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Volunteer Grove 2019 honorees
Volunteer Grove 2019 honorees
City of Vancouver recognizes dedicated volunteers (Photo) - 03/18/19

Vancouver, Wash. – On March 9, the City of Vancouver recognized nine exceptional community volunteers by planting trees in their honor at the Volunteer Grove located inside Centerpointe Park on Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard at Pacific Way in the Ogden neighborhood.

Now in its second year, the City established the Volunteer Grove in order to recognize volunteers who have made especially generous service contributions to the City of Vancouver’s volunteer programs and events.  

“The trees that are planted act as a continuing reminder of the lasting impact citizen service has on our community,” said Vancouver’s Volunteer Coordinator Hailey Heath. “We hope the public will visit the park, enjoy the shade of the new trees, and celebrate volunteerism in our community!”  

This year’s honorees are:

  • Jean Kent
  • Friends of Hearthwood Adopt-A-Park
  • Bob Kennedy
  • Jeff Kessenich
  • Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s 50+ Travel Program trip planners (Bev Schubert and Arlys Borjesson)
  • Esther Schrader
  • Michael Harrison
  • Holly Williams
  • Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Forever Young Hikers program volunteers (Steve Bergman, Valerie Deming, Geoff Fowler, Judy Fowles, Greg Glass, Lloyd Goodlett, Larry Hansen, John Harris, Mary Jo Hoffman, Linda  Jacobus, Doug Martel, Kathi Pickett, Duke Silva, Billie Shank and Katie Brooks)

Nominations for this award can be submitted online at any time during the year. Recipients are announced and trees are planted each March.  To learn more about the grove and this year’s recipients, visit


Attached Media Files: Volunteer Grove 2019 honorees
CORRECTION: City fire, grading permit applications going digital April 1; free training March 25-28 - 03/18/19

CORRECTION: The training class dates for the grading permit applications were left off the original news relase. They have been added in to this updated version. We apologize for the error.

Vancouver, Wash. – On April 1, the City of Vancouver’s Development Review Division will take the next step towards going 100 percent digital when it starts requiring all fire and grading permit applications be submitted to the City electronically.

This means that if you want to submit these types of applications to the City of Vancouver, you must use the ePlans electronic plan review software provided by the City.

Fire and grading permit applications join a growing list of development review documents that the City now only accepts and processes electronically.

“Now that our entire land use platform is electronic, we’re excited to advance to the next phase of our paperless goal, which will also make our building platform 100 percent digital,” said City Development Review Manager Jason Nortz. 

Electronic submittals reduce the need for physical trips to Vancouver City Hall to drop off or pick up plans or make payments, and reduce the need to print hard copies. It reduces review times and customers can check the status of their submittals or review at any time.

Customers can visit to learn more and get started.

Training available

The City is offering free ePlans training courses to its customers March 25-28. Each class will cover the basics of how to use the ePlans platform to submit applications, upload plans and documents, respond to correction notices and check the status of a submittal.. All the classes will be held at Vancouver City Hall in the Aspen Conference Room, 415 W. 6th St.

Fire Permit Applications Training Classes:

  • Monday, March 25 from 8 to 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 26 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 28 from 11a.m. to noon\

Grading Permit Applications Training Classes:

  • Monday, March 25 from 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 27 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 28 from 9 to 10 a.m.

To reserve your spot, please send an email to Lisa Eruhow-Hagan at"> with the date of the class you wish to attend and the number of people who will attend.

Not able to attend any of the classes? City staff is also available to visit local companies to provide ePlans training to small groups by request. Please email Lisa Eruhow-Hagan to set that up (see paragraph above for email address).


Working on trees in Vancouver? Please check first. - 03/14/19

Before starting any work on trees, first find out if you need a permit.

Within the City of Vancouver, permits are required prior to removing, planting or doing major pruning on trees along streets.

Removal of private trees could also require a permit, depending upon the site and other criteria. For example, many residential areas have been developed under requirements to protect trees within yards. In those and other certain cases, permits are required for tree removal. Failure to obtain a permit before starting work will result in a violation and monetary fines per Vancouver Municipal Code (VMC 12.004 and VMC 20.770)

Be sure. Check and call before you cut. Visit then click on the tab below to visit the tree permits webpage. Or contact Urban Forestry by calling (360) 487-8332 or emailing">

“Vancouver’s tree canopy is a critical component of our community’s vitality, health and livability,” Charles Ray, Vancouver’s Urban Forester, said. “It takes a lifetime to grow a tree, but it only takes a minute to improperly prune or remove one. It is imperative that we protect trees from unnecessary removal or destruction.”

Trees are a valuable resource to our community. They decrease stormwater runoff, clean our air, cool our neighborhoods, increase neighborhood livability, reduce energy costs, and add value to property. Careful management and proper pruning are important tools for helping to maintain and grow Vancouver's urban tree canopy.

For more information, please visit Vancouver Urban Forestry is a division of the Department of Public Works.

City's Charter Review Committee considers council salary, election issues - 03/12/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver’s Charter Review Committee recently convened to review the City’s charter and make recommendations for potential changes. This year, the Charter Review Committee is interested in exploring options related to how City Councilmember salaries are established and will also consider whether councilmembers should be elected by district, rather than at large.

Vancouver citizens are welcome to suggest changes to the charter during this review period. The next Charter Review Committee meeting will be 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 in the Aspen Conference Room at City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St.

Vancouver’s charter was originally approved by voters in 1952. It forms the “constitution” of the city government and guides its structure and operations. Every five years, a committee of 15 citizens meets to review the charter and make recommendations for changes to Vancouver City Council. If the changes are approved by council, they are then placed on the ballot for a public vote at the next general election.

For more information about the City’s charter, visit

For more information about the Charter Review Committee, visit


Portion of E Evergreen Blvd in Vancouver closed due to water main break, caused by construction activity - 03/11/19

City of Vancouver Water Utility crews are working to repair a water main break, caused by construction activity, that has closed East Evergreen Boulevard from Fort Vancouver Way to East Reserve Street.

Shortly before 11 a.m. today, a private contractor for a U.S. National Parks Service construction project in the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site bored through a 10-inch ductile iron City of Vancouver water main. The water break is east of the traffic circle at Evergreen Boulevard and Fort Vancouver Way and west of the Grant House on Officers Row.

As of noon today, 11 buildings along Officers Row are currently out of water service, including the Marshall House and Grant House, the latter of which is closed Mondays. The private contractor is working to remove equipment so that City Water Utility crews can repair the line and restore service. Currently, water service is projected to be restored late this afternoon or early evening.

Please note: The portion of East Evergreen at the break is closed to all traffic. Emergency vehicles needing to access this area must come from East Reserve. 

Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle
Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle
2019 State of the City on March 28 (Photo) - 03/11/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle will deliver the 2019 State of the City Address on Thursday, March 28 at 5 p.m. in the lobby of Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. 6th St.

Mayor McEnerny-Ogle’s address will review major accomplishments of 2018 and share plans for future projects and initiatives. The evening will commence with the presentation of an original poem by Clark County Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Morgan.

The State of the City is a free, public event. For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations, please contact Tracie Looney at 360-487-8712, TTY 360-487-8602 or">

The event will also be aired live on Clark/Vancouver Television (CVTV) and the City’s Facebook ( and Instagram ( Members of the public are encouraged to follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #VanSOC2019.

A State of the City Annual Report to Citizens will be inserted into the Columbian newspaper and posted online ( on March 28. Printed copies of the report will also be available at City Hall


Attached Media Files: Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle
City hosts 50+ Travel Expo on March 7 - 03/04/19

Vancouver, Wash. – The Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department will host a 50+ Travel Expo Thursday, March 7, where local seniors and boomers can learn about fun day trips and overnight excursions happening this spring and summer.

The free 50+ Travel Expo is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Marshall Community Center Oak/Elm rooms, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver. Refreshments and door prizes will be provided.

The expo will highlight dozens of upcoming trips being offered by the City’s 50 and Better Program throughout Washington and Oregon. Staff will be available to answer questions and help attendees sign up for trips.

Trip fees range from $25 per person to $200 or more for overnight trips. Transportation is always included in the fee, along with things like admissions and meals, depending on the trip.

Examples of upcoming 50 and Better trips include:

  • Mystery Trip Overnight Trip
  • Various trips to special fairs at Oregon and Washington ocean beaches.
  • A spring spa day at Carson Hot Springs in Carson, Wash.
  • A trip up to Mount St. Helens for the anniversary of the volcano’s eruption
  • Several “Adventures in Eating” trips to area restaurants specializing in ethnic foods
  • Trips to a variety of local theaters to watch stage plays and musicals

This event was made possible thanks to the support of Home Instead Senior Care and Brookdale Fisher’s Landing.

For more information about the 50 and Better trips program and to view a list of upcoming trips, visit

City of Vancouver chosen to participate in national problem-solving session on affordable housing, health - 03/04/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle and the City of Vancouver have been selected to participate in a national problem-solving session on affordable housing and health. “The Mayors’ Institute on Affordable Housing and Health: Advancing City-Level Strategies to Generate Sustainable Solutions” will take place April 2-4 in Detroit and is sponsored by the National League of Cities (NLC).

“We’re honored to be among the City’s selected to bring our insights and ideas to addressing affordable housing to the national table,” said Mayor McEnerny-Ogle. “We look forward to gathering best practices and innovative solutions from other cities and organizations who are leading the nation in addressing the complex challenge of affordable housing.”

In addition to the City of Vancouver, the five other cities selected to attend, include: Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Detroit; Duluth, Minnesota; Lawrence, Massachusetts; and Providence, Rhode Island.

Mayor McEnerny-Ogle will be joined by a team representing some of Vancouver’s social service and community health organizations, as well as the City of Vancouver:

  • Peggy Sheehan, Community and Economic Development Program Coordinator, City of Vancouver
  • Meghan McCarthy, System Director Community Health, PeaceHealth
  • Roy Johnson, Executive Director, Vancouver Housing Authority
  • Dan Valliere, Executive Director, REACH

Sponsored by NLC in partnership with NeighborWorks America, the session brings local leaders together for a solutions-oriented, peer-to-peer learning and capacity building experience, exploring ways cities can advance affordable housing strategies that ultimately improve health outcomes.

Mayors will also be joined by leaders and experts from some of the nation’s leading housing and health organizations and philanthropic foundations. NLC’s well-established Mayors’ Institute model stimulates and supports city-level progress by fostering a rich exchange of ideas among mayors, city staff, community partners, prominent researchers, practitioners and other national experts.


About the National League of Cities

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within the National League of Cities, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.

About NeighborWorks America
For 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a national, nonpartisan nonprofit known as NeighborWorks America, has strived to make every community a place of opportunity. Our network of excellence includes more than 245 members in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks America offers grant funding, peer-exchange, technical assistance, evaluation tools and access to training, as the nation's leading trainer of housing and community development professionals. NeighborWorks network organizations provide residents in their communities with affordable homes, owned and rented; financial counseling and coaching; community building through resident engagement; and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education. In the last five years, our organizations have generated more than $34 billion in investment across the country. For more on Affordable Housing and Health please visit Affordable Housing & Health: City Roles and Strategies for Progress.

Tree hero nominations open for Vancouver's annual Mac Awards - 02/28/19

Do you know an exemplary volunteer who has made meaningful improvements to growing and/or maintaining our community’s urban forest? If so, please take a few minutes of time to nominate your favorite tree hero for Vancouver Urban Forestry’s 2019 Mac Awards.

Nomination information and submission forms are available online at or by calling 360-487-8308. Please don’t delay. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, March 19.

The annual Mac Awards will be presented by the Urban Forestry Commission during the City of Vancouver’s Arbor Day celebration at noon on Wednesday, April 10, at Vancouver’s International District Fire Station 2, located at 2106 Norris Road.

Established in 2010, the award is named for the late Gordon MacWilliams, a former Urban Forestry commissioner known for his strong commitment to tree stewardship and community service. Each year, Mac Awards are bestowed upon individuals, organizations or businesses that have made a significant, positive impact on Vancouver's urban forest.

Past Mac Awards have gone to those who have organized tree planting projects, educated others about the benefits of trees, preserved trees during development, donated time and/or funds to advance the mission of the Urban Forestry program, developed creative partnerships in community forestry, and inspired community stewardship of the urban forest.

Vancouver Urban Forestry, part of the City’s Department of Public Works, recognizes trees as a valuable asset to our community and an important component of managing stormwater. For more information or questions, call 360-487-8308 or email banforestry@cityofvancouver.u?subject=Mac%20Award">

Kids explore ways to treat our planet kindly through hands-on learning stations
Kids explore ways to treat our planet kindly through hands-on learning stations
'Love Your Earth' rescheduled to Saturday, March 9, at Vancouver's Water Center (Photo) - 02/27/19

Vancouver, Wash. – Go green and be a superhero to your planet during Vancouver’s ‘Love Your Earth’ activities at the Water Resources Education Center on Saturday, March 9. Kids and families are invited to learn about reducing, reusing and recycling resources at two free events – the monthly Second Saturday event and a special Recycling 101 class for kids. Originally planned for February, the activities have been rescheduled to 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 9.

March Second Saturday: Families can discover new ways to reduce waste, use water wisely and treat our planet kindly. Explore energy and water conservation, learn how to prevent food waste and practice good composting habits.

Recycling 101 for Kids: Join in this fun, interactive curbside recycling class. Kids and parents will discover what goes in 'Big Blue' and 'Binnie' through hands-on learning stations, games and kid-friendly presentations. Leave feeling confident about improving your household recycling habits. Bonus: FREE Swap! Bring a kid-appropriate clean, gently-used toy, book or game to exchange.

For additional details about the Water Resources Education Center’s Second Saturday events, please visit the website at To learn more about the City’s informative recycling series provided by Vancouver Solid Waste and Waste Connections, visit



Overlooking the Columbia River, the City of Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center offers exhibits, events and educational programs designed to teach us all how to be excellent stewards of water resources and how to use water wisely. The Water Center, a division of the City's Department of Public Works, is also caretaker of one of the metropolitan area's few remaining natural Columbia River riparian areas, nearly 50 protected acres of adjacent wetlands providing feeding, nesting and resting habitat for more than 120 species of fish and wildlife. The Water Center is part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.

The Water Center's general hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. From Interstate 5 or Interstate 205, take state Highway 14 to Exit 1. Turn south under the highway, then east at the Columbia Shores intersection onto Columbia Way and head east about 3 miles to the Water Center. More information is available online at or by calling 360-487-7111.


City of Vancouver awarded more than $7 million in Ecology stormwater grants - 02/25/19

The City of Vancouver will receive more than $7 million in grants from the Washington State Department of Ecology for stormwater improvement projects and activities throughout the community. The grants, part of the state’s competitive Water Quality Combined Funding Program, were awarded for five stormwater improvement projects and an expanded inspection program for private stormwater facilities.

“Funding from Ecology will allow us to advance these long-awaited projects to improve water quality in critical areas throughout Vancouver,” Annette Griffy, City of Vancouver Stormwater Utility manager, said. “We are excited to get these vital projects underway and are appreciative of Ecology’s assistance to our community and environment.”

The City leverages local stormwater utility funds, provided by ratepayers, as matching contributions to acquire Ecology grants. The five projects are scheduled for construction in 2020-2022. All of the projects and activities, listed below, will follow best management practices to meet Ecology’s water quality standards.

• Lower Grand Area Low Impact Development (LID) Stormwater Retrofit – Estimated total project cost: $1.2 million. This project will provide planning, design and installation of LID facilities to treat and manage road runoff in an industrial area. The area is currently served by post-World War II infrastructure, and the limited drainage systems here provide no water quality treatment.

• Blandford Basins Low Impact Development (LID) Stormwater Retrofit – Estimated total project cost: $3 million. This project will provide treatment-and-flow control to improve water quality within a wellhead protection area and the Columbia River watershed. Currently, stormwater runoff from residential lands and streets here flows untreated to the canyon along Blandford Drive and finally into the Columbia River.

• East Orchards Fourth Plain Corridor Low Impact Development (LID) Stormwater Retrofit – Estimated total project: $964,000. This project will retrofit existing drywell systems and use bioretention facilities or other best management practices specific to the site to improve stormwater quality. Currently, runoff in this area drains untreated through drywells.

• Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard, 123rd Avenue to 131st Avenue Water Quality Retrofits – Estimated total project: $930,000. This project will construct 12 bioretention facilities and use Silva Cell® integrated deep tree root treatment systems along the south half of the street, reducing pollutants in stormwater and improving water quality. Currently, stormwater here runs untreated into drywells and contributes to Burnt Bridge Creek’s base flow. The new treatments are designed to help protect groundwater and improve the watershed.

• Northeast Ross Street Low Impact Development (LID) Retrofits – Estimated total project: $984,000. To improve water quality in the Burnt Bridge Creek watershed, this project will install a new, separate LID system in the street to manage stormwater runoff from the public right of way. The existing system, which will remain in place, receives runoff from the nearby Bonneville Power Administration site. Currently, runoff here is untreated and ultimately flows to the creek.

• Extended Private Facility Inspections – Aided by the Ecology grant funds, the City will expand its inspection program for private stormwater facilities in the Burnt Bridge Creek Watershed to include additional pipe locating, community outreach and technical assistance. Proper care and maintenance of privately owned stormwater facilities will help remove pollutants and improve water quality throughout the watershed.

The City is also expected to receive an Ecology grant to fund an engineering study for Burnt Bridge Creek’s Burton Channel. The proposed Green Retrofit Plan and Design, an estimated total project of $200,000, will provide for design engineering of stormwater facilities to capture, treat and infiltrate street runoff currently draining untreated directly into Burton Channel in the Burton Ridge neighborhood. Construction will follow when funding becomes available.

City hosts community services open house March 6 - 02/25/19

Vancouver, Wash.--Are you having trouble finding affordable housing or are you facing potential homelessness and aren’t sure who can help?

Are you interested in programs to help you purchase a home at an affordable price?

Do you want to start your own small business, but you’re not sure where to start?

Are you looking for help with addiction or mental health concerns?

Do you have urgently-needed home repairs that you can’t afford to make?

The City of Vancouver’s Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships program is sponsoring a free community services open house Wednesday, March 6 designed to help connect people needing assistance with local service providers. The open house is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C St.

Representatives from over 25 local service agencies, including the City, will be on hand to answer questions, provide program information and make referrals.

People needing services, community members who just want get more familiar with the different social services available to Vancouver residents, and people who are interested in volunteering to help these organizations achieve their missions are welcome to attend.

For more information about the open house, please contact City of Vancouver Community Development Coordinator Danell Norby at 360-487-7953 or">