Columbia Springs

Family Nature Fest at Columbia Springs

Choose your own nature adventure at the Family Nature Fest, a “hands-on, minds-on” festival happening at Columbia Springs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. At Family Nature Fest, you can compete in slug racing, find a pumpkin in the forest, meet reptiles and amphibians, make an exploding volcano, forage for fungi on a guided hike, and more.

Lots of local organizations—including Columbia Springs—are getting together to host activities like crafts, games, and science experiments. There will be activities by Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards, Master Composter/Recyclers, the Mount St. Helens Institute, the Oregon Zoo, Stream Team, Waste Connections, and others. Plus, the Franz “Grilled Cheese Machine” will be handing out samples of organic sandwiches! YUM! The event is sponsored by iQ Credit Union and The Vancouver Clinic.

No registration is required for the Family Nature Fest! There’s a suggested donation of $5 per child to help support all the amazing community programs at Columbia Springs—but everyone is welcome, $5 or not. To view a complete schedule of the day’s activities, click here.

Columbia Springs is a nonprofit whose mission is to offer a unique setting where educational experiences foster greater awareness of the natural world, inspiring stewardship. It’s also a park within the city limits of Vancouver and is open to the public for free daily, from dawn to dusk. Columbia Springs maintains a protected natural area which contributes to the city’s total tree canopy cover, filters stormwater before it reaches the Columbia River, and provides habitat for resident and migratory wildlife. Last but not least, it’s an education center which offers events, programs, and workshops to teach people of all ages surprising, amazing things about nature.

Family Nature Fest at Columbia Springs

Choose your own nature adventure at the Family Nature Fest, a “hands-on, minds-on” festival happening at Columbia Springs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. At Family Nature Fest, you can compete in slug racing, find a pumpkin in the forest, meet reptiles and amphibians, make an exploding volcano, forage for fungi on a guided hike, and more.

Lots of local organizations—including Columbia Springs—are getting together to host activities like crafts, games, and science experiments. There will be activities by Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards, Master Composter/Recyclers, the Mount St. Helens Institute, the Oregon Zoo, Stream Team, Waste Connections, and others. Plus, the Franz “Grilled Cheese Machine” will be handing out samples of organic sandwiches! YUM! The event is sponsored by iQ Credit Union and The Vancouver Clinic.

No registration is required for the Family Nature Fest! There’s a suggested donation of $5 per child to help support all the amazing community programs at Columbia Springs—but everyone is welcome, $5 or not. To view a complete schedule of the day’s activities, click here.

Columbia Springs is a nonprofit whose mission is to offer a unique setting where educational experiences foster greater awareness of the natural world, inspiring stewardship. It’s also a park within the city limits of Vancouver and is open to the public for free daily, from dawn to dusk. Columbia Springs maintains a protected natural area which contributes to the city’s total tree canopy cover, filters stormwater before it reaches the Columbia River, and provides habitat for resident and migratory wildlife. Last but not least, it’s an education center which offers events, programs, and workshops to teach people of all ages surprising, amazing things about nature.

Backyard Birding Workshop

Come learn more about your backyard friends—the feathered kind, that is—during the Backyard Birding workshop at Columbia Springs on Sunday, Sept. 24. This family-friendly event includes a guided bird walk around the Columbia Springs natural area, a short video about the local bird species that you might see in your yard, and a question-and-answer session and free advice about how to get started with backyard birdwatching. Find out which spots are the best for birdwatching and how to attract them to your back yard. Best of all, everyone who attends will get a free chickadee birdhouse kit to assemble and take home (or take home and assemble), so that you can start attracting your own flying visitors.

Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. The workshop will be held from noon to 2 p.m. in the Swift Room. To register, e-mail workshops@columbiasprings.org or call 360-882-0936, ext. 224. You can also get more information and register online by clicking here. There’s a fee of $10 per person (although scholarships are available). Free parking is available in the main lot. For more information about events, activities, summer camps, workshops, guided nature hikes, and volunteer opportunities at Columbia Springs, visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Backyard Birding Workshop

Come learn more about your backyard friends—the feathered kind, that is—during the Backyard Birding workshop at Columbia Springs on Sunday, Sept. 24. This family-friendly event includes a guided bird walk around the Columbia Springs natural area, a short video about the local bird species that you might see in your yard, and a question-and-answer session and free advice about how to get started with backyard birdwatching. Find out which spots are the best for birdwatching and how to attract them to your back yard. Best of all, everyone who attends will get a free chickadee birdhouse kit to assemble and take home (or take home and assemble), so that you can start attracting your own flying visitors.

Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. The workshop will be held from noon to 2 p.m. in the Swift Room. To register, e-mail workshops@columbiasprings.org or call 360-882-0936, ext. 224. You can also get more information and register online by clicking here. There’s a fee of $10 per person (although scholarships are available). Free parking is available in the main lot. For more information about events, activities, summer camps, workshops, guided nature hikes, and volunteer opportunities at Columbia Springs, visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Above image: a bullfinch stops by to say hello

CCHM First Thursday After Hours: Field Trip to Columbia Springs

Join guides from the Clark County Historical Museum at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, for a special First Thursday Museum After Hours event: a field trip to Columbia Springs, the historic fish hatchery and environmental education center located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. in Vancouver. Guests will learn about this great local organization and tour its beautiful grounds.

Columbia Springs is a nonprofit whose mission is to offer a unique setting where educational experiences foster greater awareness of the natural world, inspiring stewardship. They envision a community which values the environment and does what it can to protect it for future generations. With over 100 acres of natural parkland, it’s open to the public for free, every day from dawn to dusk.

The historic site is the current home of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery, which was built in 1938 as part of the Works Progress Administration during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. It’s a protected natural area which contributes to the city’s total tree canopy cover, filters stormwater before it reaches the Columbia River, and provides habitat for resident and migratory wildlife.

This event is free! For more event information and questions, contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or by phone at 360-993-5679.

Museum Field Trip: Columbia Springs

Join guides from the Clark County Historical Museum at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, for a special First Thursday Museum After Hours event: a field trip to Columbia Springs, the historic fish hatchery and environmental education center located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. in Vancouver. Guests will learn about this great local organization and tour its beautiful grounds.

Columbia Springs is a nonprofit whose mission is to offer a unique setting where educational experiences foster greater awareness of the natural world, inspiring stewardship. They envision a community which values the environment and does what it can to protect it for future generations. With over 100 acres of natural parkland, it’s open to the public for free, every day from dawn to dusk.

The historic site is the current home of the Vancouver Trout Hatchery, which was built in 1938 as part of the Works Progress Administration during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. It’s a protected natural area which contributes to the city’s total tree canopy cover, filters stormwater before it reaches the Columbia River, and provides habitat for resident and migratory wildlife.

This event is free! For more event information and questions, contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or by phone at 360-993-5679.

Above image: historic buildings at Columbia Springs and part of the trout hatchery.

Family-Friendly Guided Nature Walks at Columbia Springs

Columbia Springs offers Guided Nature Hikes on the first and third Wednesdays of every month, spring through October. The hikes are held in the early evening, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., so working parents with kids can join the hike and get a little nature in their day. Every month there’s a different topic to explore or different destination on Columbia Spring’s 100-acre nature preserve. Themes may include the fish hatchery, fungi, birds, forest edibles, and more.

All the nature hikes are really easy walks, and appropriate for all ages, even little ones. They are free, although there’s a suggested donation of $5, which will go to support Columbia Springs’ activities and programs. Participants should dressed for the weather and bring water if needed. Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. and parking is available on site. Groups meet at the SWIFT Classroom and take place rain or shine. Register by sending an email to volunteering@columbiasprings.org indicating your interest in attending. You can also all 360-882-0936, ext. 224.

Guided Walks at Columbia Springs: Tour the Fish Hatchery!

Columbia Springs offers Guided Nature Hikes on the first and third Wednesdays of every month through October. The hikes are held in the early evening, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., so working parents with kids can join the hike and get a little nature in their day. Every month there’s a different topic to explore or different destination on Columbia Spring’s 100-acre nature preserve. Themes may include the fish hatchery, fungi, birds, forest edibles, and more.

The next Guided Nature Hike is on Wednesday, July 19, and features a tour of the fish hatchery. Learn about the water, the fish and their rearing process, and the rich history surrounding this operation, which has been continuously raising fish since 1938.

All the nature hikes are really easy walks, and appropriate for all ages, even little ones. They are free, although there’s a suggested donation of $5, which will go to support Columbia Springs’ activities and programs. Participants should dressed for the weather and bring water if needed. Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. and parking is available on site. Groups meet at the SWIFT Classroom and take place rain or shine. Register by sending an email to volunteering@columbiasprings.org indicating your interest in attending. You can also all 360-882-0936, ext. 224.

Kids’ Fishing Festival at Columbia Springs

Let’s go fishing…at the Columbia Springs Kids’ Fishing Festival on Saturday, May 6. It’s a whole day of family fun with kids’ activities, a barbecue lunch, and fishing for kids ages five to 14. Participants are given a free fishing pole with tackle and are guaranteed to catch a trout to take home. Other activities include crafts, games, catching water-bugs, and a scavenger hunt.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and finishes at 2 p.m., and participants need to sign up for a specific hour to fish. The 9 to 10 a.m. hour is reserved for children with special needs. The remaining hours are 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to noon, noon to 1 p.m., and 1 to 2 p.m. Lunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there are activities for your family to enjoy anytime during the day.

Registration is required for participation; registration closes on Wednesday, May 3. Tickets are $7 per person when you purchase your tickets online before the event or $9 cash or check at the door. Scholarships may be available for families of children who receive free or reduced lunches at school. Tickets include a BBQ lunch with hamburgers and hot dogs!

Columbia Springs is located at 12208 SE Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. For more information or to register, call 360-882-0926, email  events@columbiasprings.org, or visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Backyard Birding Workshop at Columbia Springs

Come learn more about your backyard friends—the feathered kind, that is—during the Backyard Birding workshop at Columbia Springs on Sunday, April 30. This family-friendly event includes a guided bird walk around the Columbia Springs natural area, a short video about the local bird species that you might see in your yard, and a question-and-answer session and free advice about how to get started with backyard birdwatching. Find out which spots are the best for birdwatching and how to attract them to your back yard. Best of all, everyone who attends will get a free chickadee birdhouse kit to assemble and take home (or take home and assemble), so that you can start attracting your own flying visitors.

Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. The workshop will be held from noon to 2 p.m. in the Swift Room. To register, e-mail workshops@columbiasprings.org or call 360-882-0936, ext. 224. You can also get more information and register online by clicking here. There’s a fee of $10 per person (although scholarships are available). Free parking is available in the main lot. For more information about events, activities, summer camps, workshops, guided nature hikes, and volunteer opportunities at Columbia Springs, visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Backyard Birding at Columbia Springs

Come learn more about your backyard friends—the feathered kind, that is—during the Backyard Birding workshop at Columbia Springs on Sunday, April 30. This family-friendly event includes a guided bird walk around the Columbia Springs natural area, a short video about the local bird species that you might see in your yard, and a question-and-answer session and free advice about how to get started with backyard birdwatching. Find out which spots are the best for birdwatching and how to attract them to your back yard. Best of all, everyone who attends will get a free chickadee birdhouse kit to assemble and take home (or take home and assemble), so that you can start attracting your own flying visitors.

Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. The workshop will be held from noon to 2 p.m. in the Swift Room. To register, e-mail workshops@columbiasprings.org or call 360-882-0936, ext. 224. You can also get more information and register online by clicking here. There’s a fee of $10 per person (although scholarships are available). Free parking is available in the main lot. For more information about events, activities, summer camps, workshops, guided nature hikes, and volunteer opportunities at Columbia Springs, visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Sign-Ups Open for Kids Fishing Festival

Let’s go fishing…at the Columbia Springs Kids’ Fishing Festival on Saturday, May 6. It’s a whole day of family fun with kids’ activities, a barbecue lunch, and fishing for kids ages five to 14. Participants are given a free fishing pole with tackle and are guaranteed to catch a trout to take home. Other activities include crafts, games, catching water-bugs, and a scavenger hunt.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and finishes at 2 p.m., and participants need to sign up for a specific hour to fish. The 9 to 10 a.m. hour is reserved for children with special needs. The remaining hours are 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to noon, noon to 1 p.m., and 1 to 2 p.m. Lunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there are activities for your family to enjoy anytime during the day.

Registration is required for participation; registration closes on Wednesday, May 3. Tickets are $7 per person when you purchase your tickets online before the event or $9 cash or check at the door. Scholarships may be available for families of children who receive free or reduced lunches at school. Tickets include a BBQ lunch with hamburgers and hot dogs!

Columbia Springs is located at 12208 SE Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. For more information or to register, call 360-882-0926, email  events@columbiasprings.org, or visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Above image: a young lady closely examines her slippery catch during the 2016 Kids’ Fishing Festival

Annual Invasive Species Survey at Columbia Springs

Become a scientist for the day at Columbia Springs during the Invasive Species Survey. Go off-trail in Columbia Springs’ 100-acre natural area while learning about invasive species and scientific survey techniques. Groups of volunteers will search the landscape for three different invasive plant species while collecting important data. No experience is necessary! You’ll help Columbia Springs staff measure the abundance of species like English ivy and your contribution will support the maintenance and management of this popular wildlife and recreation site. Training in basic survey and sampling techniques will be provided, and here’s the important thing: free snacks are provided, too!

The Invasive Plant Species Survey will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Columbia Springs, 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. in Vancouver. There’s no charge to participate. Dress for the weather; gloves and boots are good. Teens are welcome. For more information, call Erik Horngren at 360-882-0936, send an email to volunteer@columbiasprings.org, or see the Stewardship Saturdays page on Columbia Springs’ website at www.columbiasprings.org.

Annual Invasive Species Survey

Become a scientist for the day at Columbia Springs during the Invasive Species Survey. Go off-trail in Columbia Springs’ 100-acre natural area while learning about invasive species and scientific survey techniques. Groups of volunteers will search the landscape for three different invasive plant species while collecting important data. No experience is necessary! You’ll help Columbia Springs staff measure the abundance of species like English ivy and your contribution will support the maintenance and management of this popular wildlife and recreation site. Training in basic survey and sampling techniques will be provided, and here’s the important thing: free snacks are provided, too!

The Invasive Plant Species Survey will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Columbia Springs, 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. in Vancouver. There’s no charge to participate. Dress for the weather; gloves and boots are good. Teens are welcome. For more information, call Erik Horngren at 360-882-0936, send an email to volunteer@columbiasprings.org, or see the Stewardship Saturdays page on Columbia Springs’ website at www.columbiasprings.org.

Volunteer Lead Training at Columbia Springs

Here’s a volunteer gig that’s just about as green as you can get: become a Volunteer Lead at Columbia Springs and you’ll get outside, learn about the environment, encourage stewardship, and meet other people who love the North Bank’s natural habitat as much as you do. As if that weren’t incentive enough, you’ll also earn rewards as you log your volunteer hours throughout the year.

Volunteer Leads are ambassadors for Columbia Springs at community events, giving their assistance for outreach activities, Stewardship Saturdays, administrative tasks, and more. If they wish, Volunteer Leads can take additional training to become Education Certified (helping with field trips and educational programs); Restoration and Site Management Certified (helping primarily with Stewardship Saturdays and group service events); or Hatchery Certified (helping with volunteer duties in the fish hatchery). The next Volunteer Lead training will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 1 and 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Prospective volunteers are required to attend both nights of training.

For full program descriptions and applications, go to columbiasprings.org/volunteer. You can also get more information by calling 360-882-0936, ext. 224, or emailing volunteering@columbiasprings.org. All training is held on the Columbia Springs campus, located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy., just south of Hwy. 14.

Volunteer at Columbia Springs

Here’s a volunteer gig that’s just about as green as you can get: become a Volunteer Lead or Docent at Columbia Springs and you’ll get outside, learn about the environment, encourage stewardship, and meet other people who love the North Bank’s natural habitat as much as you do. As if that weren’t incentive enough, you’ll also earn rewards as you log your volunteer hours throughout the year.

Docents lead guided hikes, host outdoor activities and demonstrations, and connect with thousands of visitors each year at Columbia Springs’ 100-acre urban natural area, with miles of trails leading through woods and wetlands. All Docents are provided with eight free weeks of training, covering Columbia Springs’ history, local flora and fauna, fish rearing activities, watershed health, and education and outreach techniques. Docent training sessions meet Saturdays, Jan. 28 through March 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To learn more about the program, check out the Docent Job Description and 2017 Training Schedule.

Volunteer Leads are ambassadors for Columbia Springs at community events, giving their assistance for outreach activities, Stewardship Saturdays, administrative tasks, and more. If they wish, Volunteer Leads can take additional training to become Education Certified (helping with field trips and educational programs); Restoration and Site Management Certified (helping primarily with Stewardship Saturdays and group service events); or Hatchery Certified (helping with volunteer duties in the fish hatchery). The next Volunteer Lead training will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 1 and 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Prospective volunteers are required to attend both nights of training.

For full program descriptions and applications, go to columbiasprings.org/volunteer. You can also get more information by calling 360-882-0936, ext. 224, or emailing volunteering@columbiasprings.org. All training is held on the Columbia Springs campus, located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy., just south of Hwy. 14.

Family Nature Fest at Columbia Springs

Avoid the crowds at the pumpkin patch and find your gourd in the forest at Columbia Springs. This 100-acre nature education center is teaming up with iQ Credit Union to host a Family Nature Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Spend time outside with your family, go on the lookout for wild animals and search for native insects and invertebrates. You can also go on a Pumpkin Quest: 20 pumpkins will be hidden around the grounds for you to find and take home. There will also be guided forest walks, live animal shows, fish hatchery tours, crafts, and activities from Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards, Mount St. Helens Institute.

Go to www.columbiasprings.org/events for more information. No registration is required, but there’s a $5 suggested donation per child. Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. Columbia Springs is a nonprofit organization that offers our community a unique setting where educational experiences foster greater awareness of the natural world and inspire stewardship. For more information, contact Kaley McLachlan-Burton, at 360-882-0936 ext. 230, or e-mail events@columbiasprings.org. You can also find a complete calendar of events and workshops at columbiasprings.org.

Guided Hike at Columbia Springs: Creepy-Crawlies

Columbia Springs offers Guided Nature Hikes every third Wednesday of the month from February through November. The hikes are held in the early evening, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., so working parents with kids can join the hike and get a little nature in their day. Every month there’s a different topic to explore or different destination on Columbia Spring’s 100-acre nature preserve.

This month, the theme is “Creepy Crawlies.” You may not find many ghosts or ghouls at Columbia Springs, but you will find plenty of creatures that creep and crawl through the undergrowth. These critters aren’t spooky; in fact, they’re very important to our environment. Join a Columbia Springs naturalist to dig into the dark underworld that spiders, worms, and slugs inhabit—and discover why we can’t live without these slimy, slithery, invaluable invertebrates.

The next Guided Nature Hike is on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The hikes are really easy walks, and appropriate for all ages, even little ones. They are totally free and no registration is necessary; just show up, dressed for the weather. Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. and parking is available on site. For more information, call Kaley McLachlan-Burton at 360-882-0936 or visit www.columbiasprings.org.

Find Your Pumpkin at Columbia Springs

Avoid the crowds at the pumpkin patch and find your gourd in the forest at Columbia Springs. This 100-acre nature education center is teaming up with iQ Credit Union to host a Family Nature Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Spend time outside with your family, go on the lookout for wild animals and search for native insects and invertebrates. You can also go on a Pumpkin Quest: 20 pumpkins will be hidden around the grounds for you to find and take home. There will also be guided forest walks, live animal shows, fish hatchery tours, crafts, and activities from Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards, Mount St. Helens Institute.

Go to www.columbiasprings.org/events for more information. No registration is required, but there’s a $5 suggested donation per child. Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway in Vancouver. Columbia Springs is a nonprofit organization that offers our community a unique setting where educational experiences foster greater awareness of the natural world and inspire stewardship. For more information, contact Kaley McLachlan-Burton, at 360-882-0936 ext. 230, or e-mail events@columbiasprings.org. You can also find a complete calendar of events and workshops at columbiasprings.org.

Guided Hike at Columbia Springs

Columbia Springs offers Guided Nature Hikes every third Wednesday of the month from February through November. The hikes are held in the early evening, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., so working parents with kids can join the hike and get a little nature in their day. Every month there’s a different topic to explore or different destination on Columbia Spring’s 100-acre nature preserve.

This month, the theme is “Creepy Crawlies.” You may not find many ghosts or ghouls at Columbia Springs, but you will find plenty of creatures that creep and crawl through the undergrowth. These critters aren’t spooky; in fact, they’re very important to our environment. Join a Columbia Springs naturalist to dig into the dark underworld that spiders, worms, and slugs inhabit—and discover why we can’t live without these slimy, slithery, invaluable invertebrates.

The next Guided Nature Hike is on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The hikes are really easy walks, and appropriate for all ages, even little ones. They are totally free and no registration is necessary; just show up, dressed for the weather. Columbia Springs is located at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. and parking is available on site. For more information, call Kaley McLachlan-Burton at 360-882-0936 or visit www.columbiasprings.org.