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News Releases
A neighborhood picnic in east Vancouver.
A neighborhood picnic in east Vancouver.
City awards an additional $15,000 to 28 community groups (Photo) - 06/20/24

Funding still available for $500 microgrants

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver’s Community and Neighborhood Grants Program has awarded an additional $15,000 to support 28 local community groups. These funds will support a diverse range of projects that help build community connections, foster a sense of belonging and create learning opportunities for community members of all ages, including:

  • Community resource events and neighborhood gatherings
  • Cultural celebrations
  • Back-to-school events
  • Food access programs
  • Environmental stewardship projects and native plant giveaways

The grant funding process began in April when the program awarded more than $163,000 to support 30 local community groups. 

“Vancouver’s extraordinary community-building spirit is reflected in the many notable applications we continue to receive for our Community and Neighborhood Grants Program,” said City Neighborhood Program Coordinator, Koko Olszewski. “These grants foster activities such as neighborhood barbecues, picnics and other collaborative programs, helping ensure a healthy, safe and connected Vancouver for all.”

As part of the grant process, projects were evaluated based on how well they align with Vancouver’s Strategic Plan and City Council’s core policy priorities of safety, equity and climate action. Of the projects selected, 15 will support vibrant and distinct neighborhoods, 10 will support housing and human needs, six will support climate and natural systems, five will support culture and heritage and two will support economic opportunity.

Grant funds will contribute to many community programs, including picnics, National Night Out events, resource fairs, sports programs and programs for families. Vancouver Bee Project will develop a native plant library with bilingual English and Spanish educational materials and pollinator education for neighborhoods in Central Vancouver. Kaleidoscope Artist and Crafter Collective will use funds to help neurodivergent makers learn new skills and sell products at local markets.

The program still has funding available to support 43 microgrants of up to $500 per grant. Applications for microgrants are accepted on a rolling basis, with the next review period scheduled for early August. Community members are encouraged to apply at cityofvancouver.us/communitygrants by Friday, Aug. 2, to be considered for the August review period.

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Vancouver Fire first responders now provide leave-behind Narcan on all overdose calls
Vancouver Fire first responders now provide leave-behind Narcan on all overdose calls
Vancouver Fire Department adds new tool to combat opioid crisis (Photo) - 06/14/24

Vancouver, Wash. – To better assist with the public health crisis of opioid use, the Vancouver Fire Department has launched a new leave-behind Narcan program. Effective May 1, Narcan overdose prevention kits are provided to any individual who receives overdose treatment from Vancouver first responders.  

"The number of emergency medical calls we respond to is skyrocketing with the current opioid crisis,” said Emergency Medical Services Division Chief Robb Milano. “VFD crews administered Narcan 342 times in 2022 and almost doubled to 583 in 2023. Providing this easy-to-use and reliable kit to those at risk of repeat overdose will undoubtedly help us save more lives.” 

Since implementing the program, Vancouver Fire has left behind Narcan kits 25 times. This program was made possible thanks to the Washington State Department of Health, which covers the cost and provides one-for-one replacement of Narcan kits to the department on an ongoing basis. The program helps provide community members with a safe, easy-to-use option to prevent an overdose before responders arrive. 

The use of deadly drugs, including fentanyl, continues to grow in Vancouver. Overdose deaths in the unsheltered population were a key factor behind the City’s homelessness state of emergency declared in Nov. 2023. From January through April, Vancouver Fire responded to 696 medical/EMS calls related to homelessness. While not all deaths can be attributed to overdose, 18 community members experiencing unsheltered homelessness have died since Dec. 2023 – representing a 50% increase from last year.

The City remains committed to providing rapid response and high-quality care to the community and is collaborating closely with state and county public health partners to address the opioid crisis. Narcan is a safe, legal and life-saving medicine that anyone can use. The public can learn where to access free Narcan and how to use it on Clark County Public Health’s website. 

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Community members participate in a small group conversation with City Councilors at Firstenburg Community Center
Community members participate in a small group conversation with City Councilors at Firstenburg Community Center
All are welcome at next Vancouver City Council Community Forum (Photo) - 06/13/24

Vancouver, Wash. – City Council will hold its second Council Community Forum of the year from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 24 at Firstenburg Community Center, 700 N.E. 136th Ave. Vancouver. The forums are held throughout locations around the community several times per year. Community members are invited to meet their City Councilors, share their experiences and ideas, and bring questions or concerns to participate in small roundtable discussions. 

All community members are welcome to attend. No RSVP or registration is required. If someone desires interpretation services or accommodations with a disability, please contact the City Manager’s office at 360-487-8600 or cityinfo@cityofvancouver.us.

View all Council agendas and minutes.

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Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. 6th St.
Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. 6th St.
Vancouver seeks community feedback through budget survey (Photo) - 06/10/24

Vancouver, Wash. – The City is launching its community survey on Wednesday, June 12, and urges residents to “pick up” the phone to tell the City what they think about livability, City services and priorities.             

“The community’s input is an important component of the budget development process,” said Communications Director Laura Shepard. “Taking the survey is a great opportunity to share your thoughts and priorities surrounding services.” 

The information collected will help shape the 2025-26 Biennial Budget. The community survey is one touchpoint of many that the City will use to help inform how to close the $43 million budget gap for this biennium. 

The gap is due to the compounding impacts of significant inflation across all spending categories, particularly labor costs. Also, a softening of revenues due to slowing growth and the incremental costs of added programs in recent years have contributed to a deficit between what it costs to provide services and what is available to provide them.

The City is working with DHM Research to conduct the survey. Individuals will be contacted by call and/or text message. Community members will know it is the City’s survey because the area code will be 564. The results will be published on the City’s website.    

Later this summer, the City will open an online prioritization tool where community members can also provide input to the budget process.

City Manager Eric Holmes will present his proposed 2025-26 Biennial Budget to the City Council on Oct. 1. Information about the budget can be found at 2025-26 Biennial Budget Process.

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Heights Bike Garden design rendering
Heights Bike Garden design rendering
Media advisory: Heights Bike Garden, among the largest in the world, opens June 8 (Photo) - 06/05/24

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver and its partners invite media and members of the community to a grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 8, for the Heights Bike Garden located at 5411 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver. The bike garden – the first of its kind in southwest Washington and one of the largest in the world – offers children and adults a practical, fun and safe way to develop cycling skills and learn about pedestrian road safety. 

The new bike garden will provide a temporary community use for the former Tower Mall property while work continues on the Heights District – a development plan for a vibrant, mixed-use, walkable neighborhood in the heart of Vancouver.

At 10 a.m., the City will host a brief speaker program featuring remarks by City project staff, key project partners and Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, followed by a celebratory ribbon cutting.

What: Heights Bike Garden Grand Opening Celebration

Where: 5411 E. Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 8

Helmets are required for all bike garden riders per VMC 9.62.030. Bike Clark County will provide complimentary helmet fittings at the event.

On June 1, City staff volunteered time to help paint the miniature streetscape design. Video and photos of the bike garden as it nears completion can be downloaded here. The finishing touches are going in this week.

The Heights Bike Garden is a City-funded project developed by the City's Economic Prosperity and Housing Department and made possible by the collaboration of several partners. 

Garden design and planning were provided by First Forty Feet, the local urban design and planning firm hired to design Vancouver's Heights District Redevelopment Project and downtown's Waterfront Gateway public plaza. Fionnuala Quinn, Discover Traffic Gardens, provided consultation on the design and implementation. Architectural fabricator Keith Larson created the garden's prism-like mural structures. Artist Gillian Wynne created the gardens’ streetscape mural. PBS Engineering and Environmental, the firm hired by the City for all infrastructure design of the future Heights District, donated picnic benches and furnished food and supplies for volunteers. 

Getting there

Limited free parking is available on-site. Entrances for parking are located on Blandford Drive (west of the bike garden) or Devine Road (east of the bike garden) from Mill Plain Boulevard.

C-TRAN’s The Vine Red Line Devine Road stop provides direct access to the garden.

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