve the creek. Delicious lunch provided afterward.

• Old City Cemetery: Project YOUTH cleanup event. Meet at 9 a.m. at the cemetery access, which is off East 13th Street. Volunteers will clean headstones and collect litter. A teen-friendly work party with Project YOUTH, a grass-roots effort started by Zoe Hall, a local high school student.

No matter the outing you choose, be prepared for weather and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Bring your own gloves and hand tools if possible.

Minors will need a parental consent form, which will be provided.

To learn more and register, visit or call Vancouver volunteer coordinator Hailey Heath at 360-487-8316.