Organizations need help with plants, food, books, weeding, more

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



Congress declared Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national day of service in 1994. And so, every third Monday in January there are opportunities to serve the community in recognition of the well-known civil rights activist.

We rounded up nine places you can volunteer in Clark County for the holiday.

Most of these projects are outside necessitating sturdy shoes and weather-appropriate clothes. Volunteers younger than 18 typically have to bring a signed consent form or have their parent or guardian sign it on-site, so check with the organization before sending children to volunteer.

• Blandford Canyon: Vancouver Watersheds Alliance is trying to rid Blandford Canyon of invasive plants, such as English ivy, which can cover trees, eventually pulling them down. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. Monday in the parking lot at the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and North Blandford Drive and work until noon. Sign up to volunteer online at

• Raymond E. Shaffer Park: There’s still work to be done at Vancouver’s newest park, Raymond E. Shaffer Park. Volunteers will dig and spread bark chips, pull weeds, remove invasive plants and pick up litter. This starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. Monday at the park, 7806 N.E. 58th St. Contact or call 360-487-8344 to register.

• Columbia Springs: Volunteers have some options if they choose to volunteer Monday morning at Columbia Springs: Plant and care for native plants, remove invasive ones, maintain trails or work on construction projects. Email to sign up to volunteer from 9 a.m. to noon at the nature park, 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway.

• Water Resources Education Center: Invasive plants aren’t just in Clark County’s forests — they’re at the waterfront, too. Volunteers will work with the city to clean up the beach and remove non-native plants along the shoreline. The project starts 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Water Resources Education Center at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way and goes until noon. Contact or call 360-487-8344 to register.

• Clark Public Utilities’ native plant nursery: To kick off the 2018 tree-planting season, Clark Public Utilities’ StreamTeam is hosting a seedling potting event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at its native plant nursery in Orchards. Contact Ashley King at 360-992-8585 or to get more details and sign up.

• Pacific Park: Help maintain the gardens at Pacific Park, located at the corner of Northeast 18th Street and Northeast 172nd Avenue. Weeding and other tasks start at 9 a.m. and go until noon Monday. To sign up to volunteer call 360-397-2121, extension 4352, or email

• Clark County Food Bank: For those who are not outdoorsy, the Clark County Food Bank needs volunteers to help repack and sort food. There are two sessions on MLK Day: 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Contact Emily Kaleel at or 360-693-0939 to sign up to volunteer at the food bank, 6502 N.E. 47th Ave.

• Lacamas Lake: Volunteers will work with Clark County Parks to remove non-native Scotch broom and English ivy from Lacamas Lake Regional Park. Meet at 9 a.m. Monday in the overflow parking lot at 406 N.E. 35th Ave. in Camas. Monday doesn’t work for you? On Saturday, volunteers will work with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to maintain trails at Lacamas Lake. Meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at Woodburn Elementary School at 2400 N.E. Woodburn Drive in Camas. Both events end at noon.

• Fort Vancouver Regional Library District Headquarters: Another option if you want to stay inside is helping out at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District’s Bookapalooza used book sale, which benefits summer reading programs. The sale is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the downstairs library hall of the operations center at 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd. Volunteers will restock books, assist customers and count books for cashiers. There are still some two-hour slots left on Saturday. You can sign up to volunteer at