Tuesday, April 13, 2021
April 13, 2021

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Volunteers pitch in for spring cleanup in Vancouver

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:
3 Photos
Volunteer Raechal Burke reaches to pick up a piece of trash on Saturday at Marine Park. Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center hosted eight masked volunteers in a spring cleanup of the park and its beach.
Volunteer Raechal Burke reaches to pick up a piece of trash on Saturday at Marine Park. Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center hosted eight masked volunteers in a spring cleanup of the park and its beach. (Joshua Hart/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A small group of Clark County residents met Saturday morning to pick up trash on Marine Park beach, kicking off spring cleanup efforts in the city.

The event was organized by Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center and limited to eight people. Advanced registration was required for the three-hour cleaning.

Participants wore masks and physically distanced from each other. The city provided litter bags and hand sanitizer.

Ashley Conley, with the water resource center, said she’s been waiting to get the green light on the cleanup event. Many of the center’s plans were curtailed this year due to the pandemic, and the spring cleanup is a simple way to get folks outside and serves as a launching pad to get them reconnected with the community after a year of isolation.

Things aren’t quite back to normal. Conley noted all events will be by registration only as a precaution.

The city’s Litter Steward Program offers residents ongoing opportunities to remove trash around the community, said Hailey Heath, citywide volunteer coordinator.

“That’s a great way to get involved right now. We’ve had a lot of calls from citizens asking about litter, and this is a great way to keep our communities clean,” said Heath.

Most events are currently happening as one-time, pre-organized events with people who contact the city. Heath said her hope is that as the city’s staffing levels stabilize, more events will be added for the entire public.

In years past, there have generally been hundreds of volunteer events, according to the city. Vancouver has an active and engaged community, and this spring, the amount of calls and interest being expressed by individuals and groups has increased, said Heath.

Spring in the busiest season for the city’s volunteer programming, she said.

The city is moving forward with plans for its popular annual downtown cleanup and flower planting at Esther Short Park. The details are still being worked out, particularly how it will be structured due to COVID-19. The event is planned forMay 22.

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