“In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what
we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”
- Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist and poet
To provide our community a unique setting where educational experiences foster a greater awareness of the natural world, inspiring stewardship.
Columbia Springs was created in 1997 through the partnership of Clark Public Utilities, Evergreen School District, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, City of Vancouver, Clark County, and Clark College. In 2001 Columbia Springs obtained its 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation designation.
Since its conception in 1997, Columbia Springs has provided over 100,000 kids and adults with the opportunity to get outdoors and to learn more about the natural world through field studies, workshops, service learning projects, summer day camps, community events, and more.
Columbia Springs is located within the Vancouver City limits on over 100 acres of urban natural area. The location lends itself well to teaching lessons about how ecosystems work and the many wonders of the natural world.
Columbia Springs delivers environmental education programming and services to the community through on-site education for local students in grades K-12 and college and off-site through outreach programs. The facilities and programs offered by Columbia Springs are available to all public and private schools in Clark County and to interested adults. We have both an indoor classroom and an outdoor classroom available for use. Community groups interested in our education programming are encouraged to contact our Education Coordinator for additional information.
The site is open to the public daily from dawn until dusk and is located on the site of the historic Vancouver Trout Hatchery,which is still in use today. With more than 100 acres of urban natural area, Columbia Springs offers a variety of walking trails for the public to enjoy every day from dawn to dusk.
When people develop personal connections with nature, through memorable, positive experiences, they also develop respect and accountability for the environment.
Children in Nature
Children are inherently drawn to nature, and when given the opportunity, will effortlessly connect with their natural surroundings.
Life Long Learning
People can continue to develop respect and understanding of nature throughout their lives, through education and experiences.
By modeling environmentally responsible behavior, respect for the environment can be passed from one person to the next.
Sense of Place
Knowledge of a site’s history leases to a greater understanding and appreciation of its value to past, present and future generations.