Columbia Springs

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Columbia Springs

Our Mission

Columbia Springs offers a unique setting and educational experiences that foster a greater awareness of the natural world and inspire stewardship.

Columbia Springs programming includes Onsite Education, Salmon in the Classroom, Volunteering, Repair Clark County, and Community Events. Program coordinators work collaboratively to create innovative learning and recreational experiences for visitors.

Columbia Springs Interactive Map

Hover over the map pins to see title and image of the location.

Map Legend:

  • Red Pins: Points of Interest
  • Green Pins: Historical Display
  • Blue Pins: Outdoor Picnic Area
  • Orange Pins: Wildlife Viewing Deck
  • Yellow Pins: Trail Information

What we do

Our Programs

Onsite Education

Over 6,000 local students participate in science-based field trips each year. Curriculum for the field trips is designed with Next Generation Science Standards. The Education Coordinator works with local school district administrators to create the best programs possible that support in-class learning. Columbia Springs also provides nature-based Summer Camp to dozens of children a year.


Around 500 volunteers participate yearly with Stewardship Saturdays, community events, and other onsite projects and programs. Lead Volunteers are highly trained and provide support for field trips and events. The Docent program trains site ambassadors to provide interpretive activities and Guided Walks. The Volunteers Program also supports all other programs, including staffing our Visitor Center.

Salmon in the Classroom

Fifty schools host fish tanks for coho salmon as part of their science curriculum. The program coordinator provides fish dissections and other activities in class at participating schools. Students participate in fish releases at the end of the school year to release their salmon into local streams. Over four thousand children are reached by this program annually.

Repair Clark County

This is a new program to Columbia Springs, and is supported by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. Partnering with local agencies like ReTails and the City of Vancouver, Repair Clark County organizes events around the county where folks can bring broken household items and usually have those items fixed by expert volunteer “fixers”. These events are free to the community.

Public Events

Events and festivals help thousands of people every year connect with nature and learn about the environment and human impact. Kids Fishing Festival partners with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and offers hundreds of children a year the opportunity to learn how to fish. Guided Walks and  Nature Fun Days are provided monthly during the warmer seasons and offer guests free tours and activities to learn about the Hatchery and the unique natural features at Columbia Springs.

Vancouver Trout Hatchery

The hatchery was built in 1938 as a WPA program due to the cold spring water found on Columbia Slope. It was scheduled to close in the ’90’s but was saved by a group of community partners including Clark Public Utilities and the City of Vancouver, who still support it today! It remains a functioning hatchery producing 780,000 trout, chum salmon and steelhead annually. The hatchery is run by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.