1. Trash tales
Trash tells a story, revealing more about people than what they keep. Learn the true tales told by waste, including historical trash unearthed at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, at the free WasteBusters kickoff event, 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Vancouver Community Library’s Columbia Room, 901 C St. Dig deep into “garbology” — the study of a community or culture by analyzing its waste — with archaeologist Doug Wilson. While you’re there, sign up for the monthlong WasteBusters Challenge, a free competition to reduce your waste by using cloth alternatives to paper towels and napkins, bringing waste-free lunches to work or school, and not throwing food away. Prizes include an indoor smart garden and an Instant Pot. www.wastebusters.green
2. Nurtured by nature
It may not yet be warm or dry enough to romp around outside, but you can still connect with nature during Family Nature Days at Columbia Springs, 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway, Vancouver. From noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 29, March 28 and April 25, Winter Nature Days offer indoor activities in the cozy Visitor Center. February’s focus will be the flowers and seeds of the Pacific Northwest. In March, delve into bird identification and leave with your own pine-cone bird feeder. In April, learn about the salmon life cycle and see baby salmon. On May 30, June 27, July 25 and Aug. 29, enjoy family-friendly outdoor fun from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with activities spanning the 100-acre natural area, ranging from stories and strolls to salmon tank fun. www.columbiasprings.org
The Washington Beer Open House is noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 29, when breweries across the state will open their doors, allowing craft beer lovers to look behind the scenes at Washington’s most innovative breweries, talk to the brewers and sample craft beer creations. Participating breweries will offer a range of activities, including rare barrel tastings, new seasonal beers, finger food, brewery tours, conversations with beermakers, beer samples, growler sales and live music; happenings and beer or food prices will vary at each location. Local breweries joining the open house are 54?40′ Brewing, Brothers Cascadia Brewing, Ghost Runners Brewery, Heathen Brewing, Heavy Metal Brewing Co., Trusty Brewing and McMenamins on the Columbia. Find a map at washingtonbeer.com.
4. Play day
Vancouver’s historic Covington House at 4201 Main St., a national landmark built in 1848 and maintained for community events by the city of Vancouver and the Covington House Heritage Society, is opening its doors from 1 to 4 p.m. March 1 for a free Board Game Afternoon for players ages 7 and up. Settle in at one of seven tables and play the games provided or bring your own, along with a friend or two. Nibble on complimentary cookies as you strategize how to beat the competition. Space is somewhat limited, so if you plan attend, RSVP at www.facebook.com/events/125889912114131/ and bring donations of nonperishable food for the Clark County Food Bank. For details, call 360-602-2088. To learn about the house’s history, visit www.covingtonhouse.org.
5. Spirit endures
The Southwest Washington Wind Symphony will offer a free concert, “Heart & Voice,” showcasing music that portrays the enduring nature of the human spirit. The symphony welcomes Mark Lane, one of its founding conductors, back to the podium to direct a program that includes songs by American, Czech and German composers. Selections include “In My Father’s Eyes” by Julie Giroux, dedicated to the victims of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, and “Endurance” by Timothy Mahr, inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition to the Antarctic. There will be one performance from 3 to 4 p.m. March 1 at Union High School’s Performing Arts Center, 6201 N.W. Friberg-Strunk St., Camas. www.swwindsymphony.org