Water Resources Education Center

Water World

Saturday, March 22, is World Water Day, an annual global event established by the United Nations to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy and to help the millions of people across the planet whose daily survival is determined by access to clean, safe drinking water.

In the middle of spring's customary deluge and in a region where we have an abundance of freshwater, both to drink and as an energy source, it's easy to forget that so many others lack this basic necessity. That's why the Water Resources Education Center has organized the Walk for Water, starting at 10 a.m. at the Water Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way. Children and families are welcome to join this easy, stroller-friendly walk, which will be held rain or shine. For more details, call 360-487-7111.

World Water Day “Walk for Water”

Saturday, March 22, is World Water Day, an annual global event established by the United Nations to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy and to help the millions of people across the planet whose daily survival is determined by access to clean, safe drinking water. In a region where we have an abundance of freshwater, both to drink and as an energy source, it's easy to forget that so many others lack this basic necessity. That's why the Water Resources Education Center has organized the Walk for Water. Children and families are welcome to join this easy, stroller-friendly walk, which will be held rain or shine. For more details, call 360-487-7111.

Walk for Water

Saturday, March 22, is World Water Day, an annual global event established by the United Nations to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy and to help the millions of people across the planet whose daily survival is determined by access to clean, safe drinking water.

In the middle of spring's customary deluge and in a region where we have an abundance of freshwater, both to drink and as an energy source, it's easy to forget that so many others lack this basic necessity. That's why the Water Resources Education Center has organized the Walk for Water, starting at 10 a.m. at the Water Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way. Children and families are welcome to join this easy, stroller-friendly walk, which will be held rain or shine. For more details, call 360-487-7111.

Critter Count

Leaping lizards! It's almost time for Critter Count at the Water Resources Education Center, when you and your kids can help with amphibian and reptile field surveys. Critter Count begins with a brief training session at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Apr. 12, at the water center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver. Participants will then head out to designated sites to find and count frogs, snakes, and lizards. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by adults.

Critter Count is an important step in the continual monitoring of population trends of frogs, lizards, snakes, newts, salamanders, and other delightful creepy-crawlies. The information gathered by volunteers is entered into a statewide database, Nature Mapping, maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and University of Washington.

Wear boots and warm clothes, pack a lunch, and bring binoculars (if you have them). Snacks, drinks, and other equipment will be provided. The Critter Count is over at 1 p.m., but stick around to see even more animals with two live shows by Brad's World Reptiles: one show at 1 p.m. and another at 2:15 p.m. Admission is free. Call 360-487-7111 or visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter for more information.

 

TED Talk: The Future of Water

Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center is hosting the "Land and Environmental Art Series" and the last presesntation of the series is "The Future of Water" with keynote speaker is Mark Owen, CEO of Puralytics. Owen will present his riveting TED talk about water, its important to human life—and all life—as well as possibilities for creative use and treament of our water resources.

Owen's company uses nanotechnology to create water bags for use in the developing world to provide clean water. Puralytics also makes a synthetic lily pad that can purify pond water, even of heavy metals such as arsenic. Owen will illustrate how technology has transformed the computing industry, and points out that our ideas for community water systems have not undergone a similar transformation. Owen's presentation will be followed by a panel discussion about practical and creative applications of Puralytics technology in Clark County.

 

Pipes, Pumps, Water & More

Clean water, clean neighborhoods, efficient streets and flourishing trees are some of the many ways Vancouver Public Works is helping to create a vibrant tomorrow. National Public Works Week is May 18 to 24—but Vancouver is getting a head start with a celebration at the Water Resources Education Center's Second Saturday event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 10.

This special Second Saturday recognizes the many services and programs that Public Works provides to the community. Bring your kids to see the big "vactor truck" that vacuums debris out of stormwater catch basin drains. Get an operator's view through a remote camera that travels inside pipes to scout for signs of trouble. Learn how fire hydrants operate. Enjoy other activities, including wetlands walks, recycling tips, and a tour of the Marine Park Wastewater Treatment facility.

Public works programs play a key role in planning, building, and maintenance of infrastructure projects that will allow future generations to enjoy a higher quality of life. Among the things Vancouver's Public Works does:

  • Keeps drinking water safe and clean, and the community's groundwater aquifers protected.
  • Makes sure public sanitary sewer pipes and wastewater treatment facilities are reliable and environmentally safe.
  • Oversees design and construction of new streets, and resurfacing of existing streets.
  • Patches thousands of potholes and stripes hundreds of lane miles each year.
  • Keeps traffic signals operating and streetlights shining.
  • Cleans more than 13,000 stormwater drainage catch basins and sweeps thousands of lane miles of streets each year.
  • Grows our community's urban forest canopy by planting hundreds of trees.
  • Supports neighborhoods through clean-ups and coupons that provide for the disposal of hundreds of tons of yard debris.
  • Restores and maintains the Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway.

For more information about the Water Center and this Second Saturday event, call 360-487-7111 or visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter. For more about Vancouver Public Works, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks.

 

 

Second Saturday: Plants & Pollinators

It’s the sisterhood of the traveling plants this Saturday, Aug. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Water Resources Education Center, when the topic of Second Saturday’s family-friendly event will be “Plants and Pollinators.” Learn how plants can “travel” from place to place, how pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and moths help plants “move,” and how you can be a pollinator, too! Come prepared to get your hands dirty with a hands-on education that’s so much fun you won’t even know you’re learning new things.

Second Saturdays at the Water Resources Education Center are free, kid-centric activities where families can explore a different topic through hands-on activities, games, and stories. They happen on the second Saturday of each month, year-round, and participants get to do things like making bird feeders to welcome wildlife into your back yard, learning about bubbles, or creating art from reused materials.

Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center is part of the Columbia River Renaissance project, encouraging residents to rediscover our waterfront and re-establish the historic connection with the Columbia River. The beautifully designed Water Center boosts awareness about where our water comes from, how we use it, and how to protect this vital natural resource. To learn more, click here.

Second Saturday at Water Resources Education Center: “Plants & Pollinators”

It’s the sisterhood of the traveling plants this Saturday, Aug. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Water Resources Education Center, when the topic of Second Saturday’s family-friendly event will be “Plants and Pollinators.” Learn how plants can “travel” from place to place, how pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and moths help plants “move,” and how you can be a pollinator, too! Come prepared to get your hands dirty with a hands-on education that’s so much fun you won’t even know you’re learning new things.

Second Saturdays at the Water Resources Education Center are free, kid-centric activities where families can explore a different topic through hands-on activities, games, and stories. They happen on the second Saturday of each month, year-round, and participants get to do things like making bird feeders to welcome wildlife into your back yard, learning about bubbles, or creating art from reused materials. To learn more, click here.

Native American Heritage Month at the Water Center

For more than a decade, the Water Resources Education Center has observed Native American Heritage month in November by offering free activities that celebrate and recognize the many contributions of Native Americans to the larger American cultural mosaic. Join family-friendly activities and learn more about this rich history from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Water Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way. This year’s theme explores the many gathering techniques and preparation of native foods. Lots of free and creative activities are planned.

The Water Resources Education Center is partnering with Shirod Younker from the the Oregon College of Art and Craft to showcase a variety of Native American art created by students enrolled in the Susana Santos “Journeys in Creativity Program.” The student artwork will be on display at the Water Center throughout November and into December in the first floor Student Views gallery. Along with the Second Saturday events and student exhibit, visitors to the Water Center can also enjoy an array of Native American contemporary art and artifacts, including a grinding stone, which will be on display through the end of the year.

 

Critter Count & Reptile Show

On Saturday, April 11, the Water Resources Education Center will celebrates its 15th annual Critter Count with live critter shows. Start by counting critters in their natural habitat. Then, see more critters up close at a live show with snakes, lizards and other reptiles at the Water Center, located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way.

The Critter Count is just what it sounds like: volunteers in the field helping biologists conduct a survey of amphibians and reptiles. Critter Count begins at 9 a.m. with a brief training session for a quick overview of the identification of frogs, snakes, salamanders, lizards and other local amphibians and reptiles. Next, participants and biologists will venture out into the field to find and record these animals in their natural habitat. Participants should provide their own transportation to field sites, wear boots and warm clothes, and bring a lunch and binoculars. Training, field guidebooks, equipment, snacks and water will be provided. All ages are welcome to participate, and children must be accompanied by adults.

Critter fun continues at the Water Center at 1 p.m., when visitors have an opportunity to view snakes, lizards and other reptiles up close. For the second year, the Water Center welcomes Brad’s World Reptiles with two live critter shows, starting at 1 p.m. and again at 2:15 p.m. Learn about all sorts of reptiles—some that you could find in your own backyard and some that are more unusual. Admission is free! For morel information, call 360-487-7111 or visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter.

2nd Saturday at the Water Resources Education Center: Public Works

It’s Public Works Week at the Water Resources Education Center, and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, you and your family can find out everything you ever wanted to know about what the city’s public works department does to keep our city clean, beautiful, and liveable.

Kids and families are invited to explore some of the amazing things the City of Vancouver’s Public Works Department does for you. The 2015 National Public Works Week theme, Community Begins Here, recognizes that public works departments are a vital part of what makes communities and neighborhoods around the North Bank the places that we want to call home. Public works services supports everyday quality of life with services like city pipe inspection, garbage and recycling, land surveys, and water quality testing. Learn more about all these things with demonstrations, tips, and a family wetlands walk at the Water Resources Education Center, during its free Second Saturday event.

On the second Saturday of every month, families are invited to explore a different topic through hands-on activities, games and stories at the Water Center, located at 4600 NE Columbia Way in Vancouver. For more details, including a schedule of Second Saturday events, click here.

Sturgeon Festival

What’s 200 million years old and lives on the bottom of the Columbia River? No, it’s not the Loch Ness Monster’s sister. It’s the sturgeon, a species of fish that’s hardly changed at all since the earliest fossil record. This spectacular prehistoric fish will be showcased at the free, family-friendly Sturgeon Festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center. With sturgeon numbers currently on the decline, there’s never been a better time to discover more about them. If the idea of seeing a sturgeon doesn’t thrill you, maybe you’ll be wowed by the free and breathtaking Birds of Prey show at 10:30 a.m., presented by Raptor House and featuring eagles, falcons, owls, and hawks.

In addition to sturgeon-themed learning, the festival recognizes the ecosystems of the Columbia River by offering hands-on activities and information about other native fish, recycling, trees, water safety and much more. Activities include a fish dissection at 11:30 a.m., when inquisitive minds will get a close-up view of sturgeon anatomy with help from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists. The celebration will conclude with an informative presentation by Eartha the Ecological Clown, with assistance from Major, her friendly cockatoo.

The Sturgeon Festival is hosted by the City of Vancouver, with participation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. For more information and directions, contact the Water Center at 360-487-7111 or visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter. The Water Resources Education Center is located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver, just south of Hwy. 14.

Columbia Flyway Wildlife Show

The public is invited to view intricately carved birds, fish and wildlife on display Saturday, Sept. 12, and Sunday, Sept. 13 during the 28th annual Columbia Flyway Wildlife Show and Northwest Championship at the Water Resources Education Center, located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way. Admission is free and show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday

This premier wildlife carving show and competition attracts more than 90 wildlife artists from across the United States and Canada. On Sunday afternoon, many entries will be digitally exhibited on a large screen as part of the Virtual Digital Decorative Life-size Carving Competition. This allows artists and carvers from across the country—competitors who would otherwise be unable to attend—to enter the competition.

There will be many other things to see and do during the event, such as the 2015 Washington Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition, with winning entries on display through the month of September in the second floor gallery of Water Center. Mini wood duck decoys will be judged in the fountain pool from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, and mini redhead drake decoys will be traded at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. There will be seminars and demonstrations on both Saturday and Sunday, with artists Doug Harrison (9 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 12, discussing burning techniques and acrylic washes) and Jerry Harris 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 13, focusing on airbrushing and sealing).

Families are encouraged to attend from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, when the Water Center presents a special Second Saturday activity for kids: the chance to paint little wooden birds or feathers of their own while learning about different bird species. For more information, see www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter or call 360-487-7111. For more details about the Columbia Flyway Wildlife Show, see www.columbiaflywaywildlifeshow.com.

Sturgeon Festival & Raptor Show

What’s 200 million years old and lives on the bottom of the Columbia River? No, it’s not the Loch Ness Monster’s sister. It’s the sturgeon, a species of fish that’s hardly changed at all since the earliest fossil record. This spectacular prehistoric fish will be showcased at the free, family-friendly Sturgeon Festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center. With sturgeon numbers currently on the decline, there’s never been a better time to discover more about them. If the idea of seeing a sturgeon doesn’t thrill you, maybe you’ll be wowed by the free and breathtaking Birds of Prey show at 10:30 a.m., presented by Raptor House and featuring eagles, falcons, owls, and hawks.

In addition to sturgeon-themed learning, the festival recognizes the ecosystems of the Columbia River by offering hands-on activities and information about other native fish, recycling, trees, water safety and much more. Activities include a fish dissection at 11:30 a.m., when inquisitive minds will get a close-up view of sturgeon anatomy with help from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists. The celebration will conclude with an informative presentation by Eartha the Ecological Clown, with assistance from Major, her friendly cockatoo.

The Sturgeon Festival is hosted by the City of Vancouver, with participation by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. For more information and directions, contact the Water Center at 360-487-7111 or visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter. The Water Resources Education Center is located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver, just south of Hwy. 14.

Native Heritage at the Water Center

The Water Resources Education Center and the North Bank’s Native American community will showcase regalia, song, dance and other activities at a special joint Second Saturday event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Water Center. This free, family-friendly event, held in honor of Native American Heritage Month, will begin with a Chinook blessing, followed by traditional music and song. The highlight of the day will be the runway show, where guests can get an up-close look at the distinctive regalia (clothing and adornment) meaningful to each dancer and dance.

For more than a decade, the Water Center has observed Native American Heritage month in November by offering free activities that celebrate and recognize the countless contributions of Native Americans to our culture and society. The event also features kids’ crafts and activities and light refreshments. Visitors can also enjoy displays featuring information about the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, as well as exhibits of native beadwork and basketry.

The Water Resources Education Center is located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, just south of Highway 14. Every second Saturday of the month, the Water Center hosts a free, family-friendly day with educational activities, crafts, displays and shows designed especially for kids and their families. To learn more about the Water Center, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter or call Cory Samia at 360-487-7111.

Native American Heritage Month at the Water Resources Education Center

The Water Resources Education Center and the North Bank’s Native American community will showcase regalia, song, dance and other activities at a special joint Second Saturday event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Water Center. This free, family-friendly event, held in honor of Native American Heritage Month, will begin with a Chinook blessing, followed by traditional music and song. The highlight of the day will be the runway show, where guests can get an up-close look at the distinctive regalia (clothing and adornment) meaningful to each dancer and dance.

For more than a decade, the Water Center has observed Native American Heritage month in November by offering free activities that celebrate and recognize the countless contributions of Native Americans to our culture and society. The event also features kids’ crafts and activities and light refreshments. Visitors can also enjoy displays featuring information about the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, as well as exhibits of native beadwork and basketry.

The Water Resources Education Center is located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, just south of Highway 14. Every second Saturday of the month, the Water Center hosts a free, family-friendly day with educational activities, crafts, displays and shows designed especially for kids and their families. To learn more about the Water Center, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter or call Cory Samia at 360-487-7111.

Vanport Flood Exhibit at Water Center

The Water Resources Education Center will launch its 20th year in Vancouver with a special exhibit about the 1948 Vanport Flood. You’re invited to attend the exhibit’s opening ceremonies from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9. Vanport (also called Vanport City or Kaiserville) was located between Portland city limits (at the time) and the Columbia River, where Delta Park and the Portland International Raceway are now located. Vanport was built to house the workers at the wartime Kaiser Shipyards, and was home to about 40,000 people, about 40% of whom were black.

The event features opening remarks by Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt at 11:45 a.m., followed at noon by guest speakers, Vanport historian Milo Reed and Portland Community College Professor James S. Harrison. Guests can also see Oregon Black Pioneer’s “Community on the Move” exhibit describing the flood, the shipyards, and those who worked there. Videos capturing survivors’ oral histories will follow in the Garden Classroom on the Water Center’s main floor. You can also find out about the February 1996 floods, when the Columbia River rose to within a few feet of the Water Center just days before the center’s official opening. Light refreshments will be available.

Saturday, Jan. 9, is also Second Saturday at the Water Center, with kid-friendly activities from 1 to 3 p.m. focusing on a different theme each month. This month’s theme is weather. Admission to Saturday’s exhibit opening and the overall Water Center is free. For more information on events and exhibits, as well as directions to the Water Center, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter or call 360-487-7111. The Water Center is located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way.

Happy 20th Birthday, Water Center!

We love our water here on the North Bank: rivers, lakes and streams to swim, boat, and fish in, plenty of water from the sky to make things green, and pure drinking water from our taps. The Water Resources Education Center, which opened 20 years ago in February 1996, is part of the network of organizations that help keep this natural resource flowing. Drop by with your kids from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, to help the Water Center celebrate its 20th birthday with a special Second Saturday event.

Enjoy hands-on activities, water science games, and birthday cupcake treats (YES PLEASE!) while supplies last. Eartha the Ecological Clown will provide extra fun for kids with face-painting and educational activities. Admission (as always) is free. While you’re there, you can learn more about the fascinating history of Columbia River Basin floods—in fact, the Water Center opened its doors just weeks after the Columbia crested at a whopping 27 feet above normal, inundating many homes and businesses along the river.

The Water Center and its many programs play a key role in increasing awareness about vital natural resources as visitors of all ages learn about water, explore wetlands, count critters, share Second Saturday activities, enjoy festivals, and attend important functions in the community room overlooking the Columbia River. Watch for special events throughout 2016 commemorating the Water Resources Education Center’s 20th anniversary, including the return of the gala “Splash!” evening with “Splash! Back 20” this spring. For more information, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter or call 360-487-7111.

Water Center 20th Birthday Celebration

Enjoy hands-on activities, water science games, and birthday cupcake treats (YES PLEASE!) while supplies last. Eartha the Ecological Clown will provide extra fun for kids with face-painting and educational activities. Admission (as always) is free. While you’re there, you can learn more about the fascinating history of Columbia River Basin floods—in fact, the Water Center opened its doors just weeks after the Columbia crested at a whopping 27 feet above normal, inundating many homes and businesses along the river.

The Water Center and its many programs play a key role in increasing awareness about vital natural resources as visitors of all ages learn about water, explore wetlands, count critters, share Second Saturday activities, enjoy festivals, and attend important functions in the community room overlooking the Columbia River. Watch for special events throughout 2016 commemorating the Water Resources Education Center’s 20th anniversary, including the return of the gala “Splash!” evening with “Splash! Back 20” this spring. For more information, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter or call 360-487-7111.

 

Volcano Views & Brews: Regional Flooding

In honor of the Water Resources Education Center‘s 20th birthday, the next installment of Volcano Views & Brews will be held at the Water Center at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16. This event commemorates not only the Water Resouces Education Center’s last 20 years of education and stewardship, but also remembers the historic flood of 1996 that occurred mere weeks before the Water Center’s opening. Attendees are encouraged to come early at 5 p.m. to view the Vanport and Columbia River floods exhibit on the first floor of the Water Center. Food and beverages (both non-alcoholic and beer) will be available for purchase.

Professor Scott Burns of Portland State University will talk about our region’s history of flooding, focusing on the Missoula Floods, the 1948 Vanport flood, and the most recent severe flood of 1996. Burns will relate how the Portland-Vancouver area has been shaped by many floods over several million years. The majority of the landforms were formed in a series of 40 floods that brought water into the area at velocities over 50 mph and shaped the area. Major erosional valleys, pendant bars of sediments, and deposits owe their origin to these floods, which are some of the greatest geological happenings in North America’s history.

There’s a $5 suggested donation to offset costs. All ages are welcome. The Water Resources Education Center is located at 4600 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver. To learn more, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/water-resources-education-center.