Director, Clark County Environmental Services
January is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. Oftentimes, we make unrealistic resolutions for ourselves. This time last year, I resolved to learn French, exercise for 60 minutes each day and never ever procrastinate again, ever. I'll let you guess how much of that happened.
So this year, let's actually do some of our New Year's Resolutions. This year, let's start small.
What are your resolutions this year? Here are some common Green Neighbors goals:
"I want to spend more time with my family."
Don't we all? But other things seem to get in the way. So let's be specific. "I want to Skype with my family twice a week." Or "I will play one board game with my family every Wednesday after dinner." Or [Crazy Green Neighbors Idea Alert] why not try WildWatch? It's a citizen science/backyard nature program that's fun (and educational) for the whole family. The program relaunches on January 14th with an exciting backyard birds activity.
"I watch too much TV."
Yes, this is an all-too-familiar complaint. So be specific! "The TV will be off by 7:00 at night." Or maybe replace some TV time with something else, like journaling, yoga or reading. Take a leap with us and join our brand new book club that will meet for the first time this February. We'll read about all kinds of great green topics—wildlife and the outdoors, waste and recycling, agriculture and energy. It will be a wonderful opportunity to discuss current events and meet other members of the community. We can't wait to read with you!
"I want to be greener."
You probably already recycle and maybe you compost, bike to work or buy from local, independent businesses. But no matter where you are on your journey to sustainability nirvana, make sure to set some attainable goals. Pledge to take a shower that is one minute shorter or maybe resolve to use alternative transportation once a week. And while you're at it, challenge your family to join WasteBusters this year. It's a waste reduction competition, and with a little determination, maybe your family will be crowned waste-busting royalty!
For more information, please contact the author, Beth Simon, WSC Sustainability AmeriCorps at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 397-2121.
Be sure to visit Volunteer Clark to see updated volunteer opportunities throughout the county.
We're working out the logistics for a few different potential projects. Lacamas Park has a variety of different trails needing routing maintenance. We also have work to finish out at Paradise Point state park and Battle Ground Lake State Park. Over at Vancouver Lake, there is no shortage of brushing to open up the new trail there.
For more information and updates visit: http://vols.wta.org/web/web.pl?sm+22031+WP
Help restore habitat for the Endangered Columbian white-tailed deer in the wild and beautiful setting of the 5,200 acre Refuge. We need to plant 7,600 native trees and shrubs to provide cover and forage for the deer and other wildlife.
For more information
Join us in planting trees as a volunteer!
Please arrive to the staging site by 8:45am to enjoy some hot coffee and breakfast treats. The planting starts promptly at 9:00am. We provide gloves and tools, so all you need to do is show up dressed for the weather and wearing sturdy shoes. Our neighborhood volunteers will also provide a potluck lunch for all volunteers after the planting is complete.
Neighborhoods being planted this day are: Burton Ridge, Ellsworth Springs, Forest Ridge, Marrion, Meadow Homes, Oakbrook, Ogden, Vancouver Heights
We look forward to seeing you out there!
The Central Park Activities Committee (comprised of involved residents and business owners of Maplewood, Central Park, Fourth Plain Village, and Rose Village Neighborhood Associations) invites volunteers out to Vancouver Central Park to participate in debris and rubbish clean-up as part of the 2015 efforts to increase the community appeal of Central Park.
Tools and containers will be provided, along with warm beverages to ward of the chill. Remember to dress warmly, and bring those hats and gloves! Sign up with Colleen for a two-hour slot so we can maximize the results for the effort.For more information
Not a Trail Party a Tool Party! Come out and learn what all goes in to the upkeep of your favorite trail tools and get our cache polished up for the New Year. We'll be sharpening pulaskis, fixing loose heads on grub hoes and adding a new coat of paint to the tails of all the handles. WTA provides chili and hot coffee.
For more information and to join visit: http://vols.wta.org/web/web.pl?sm+22017+WP
Come and enjoy a great day planting hundreds of native trees in the Salmon Creek watershed with Clark Public Utilities' StreamTeam. Bring rainboots and gloves, if you have them. Training, snacks, and all other supplies will be provided. Pre-registration is required.For more information
Meet fellow volunteers at the Water Resources Education Center and work as a team to clean up the beach and plant native plants. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome to join us for a beach cleanup, invasive removal and native shrub planting. We also encourage all volunteers to bring non-perishable food for the Evergreen School Distict's Pantry Project. The event will start at 9am-12pm. Snacks, water, tools and gloves will be provided. For more information
Join us for a fun morning of tree planting along Burnt Bridge Creek. This is a family friendly event and refreshments are provided. Children under 18 must have a parent signed waiver. Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes that can get muddy, bring a water bottle and a pre-signed waiver. Some gloves are available or bring your own.For more information and to register
We're throwing a party to celebrate you!
We had so many great volunteers help Friends out in so many ways this past year: tabling at events, clearing trails, leading hikes, attending hearings, taking photographs, working with our Adopt-a-Highway program on the Historic Highway, and much more. It's people like you that have been the backbone of Gorge protection for more than three decades, and we greatly appreciate your volunteerism this past year. Come celebrate with us!
Please join us for a night of socializing and celebration, and enjoy tasty appetizers, a no-host bar, and awesome door prizes. Our guest speaker for the evening will be announced in the next few weeks!
Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the event will go until 8:30pm.For more information
WTA and the Cape Horn Conservancy are teaming up to build a new spur trail leading out to the overlook site above the waterfall on the lower section. Come March, construction will begin on a small, stone overlook with a spectacular view of the Gorge. Come lend a hand and learn how to build a new section of trail.
PROJECT: We're building a new section of trail about 500 ft. long in length. We'll be clearing vegetation and digging in the dirt to level out the tread surface. If we get a large group to turn out, we may send some people off to do routine maintenance on other parts of the trail. HIKE TO THE PROJECT SITE: The overlook site is a short hike on flat terrain. Total distance is less than a mile roundtrip.
For more information and to join visit: http://vols.wta.org/web/web.pl?sm+22030+WP
The Portland Christmas Bird Count wants YOU...
...to count birds on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015! Whether spending an entire day in the field or even just an hour watching your bird feeder, you can contribute significantly to our knowledge of bird life in the Portland area — even if you're a beginning birder. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the longest running "citizen science project" in North America. The results have provided critical information on the status and changes in bird populations over the 115 years it has been conducted. Please help out this year!
For more information visit: http://audubonportland.org/local-birding/cbc
Naturalist Skills Community Nights are a chance for folks at Cascadia Wild to get together and learn about an aspect of nature or community, such as tracking, fire by friction, bird language, wild edibles, or story telling. Instructors are various members of the community who wish to share their personal expertise or experience. These gatherings will give everyone an opportunity to meet folks, learn, and have a lot of fun.
These events are offered to the community free of charge.
Everyone is welcome. No registration necessary. We're thrilled to put this on and share skills amongst our community.For more information
Learn how to stay safe in the woods in wintertime and how to deal with an emergency should it come up. We will talk about what your priorities are in a survival situation, hazards of winter, hypothermia symptoms, how to build a snow shelter or debris shelter, and practice building a fire with wet kindling.For more information and to register
Forest Park's 80 miles of trails are a hiker's paradise. Join local author and biologist Marcy Houle on this guided hike and start the new year off right.For more information and to register
Come learn about Oregon's State Forests and efforts to protect them! Kings Mountain offers some of the best views of any hike in the Oregon Coast Range. With an elevation gain of 2,500 ft in just under 3 miles, the hike is difficult and steep. Hikers must be experienced and in decent shape.On a clear day, hikers can see Mt. Hood to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West!For more information and to RSVP
The Tracking Club is an informal gathering where people can practice their tracking skills and learn from each other.
Linda H, Sally and Marian will be the January speakers for the Community Garden Club of Camas Washougal. Come here them speak about this month's topic: Nutrition & Exercise in the Garden.
Come join Audubon staff as we host a day just for kids. We'll have free activities and projects based on many of our most popular Summer Camp programs, including animal tracking, archery and many nature-based art activities. Join the fun!
Pre-registration is required for children who want to participate in our archery demonstration, where kids will get to shoot with Audubon staff. Registration is not required for other event activities but secures a limited number of archery spots.
For more information visit: http://audubonportland.org/about/events/kids-day
Join us at the Northwest Agricultural Show!
For more information visit: http://www.nwagshow.com/
Every first Friday of the month throughout the year, participating art galleries, merchants and restaurants in downtown Vancouver open their doors to celebrate opening night of various art exhibits. Live music and citywide receptions welcome all!
Visit the Vancouver Downtown Association's website for more information and a downtown art gallery list and walking map.
January First Friday the 2nd, 5-8pm, will host simple games, crafts, and cocoa throughout town! Winners get tickets to win great prizes from the merchants! A fun way to connect after the holidays :).
Plus...Any Downton Abbey lovers out there? Camas Antiques will be hosting a Downton Abbey trivia game along with their front windows decorated in Downton Abbey style! Fun for January's Downtown Camas First Friday. Tea will certainly be served as well! Stay tuned for details...get your tiaras and top hats ready...For more information
Experience live theater and take a lantern-lit journey with a Park Ranger. Peek into the past with costumed interpreters performing historical vignettes of a night at Fort Vancouver. Learn about your urban national park then and now while walking through the Fort's buildings. Finish off your evening by sharing a cup of hot cider with the talented costume interpreters and park rangers!
Reservations Required: Call (360) 816-6232
Tours start promptly at 7:00 pm. Gates open at 6:30 pm. Tours last 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Cost: $10 for ages 16 and over, $7 for all children under the age of 15 years
More information: www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/lantern-tour.htm
This popular lecture series about volcanic topics began in 2007 and continues every month. Fascinating topics, lively speakers as well as excellent food and libations make for an enjoyable and horizon-widening evening.
Doors open at 5, speaker starts at 6:30.
Distance: 7 miles
Enjoy this snowshoe in the Mount Adams area to see one of the biggest Ponderosa Pines in the state.
Informational email will be sent to registered participants on the Wednesday, January 28th.For more information
Make 2015 your most sustainable year yet, and start it off by joining the Green Neighbors Environmental Book Club! Our most avid readers in the Green Neighbors program are coming together to learn more about sustainability and the environment, and discuss some of the issues our featured books raise with other environmentally conscious citizens. We will be meeting the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 6:30 PM at Barnes and Noble, located at 7700 Northeast Vancouver Plaza Drive, Vancouver, WA. Our first group discussion will be on February 17th, 2015 so get started reading now!
Join us in reading our first book: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver.
“Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrialized food pipeline to live a rural life-vowing that for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.”
Please let us know if you'd like to receive further information about our meetings and future book selections by signing up on the Green Neighbors website. Questions? Hana.Marino@Clark.Wa.Gov.
New quizzes: Test your knowledge about recycling! Is your car efficient? What's the deal with energy efficient lightbulbs? Earn Green Neighbor Points when you take a new quiz!
We've gathered a collection of links to eco-calculators that we hope you find helpful. Figure out your environmental footprint, determine your Home Water use and more!
Check it Out
How can you be more eco-friendly at home? Check out the Interactive House to learn more ways to green up your house and yard, plus earn Green Neighbors Points!
Try it Out
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