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News Release
Columbia Springs and Repair prove to be a perfect fit - 09/05/19



With venue challenges, Columbia Springs finds hidden opportunity for their free Repair Clark County program


[ VANCOUVER, WA, August 29th, 2019] Columbia Springs, the non profit that runs the Repair Clark County program, is pleased to announce a free fixing event at their own facility for the first time. They invite members of the public to bring broken household items to be repaired, for free, by volunteer “fixers.” 


What: Repair Clark County event, where you can bring your broken household items to be fixed, for free

When: Saturday, September 14th, 12-2 PM

Where: Columbia Springs, 12208 SE Evergreen Highway, Vancouver, WA 98683


When most people think of Columbia Springs, they probably picture trout hatchery ponds, hiking trails and field trips of the 6,000+ students who are taught about nature there annually. What many may not think about is repair.

“The Repair Clark County program is our newest program here at Columbia Springs.” explains Executive Director, Maureen Montague. “It may not seem related at first glance, but repair IS conservation.” The Repair Clark County program successfully repaired over 1,500 items in its first 2 year grant cycle and the program was recently awarded an additional two years of grant funding. Every one of those items represents resources that were not discarded in a landfill. It also represents all the resources that would need to be extracted from the planet and used in the manufacturing process to replace the broken item.

“We’re very excited to bring our next “offsite” event onsite!” says program coordinator, Terra Heilman. “Since I started with the program, I’ve wanted to bring it to our facility and our neighborhood. We opted this year to work with other new venues, including the ReTails thrift store, Pearson Field Education Center and the Three Creeks Library. However, this summer, a few of our venues have had some circumstances that prevent us from holding our events, so we saw the opportunity to bring the program “home” for the first time.”

Finding the perfect venue is always a small challenge. The facility needs to have enough space to accommodate the 35 fixer volunteers who do all the repairs and the roughly 120 clients that come to have their items fixed at the 2 hour events. Bringing the event to Columbia Springs offers a unique opportunity to introduce clients to other programs, such as guided walks, nature therapy and the Family Nature Day events. 


The Repair Clark County program is a waste reduction program, aimed at preventing waste of resources. “Many people think about recycling, but we really need to be thinking a little deeper than that,” says Heilman. “We need to be considering how to live a little lighter on this planet and keeping our stuff in good working order is a great way to do that, that also helps us save money. It’s a win for the planet and for people!” 


The repair program fixes items in five major categories-electronics, appliances, bicycles, sewing, sharpening and then also attempts fixes on any “other” items, like jewelry and home decor. “The only items we can’t work with are gas engines and microwaves. Otherwise, bring us your broken stuff and we’ll at least take a look at it!” says Heilman. “Our repair rates are in the 80’s, so your odds are good. If nothing else, bring us your dull knives, scissors and garden tools for sharpening. That will give you an opportunity to see what else we work on and then you’ll have the curse,” she laughs, “You’ll start seeing broken items everywhere you look! But at least then you’ll know where to take them!” 


About Columbia Springs: Columbia Springs, founded in 2001, provides tens of thousands of children and their families the opportunity to fall in love with nature. We continue to build a community of life-long learners and land stewards through our educational opportunities, walking trails, events and workshops.

Located on a 100 acre natural area in the City of Vancouver, Columbia Springs is dedicated to providing outdoor recreation and science education close to home.


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