Happenings & Hotspots

Events, shopping, classes & workshops, volunteering, art walks.

Hello Vancouver!

Say, “Hello, summer!” with Hello Vancouver!, the Couve’s own, always surprising, always entertaining, and sometimes even educational community talk show on Wednesday, June 28. The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Warehouse ’23 event rooms, located adjacent to the restaurant at 100 Columbia Street, right on the riverfront. You’ll have a great view from any seat, with Hello Vancouver’s live broadcast of the show on the large screen. Your host is the inimitable Temple Lentz, who never fails to delight.

The show is free—although enthusiastic guests can purchase Limited Premiere Seating, including a drink ticket and goody bag, for $15 per person. (To reserve your premiere seat, click here.) The doors open at 6 p.m.. A no-host bar and concession snacks are available for purchase. Or, better yet, have dinner before or after the show at Warehouse ’23! Parking available on-street and in designated event parking on the north side of the street. Please park in the designated lot across the street, so restaurant patrons can still park.

Here are this month’s special guests:

  • Tom Mears, Burgerville chairman and author of “Serve with Love: Sustainable Marketing Tips from Burgerville: When Jacob Propstra sailed to America from the Netherlands in 1914, he had no idea his humble creamery would one day inspire the Pacific Northwest institution we now know as Burgerville. After one particularly disastrous beach retreat, Tom Mears, CEO, knew the company’s mission was in trouble. In Serve with Love, Mears writes about the critical decisions Burgerville’s team took to build this mission-led business, and a number of the mistakes they made along the way. His book is now available in paperback.
  • Daron Deonier, Barre Foodie: A Pure Barre instructor and good-food enthusiast, Daron makes healthy eating simple, beautiful, and delicious. Grounding her recipes in a love of seasonal produce, full flavor, and bright color, she creates meals that anyone can reproduce at home. With appearances on KGW, an active website, and a cookbook in the making, Daron is changing lives one plate at a time.
  • Northwest Paranormal and Occult Research: Temple will visit with local ghost hunters! If you’ve ever wondered about the things that go bump in the night when THE DOG IS RIGHT THERE NEXT TO YOU, you don’t want to miss this. Temple doesn’t even believe in ghosts and she had to sleep with the lights on for like three days after watching some of their videos. This all-volunteer team of paranormal researchers documents activity in homes and businesses, and reports on what they find, as well as doing thorough research on the building in question, to find out more about what energy may still be lingering.
  • Nikolette Divine sings with local Americana band The Pearls, and she is finishing up the work on a five-song solo EP that was funded just this past winter with a Kickstarter campaign. She’s got an incredible voice and writes some killer songs. You’ll definitely want to hear her share a couple of them with us, backed by members of The Pearls.

Summer Archaeology Programs at Fort Vancouver

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site invites the public to see archaeology in action this summer! The Public Archeology Field School is a joint effort among the National Park ServicePortland State University and Washington State University Vancouver. Students in this field school work with National Park Service archaeologists to conduct archaeological excavations throughout the park—and during the summer, the dig sites are open to the public. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, June 27 to July 28, members of the public can visit excavation sites at Fort Vancouver and Vancouver Barracks and learn about how archaeologists study the past. A special summer lecture series will also highlight archaeology throughout the country, and the national park’s popular Kids Dig! program in July will introduce kids ages eight to 12 to the fascinating world of archaeology.

Everyone is welcome to watch archaeology students and professional archaeologists as they dig in the area of Vancouver Barracks north of East Fifth St., near the Post Exchange Building. The excavations will focus on Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade and U.S. military sites. This summer’s excavations will help support improvements to the South Vancouver Barracks, and will allow for the future adaptive use of historic army buildings, as well as the preservation of the unique history of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. For more information about archaeology at Fort Vancouver, click here.

Kids Dig! programs will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 1, July 8, and July 22, inside the reconstructed Fort Vancouver. In this program, kids will excavate a mock site with the help of student archaeologists, and discover what we can learn about the past from the artifacts buried under our feet. Space is limited to 20 children. Spots for each program can be reserved by calling 360-816-6250. Learn more at https://go.usa.gov/xNpe4.

“A Crime of Passion Fruit” Book Launch Party

If you’re a fan of  juicy mystery novels, you won’t want to miss the book launch party for Ellie Alexander‘s (a.k.a. Kate Dyer-Seeley) latest Bakeshop Mystery, “A Crime of Passion Fruit.” Set sail on this cruise-ship-themed party at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, in the transformed café at the former Hewlett-Packard campus, 18110 S.E. 34th St., Conference Building 3/Café, in East Vancouver. Admission is free, but click here to RSVP. Plenty of free parking is available onsite. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the first 100 “passengers” will receive complimentary party favors.

Set sail for a tropical adventure in celebration the release of Alexander’s sixth Bakeshop story, and be greeted with a taste of summer and the sound of steel drums against a backdrop of leafy palm trees. Stroll through the “cruise concourse” where you can sample and shop a variety of tropical vendors. You’ll get to taste selections like mango tango and pineapple passion ciders, smokin’ habañero sauce, coconut rum and Margarita cupcakes, and lime cordial and lush grenadine syrups. Pick up a pair of sapphire earrings made entirely from recycled bottles, a blood orange candle sure to delight your senses, or strawberry and champagne soap to pamper your summer skin. Bring home a tropical stem or create your own bright and sunny flower arrangement, and get a copy of Alexander’s latest book for her to sign.

Snap a picture among palm trees with handcrafted flower leis and post your photo to social media using the hashtag #ACRIMEOFPASSIONFRUIT to be entered into giveaways. Grab a glass of beer or wine at the no-host bar from Tommy O’s and listen to the delightful sound of the steel drum. Then join Alexander and Roger Anderson, host of the Kitchen Counter Podcast, for an author chat on Deck 2. Alexander will give you a sneak peek of what’s next for Jules and her team at Torte as well as an exclusive first look at her new series debuting this fall.

Local vendors and supporters include:

Heroes Night at Costco

Join the the Community Military Appreciation Committee (CMAC) and Columbia Credit Union at East Vancouver Costco for the fourth annual Heroes Night from 5 to 8 p.m.— with a car show starting at 4 p.m.—on Saturday, June 24. Celebrate and honor the heroes in our community: police, fire fighters, EMTs, doctors and nurses, as well as active and retired military. This will be the first year Heroes Night will honor not only specific military veterans, but also those who serve our community on the “front lines,” delivering the safety and security that helps to make Southwest Washington such a great place to live. The Bill Morehouse Community Service Award, in memory of our beloved Buffalo Soldiers, will honor others who have gone above and beyond in their selfless contributions to the nearly half million citizens of this region.

Costco will be open to the public that evening—no Costco membership needed!—and will have lots of great door prizes, a scavenger hunt, and activities for kids, super-sized food samples and one-night-only discounts. Participants will have the opportunity to meet local heroes from veteran and active military organizations, plus firefighters, EMTs, members of local police departments, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, as well as trained service dogs from Northwest Battle Buddies and their veteran companions. Columbia Credit Union staff will be on hand to surprise unsuspecting shoppers with “Making Life Better” moments throughout the evening. A car show featuring Mustangs, Corvettes, vintage military vehicles, and more. If you get hungry, visit the food tent featuring cuisine from Goldie’s BBQ and FireHouse Subs.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness and collect donations for the Community Military Appreciation Committee, which will be dispersed among organizations that care for military personnel and their families.  The East Vancouver Costco is located at 19610 S.E. 1st Street in Camas. Proceeds from this event, if any, will benefit local heroes. For more information, call Costco at 360-258-6239.

See Beauty and the Beast for $1 at the Liberty

The beautifully restored (and air conditioned!) Liberty Theatre turned 90 on Wednesday, June 14! To show its gratitude to the community, the theater is hosting Customer Appreciation Day. Audiences are invited to a special screening of Disney’s recently released live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson (of Harry Potter fame) and Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame), as well as marvelous performances by Kevin Kline, Luke Evans, Sir Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha Raw, and Audra McDonald.

The film will be shown at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 24, and—are you ready for this?—all tickets are just $1. Popcorn, ice cream, candy, craft beer, fine wine, and other goodies are available in the lobby to enjoy while you watch the movie (and sing along, if you’re so moved).

To learn more about the Liberty’s history, including the fact that it was originally called The Granada, click here: http://www.historylink.org/File/5125. For a list of 15 interesting facts you might not know about The Princess Bride, click here: http://mentalfloss.com/article/62073/15-things-you-might-not-know-about-princess-bride. To find out more about upcoming films, showtimes, and ticket prices at the Liberty Theatre, visit www.camasliberty.com.

Strawberry Shortcake Day at Cedar Creek Grist Mill

Crumbly shortcake, huge dollops of fluffy whipped cream, and heaps of sweet, summer strawberries…it’s a dessert that’s practically irresistible, especially in June, when local strawberries are at their peak of flavor. It’s so delicious, in fact, that the Cedar Creek Grist Mill is dedicating one whole day to this divine dessert. Strawberry Shortcake Day is happening from about 1 p.m. until about 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 24.

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is a working museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only a few remaining 1800’s-era grist mills in the world. Bring the whole family any time during those hours to learn how the grist mill works and to eat shortcake made from whole wheat flour ground on-site using state-of-the-art 1876 technology. Guests are invited to take home free samples of flour (although donations are appreciated, as the mill is a non-profit operation) as well as Cedar Creek Grist Mill recipes so you can recreate Strawberry Shortcake Day at home.

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is located deep in the woods east of Woodland, at 43907 N.E. Grist Mill Road. (Visit the Grist Mill’s website at www.cedarcreekgristmill.org for directions.) The mill is open on weekends from 1 to 4 p.m., showing guests the inner workings of an old-time grist mill with huge pulleys and spinning belts turning the heavy grindstones, all powered by the mill wheel. No gas or electricity are used—just the water in swift-running Cedar Creek. The mill produces flour, corn meal, and even apple cider. The mill hosts family-friendly events all year long, like Bread and Butter Day, Cornbread Day, Blueberry Pancake Day, and the incredibly popular Cider Press in October. To learn more, visit www.cedarcreekgristmill.org.

Learn Outdoor Survival Skills at Fort Vancouver

Survive and Thrive: Lifeways of the Fur Trade, a new free summer program at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, will combine hands-on history lessons with outdoor skill-building to immerse visitors in the 1840s experience from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 24. The program will be led by two National Park Service rangers with extensive knowledge of current military survival skills as well as the skills common to the 19th century fur trade, where mastering outdoor survival skills were literally a matter of life and death. These skills are useful for anybody who spends time outdoors in hiking, camping, hunting, or fishing.

Lifeways of the Fur Trade combines historical lessons with skill-building, practical learning sessions to immerse visitors in historical fur trade ways of life. The program begins with historical lessons, including guided tours of the site and its archaeological collections. Visitors also participate in practical learning sessions such as tool identification and usage, fur identification, ecological effects of the fur trade, outdoor shelters, and food preparation in the field. Lunch and dinner is provided to participants. Meals are prepared using historical techniques from the fur trade.

This program is free of charge. The majority of the program curriculum is taught outdoors. This program is intended for participants ages 16 and older, and participants should be dressed for the weather, be in good enough physical condition to be on their feet most of the day, and be able to walk over uneven terrain. The program size is limited to 20 participants. Advance registration is required. Register to participate in this program by calling 360-816-6244.

Above image: No, he’s not smoking that (although it’s now legal in many states). He’s using it to start a fire.

Chkalov Day at Fort Vancouver

Join the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver, representatives from the Russian Consulate in Seattle, and our partners at Pearson Air Museum at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 24, for a free program celebrating the 80th anniversary of Valery Chkalov’s landmark transpolar flight from Moscow, Russia, to Pearson Field, and its significance to our community. Chkalov, along with co-pilot Georgi Baidukov and navigator Alexander Belyakov, landed at Pearson Field on the morning of June 20, 1937. Their flight from Moscow and over the North Pole, the first of its kind, had lasted 63 hours and 16 minutes.

The program will include music provided by the Vancouver Community Concert Band, brief remarks, a wreath laying ceremony at the memorial to the flight located adjacent to the air museum, and a reception with complimentary refreshments. Visitors are also invited to tour “A Red Bolt from the Blue,” a recently-opened exhibit that highlights the history of the transpolar flight.

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the flight, a selection of paintings featuring Chkalovsk, Russia—birthplace and namesake of Valery Chkalov—will be featured in the Friends of Fort Vancouver Bookstore at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. The paintings are the work of Russian artists who live in the Chkalovsk region. Chkalovsk lies on the Volga River in the Nizhni Novgorod province. Founded in 1200 AD as Vasilova Sloboda, the community was renamed for its local hero after the 1937 flight. An artist colony evolved there after World War II and beginning in 1992, some of their paintings have been released to private collectors. The exhibit is free, and will be on display through early July. The Bookstore will also feature for sale books about the flight, aviation pins, and hand-painted jewelry, toys, and “Matryoshka” nesting dolls from Russia.

How Did I Goat Here?

There are still a few days left to drop by Angst Gallery in downtown Vancouver and see the compellingly tongue-in-cheek exhibit, “How Did I Goat Here?” featuring paintings by Cynthia Heise. The exhibit will remain open through this Saturday, June 24.

Minnesota-born Heise came to Washington by way of Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Missouri. She likes to create images with a dash of humor. In this exhibit, she dives into the shallow end of her gene pool with family portraits and speculations on how she arrived at this point in reality. Her art is polychromatic, erratic, and not to be taken at face value. She welcomes you to adopt her ancestors and make them your own. When asked why her great-grandfather was painted with a goat’s head, she replied, “Just kidding.” (Get it?)

Angst Gallery is located at 1015 Main St., just north of the historic Kiggins Theatre and adjacent to Niche Wine Bar. For more information about the show, visit angstgallery.com or contact Leah Jackson at leah.angstgallery@gmail.com.

Above image: detail from original painting—the aforementioned “portrait” of her great-grandfather—by Cynthia Heise

Summer Reading

The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District just launched its summer reading program, “Build a Better World.” Children, teens, and adults can have fun and earn rewards while keeping their reading skills sharp. Registration is available at all Fort Vancouver libraries; sign up at your local library or bookmobile from now until Tuesday, Aug. 15. You can also register online at www.fvrl.org using your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Summer reading at FVRL is open to everyone, in four categories:

  • Young kids, birth through five years
  • Older kids, six to 11 years
  • Teens, 12-18 years
  • Adults 19 years and older

Rather than logging time reading, as in previous years, this year’s program encourages participants to make reading a habit by doing it every day. Readers of all ages log each day that they read or attend a library program and earn a prize for 15, 30, and 45 days logged. Entries may be made either in branches or online.

For finishing each level, youth participants can choose from several prizes, including books, water pouches, coloring journals, balls, four-color pens, and more. Each level completed also earns a participant’s an entry in the district-wide grand prize drawing in each of the three youth age categories. Grand prize winners among the youth will receive a $200 Amazon gift card. Adults earn entries into weekly branch prize drawings for $25 Barnes & Noble gift cards, with a grand prize drawing of a two-night stay at Skamania Lodge. More information about the program, including rules and prizes, can be found at www.fvrl.org/summer-reading.

La Center Summer Concert Series

La Center hosts a free summer concert series, “Saturdays in the Park,” in the beautiful outdoor amphitheater in Sternwheeler Park. This is the series’ fourth season, featuring five free concerts from 6 until 8 p.m. on the following summer Saturday nights: June 24, July 1, July 8, July 15, and July 29. The tribute bands that will be performing are Harvest Gold (Neil Young), Calico the Band (Americana/California Country), Texas Tribute (ZZ Top), Get Rhythm (Johnny Cash), and the final concert is Abbey Roadster (tribute to The Beatles).

The concerts are completely free and all ages are welcome. Seating is outdoor on the wide, grassy amphitheater ledges; bring blankets, lawn chairs, a picnic dinner, and dress for the warm summer weather. (Well, we HOPE it will be warm. It’s about time, right?) Sternwheeler Park is located at 100 E. 4th St. in La Center. Come early and enjoy a hike through the wetlands and along the marshy riverbottom, which is rich with native plants, flowers, and wildlife.

BookFest ’17 Giant Used Book Sale

BookFest ’17 is bigger, better, and more exciting than just any old used book sale: it’s a chance to stock up on reading material for those long, lazy days ahead for just pennies on the dollar. Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation is hosting a giant three-day used book sale with over 20,000 books on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, June 22-24. BookFest ’17 will be held in Library Hall, downstairs at the FVRL District Headquarters at 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver. Hours will be from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. all three days. There will be plenty of free parking available onsite.

BookFest ’17 will feature surplus library books in every imaginable subject: cookbooks, mysteries, art, biographies, children’s picture books, classics, educational materials, encyclopedias, foreign language, gardening, graphic novels, health, history, hobbies and crafts, humor, infant board books, large print, music, poetry, reference, romance novels, science and technology, science fiction, sports, travel guides, westerns, young adult, and more. Books will be bargain priced at $1 for trade paperbacks and hardcover or $.50 for mass-market fiction paperbacks. There will also be CDs and DVDs for $1 per disc. Books will be added continually throughout the sale, so there will always be something new to find.

Proceeds from this book sale will be used to support Fort Vancouver Regional Library District’s Summer Reading Programs for kids, teens, and adults. Helpful hint: bring your own boxes and bags to cut down on waste. For more information, visit www.fvrlf.org or contact the FVRL Foundation office at 360-906-4700 or  foundation@fvrl.org.

Recycled Arts Festival

The twelfth annual Recycled Arts Festival will reveal trash-turned-treasure, metal masterpieces, and other amazingly upcycled works of wonder from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. This is one of the most popular and well-attended community events on the whole North Bank—perhaps because almost everything you’ll see is one-of-a-kind and often astonishingly beautiful. The festival will take place rain or shine in downtown Vancouver’s Esther Short Park. There’s no admission charge, although you might want to bring some reusable shopping bags to carry home your fabulous finds!

This is a family-friendly festival with live music, delicious food, and activities for kids and adults. Learn how to reduce waste, see the unique ways to recycle and reuse everyday items that would otherwise clog landfills, browse the works of local artists and vendors, listen to music, be entertained by stilt-walkers and jugglers, and help your kids make something of their own to take home. Plus, see the charming Tin Man (recycled, of course), Eartha the Ecological Clown, a stiltwalker, and lots of juggling from Jugglemania. New this year is the Procession of the Species, a parade that celebrates the natural world through art. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with registration at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall. Participants are encouraged to wear masks and costumes that represent animal species or elements such as fire, earth, or water. On Saturday, the children’s art booth will have opportunities to make masks. Here are some additional festival highlights!

  • Music on the stage, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and at 10 a.m. Sunday
  • Art ala Carte will have recycled materials children can use to create art
  • Sculpture garden displaying large pieces of recycled art
  • Free tours of downtown on the CouveCycle—a multi-passenger, pedal powered party cycle—until 1 p.m. each day
  • Robot demonstrations by high school robotics teams
  • Food carts

Also new this year is free parking in the garage at 14th and Franklin Streets, about a ten minute walk from the festival. A shuttle bus will run regularly between the gazebo in the plaza at 13th and Franklin Streets and the north side of Esther Short Park, providing a good option for people carrying purchases. Heavier items can be left at a secure loading area at the northeast corner of the park and picked up later.

Lastly, the Recycled Arts Festival welcomes the Green Living Showcase featuring local eco-conscious companies and organizations that pride themselves on environmentally sound, sustainable, and high-performing products and services. The festival is a partnership between Clark County Environmental Services, Waste Connections, and Clark County Green Neighbors. For more details, visit www.recycledartsfestival.com.

Above image: Zewei O’Connor’s Dreamscape Studio hand-folds jewelry from upcycled maps, music sheets and magazines!

Furry Friends “Recycled” Kitties & Microchipping

There’s something special of the furry, purr-y variety happening this year at the Recycled Arts Festival in Esther Short Park, June 24-25: Furry Friends will be on site both days offering their “recycled” cats and kittens for adoption. Each adorable feline friend has been surrendered to the shelter by someone unable to care for it, has been rescued by Furry Friends volunteers, or has been born into foster care. But now the kitties are ready to be “re-purr-posed” and find new, loving, permanent homes. Furry Friends volunteers will be on site with cute kitties from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Furry Friends helpers will be on hand to answer questions about each cat’s history and purr-sonality. “Purruse” the adoptable cats and chat with Furry Friends volunteers. Discounted Avid FriendChip ID microchipping will also be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days—for dogs AND cats! You can bring your pet to the Furry Friends booth and a licensed vet tech will implant the chip (a $50 value) for only $20. (Microchipping is quick and easy, and it greatly increases the chance that your pet, if lost, will return home safe; a recent study found that only 2% of unchipped cats are returned home.) In addition, there will also be cat-themed merchandise available to purchase, just for fun or to take home with your new cat companion.

Furry Friends is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that has been serving Clark County since 1999. This no-kill organization is operated and run completely by volunteers and dedicated to providing rescue, necessary medical, and spay/neuter for neglected and homeless cats while finding them forever homes. For more information, visit www.furryfriendswa.org, email information@furryfriendswa.org, or call 360-993-1097.

Main image: Kahlulu, a Furry Friends adoptable cat (SO CUTE, am I right?); photo by Diane Stevens. Smaller image, inset: Sandy Bush and Tess Ewart get ready to microchip a dog.

Call for Artists: Cars, Cars, Cars!

Boomerang is hosting a revved-up art show in July that’s all about “Cars, Cars, Cars,” in honor of the annual Cruisin’ the Gut car show and vintage care festival in downtown Vancouver. It’s possible that this popular show drawing an estimated 20,000 visitors won’t be happening this summer (read this article in The Columbian), but Boomerang is determined to celebrate American’s favorite four-wheeled friend, no matter what.

The pop-up exhibit will take place during the month of July, with an opening First Friday reception on Friday, July 7, from 5 to 9 p.m. featuring light refreshments and live music. Boomerang is now accepting submissions of car-themed art from local artists who would like to participate—works by both professional artists and artists who’ve never shown a piece of art in a gallery before. Original art in all 2D mediums is welcome—paintings, digital art, photography, collage, and more. The show will be juried on merit and craftsmanship. Here are other relevant details:
  • Email submission forms and photos before midnight on Saturday, June 24.
  • Art drop-off: 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 1, at Boomerang, 808 Main St. in downtown Vancouver; art pick-up: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 29.
  • Show dates: July 5-July 28.
  • No application fee to submit up to five entries.
  • All art sales will be split with 70% going to the artist and 30% to Boomerang. Art can also be donated, or listed Not For Sale.
  • Art can be up to 80 inches long on one side, but large-format works should be light enough to be handled by one person.
  • Artists should be available during the First Friday reception on July 7.
  • Initial submission should be e-mailed as .jpg images in a specific format with an artist’s contact information, biographical information, and artist’s statement; click here for complete details

Steigerwald Eco-Blitz!

Get your hands dirty at Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge for this natural area’s first-ever Eco-Blitz from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 17. What’s an Eco-Blitz, you ask? It’s one-day event to document as many species as possible with the help of experts in different fields…and you! The event is free and open to all ages, and no experience is necessary, just a natural curiosity and a desire to help. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

The information collected from this event will be used as a baseline for what species currently live in Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, important knowledge to have before beginning the refuge’s large restoration project scheduled to take place in 2019. It’s a “citizen scientist”-led treasure hunt to discover living organisms! Teams of volunteers will develop a “snapshot” of biological information in the refuge by counting and identifying plant and animal species using the iNaturalist app, cameras, and field guides. Brief training in species recognition will be provided, as will basic training on the iNaturalist app. Groups will be accompanied by scientists from many regional research and conservation organizations.

Even though it’s free, registration is required at Eventbrite or by clicking here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/steigerwald-lake-nwr-eco-blitz-tickets-33912550351?aff=eac2. Volunteers dress for the weather and bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, hats, good walking shoes, and a smart phone or a camera. You definitely don’t need to stay for the whole day; you can sign up for one or more shifts/walks to search for specific kinds of plants, animals, and insects. Here’s the schedule:

  • 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.: birds
  • 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.: mammals
  • 10 a.m. to noon: insects
  • noon to 2 p.m.: reptiles and amphibians
  • noon to 2 p.m.: plants
  • 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.: bats and moths

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located within the Columbia Gorge National Scenic area on the east end of Washougal at 35001 Lewis and Clark Hwy. (that’s Hwy. 14 to the locals). The event is hosted by Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards and the US Fish and Wildlife Service with support from other local agencies and nonprofits. For more information about bio-blitzes, check out this link http://nationalgeographic.org/projects/bioblitz/ and this great video of the Forest Park bio-blitz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hV_tvnbWJ8.

Brothers Cascadia Grand Opening & Father’s Day Fun

What goes together better than Father’s Day and beer? How about father’s day, handcrafted pizza, a whole roasted pig, live music, and the grand opening of the Couve’s newest brewpub, Brothers Cascadia Brewing, at 9811 N.E. 15th Ave. in the Hazel Dell area of Vancouver.

It’s a two-day party, from 3 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, and Sunday, June 18 (Father’s Day). Pizzeria La Sorrentina will be on-site with its food truck, serving up artisan pizza (the best in Washington State, according to Yelp reviews and this Buzzfeed article). Brothers Cascadia will be releasing new craft brews for you to try, and there will be live music on Saturday with DJ Nose Bone, Diamond Jim and the Bay Area Band, and Josiah Wynn. On Sunday, you’ll hear from DJ Delvis and Brady Goss. And here’s a major Father’s Day highlight: Herb N’ Roots Company will be roasting a whole pig for your dining pleasure.

This is a family-friendly event and everyone is welcome. There will be grand opening gifts for guests and lots to keep you occupied, satisfy your hunger, and quench your thirst. To learn more about Brothers Cascadia—which has actually been brewing stellar local beers for quite a while—visit www.brotherscascadiabrewing.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrothersCascadiaBrewing/.

Book Swap at the Camas Library

Stock up on books for summer reading at the Camas Public Library—for free! The Camas Library is hosting a Book Swap where you can trade your used books, CDs and movies for other, new-t0-you books, CDs, and movies. No kids’ books or picture books, please—this is strictly for grown-ups! The Book Swap will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, at the Camas Public Library.

Drop in at any time and bring your book bag, because everything at this book swap is free! All you have to do is contribute a few items of your own, and you’ll walk away with a heap of reading, listening, and viewing. You can also bring items just to donate. For more information, call 360-834-4692 or visit http://www.cityofcamas.us/camaspubliclibrary. You can also keep up-to-date on Camas Library happenings by following the library on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CamasPublicLibrary/.

The Camas library is located at 625 N.E. 4th Ave. in downtown Camas, and boasts a delightful reading room with huge, floor-to-ceiling windows and loads of comfy chairs—or snag one of the choice spots next to the custom tile fireplace. After you’re done swapping and browsing, downtown Camas is just a short walk down the street, with boutique stores, art galleries, restaurants, coffeeshops, brewpubs, cocktail lounges—perfect spots to grab a bite or a drink and spend some time with your new books!

 

Veggie Gardens for Small Spaces

WSU Extension Clark County Master Gardeners and Clark County Public Health present a free workshop that will help you grow vegetables—even if you don’t have room for a traditional garden. Even the space on a patio or balcony can be put to good use, becoming a productive vegetable garden that not only looks attractive, but also gives your family fresh, nutritious, super-local and 100% organic food.

This hands-on workshop will cover how to select your site, how to choose easy-to-grow vegetables, and will include tips on maintaining a new garden—all with limited yard or patio space. This workshop is perfect for those who thought they lacked room to grow veggies, or those just getting started gardening. After the presentation, participants will help install a raised bed garden at the new home of a Habitat for Humanity family!

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 17, led by certified Clark County Master Gardeners. The class is limited to 20 participants, and children are welcome to come along with their parents!

The location—at a residential home in downtown Vancouver—will be provided upon registration, with a confirmation email sent to your inbox. You can sign up online at Brown Paper Tickets by clicking here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2949136. For more information, contact Erika Johnson at 360-397-6060, ext. 5738, or Erika.d.johnson@wsu.edu.

Father’s Day Steam Train & Wine Run

The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad will be bringing out the steam engine this Father’s Day Weekend, June 17 and 18. The train, pulled by a 1929 steam locomotive, runs south about seven miles to the Heisson area, through a 330-foot tunnel through solid rock, with a stop at Moulton Station to visit Yacolt Falls. Excursions depart at noon and 2:30 p.m. from the station in Yacolt, located at 207 N. Railroad Ave. Passengers should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. Reservations are recommended as space is limited, especially on Father’s Day. (…because seriously, who doesn’t love a train ride?)

Tickets are $20 per person, $19 for seniors, $15 for children five to 12, and $13 for little ones two to four. Babies up to age two are free! To buy your tickets and reserve your spot on this popular and scenic train ride, visit www.bycx.com or call 360-686-3559.

The railroad is offering another “steamy” option from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, in conjunction with Moulton Falls Winery, 30901 N.E. Railroad Ave. in Yacolt. After some yummy appetizers served at the winery at 4 p.m., the steam locomotive will pick up passengers at 5 p.m., then continue on its scenic route through Heisson and on to a bridge across the East Fork of the Lewis River. On the return trip, the train will drop passengers back at the winery for dinner and festivities.

Tickets for the Wine Train package are available at Moulton Falls Winery during business hours or online at www.tickettomato.com. The price per person is $45, and includes appetizers, wine tasting, the train ride, a BBQ dinner, and live music from Full Circle until 9 p.m. This is another super-popular event, so purchasing tickets in advance of the day, while not required, is enthusiastically recommended.