Vancouver Parks & Recreation
Portland is a fantastic city, but there are many other things to do in the surrounding area. One of those places is in Vancouver, Washington. If you’re looking for some outdoor activities or a family-friendly destination with something for everyone, this is the place to go! Here are just a few of the fun things that Vancouver Parks & Recreation has to offer:
Golfing: Several golf courses in the area, including the challenging Vancouver National Golf Club.
Aquatics: Swim laps at one of the city’s pools or take a relaxing float down the river. There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing and boating.
Trails: Hike or bike through some of the area’s scenic trails, including the Fort Vancouver Regional Trail.
Sports: Play pick-up games at one of the many sports fields around town or watch your favorite professional team play in Portland!
Arts & Culture: There are so many different things to do regarding art and culture in this city. Take a stroll through the art museum, catch a show at the theater, or listen to some live music.
No matter what you’re looking for, Vancouver Parks & Recreation is sure to have something that will interest you. So get out and explore all that this area has to offer!
History of Vancouver Parks & Recreation
Vancouver was incorporated in 1857 and became a city in 1893. In 1905, the first public parks were created under City Council Ordinance No. 1550-A, which authorized $5000 for land purchase from landowners along Mill Creek to create two small parks: Lewis & Clark Park at East Fifth Avenue and Ivon Street; and Bradley Park at East 12th Avenue and Franklin Street.
In 1911, the Recreation Committee was formed to provide organized recreation opportunities for boys and girls. The first program offered was a Boy Scout troop. In 1928, the Playground Association of Vancouver (now known as Friends of Vancouver Parks) was founded to support playground development.
The first public swimming pool was built in 1934 at Lewis & Clark Park. By 1957, there were six pools available for the community to use, and over $500,000 had been spent on park improvements.
Today, Vancouver Parks & Recreation is responsible for more than 470 acres of land, including 47 parks with amenities such as sports fields, tennis courts, picnic shelters, playgrounds, and more. The department also operates four swimming pools, two golf courses, a nature center, and miles of trails. Vancouver Parks & Recreation is proud to serve the community and provide opportunities for people of all ages to get active and have fun!
Facts About Vancouver Parks & Recreation
Vancouver Parks & Recreation is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. In addition to being a popular destination for locals, it’s also frequented by tourists from all over the world. It has been serving our community since 1982 and continues to grow with its annual events such as Kids Fishing Day, Movies at Esther Short Park, and many others!
Vancouver Parks & Recreation is responsible for more than 470 acres of land, including 47 parks with recreation services such as sports fields, tennis courts, picnic shelters, playgrounds, and more.
The department also operates four swimming pools, two golf courses, a nature center, and miles of trails.
There’s something for everyone at Vancouver Parks & Recreation! You can enjoy a day out with your family, take part in one of our many fitness classes or relax by the river. It offers plenty of amenities such as playgrounds, basketball courts, picnic areas, and more.
What to See in Vancouver Parks & Recreation
The Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department oversees more than 14,000 acres of parkland, consisting of playgrounds, sports fields, nature areas, and golf courses. The department also operates community centers, swimming pools, ice rinks, and public boat launches. Some of the most popular parks in the city include Esther Short Park (Vancouver’s oldest), Hough Park, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District’s Main Branch (Vancouver’s largest library), and the Evergreen Trail.
The city of Portland is home to more than 80 parks with diverse features, including athletic fields, trails for biking or hiking, playgrounds for children, picnic areas complete with grills and shelters, open spaces that are perfect for a game of frisbee or football, and ponds and waterways perfect for fishing or simply taking a stroll. The Portland park system is also home to more than 25 miles of trails that wind their way through the city’s forests, along its creeks, and over its hills. Some of the most popular parks in Portland include Forest Park (the largest park), Mt. Tabor Park, and Peninsula Park.
Things Not to Do at Vancouver Parks & Recreation
- Alcohol is not allowed in any Vancouver Parks & Recreation facilities or property. This includes parks, playgrounds, community centers, and trails.
- Dogs are welcome in most parks but must be leashed at all times. Owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
- Smoking is not allowed in any park facility or on park property. This includes playgrounds, community centers, and trails.
Things to Bring in Vancouver Parks & Recreation
- Water Bottle: Water is a must in the summer when it’s hot.
- Sunscreen: It’s essential to protect yourself from UV rays and heatstroke when you’re outdoors, especially if you have fair skin or blond hair!
- Bug Spray: While specific bugs are only out at night, mosquitoes can also be found during the day.
- Snacks: If you plan to spend the day at your favorite park, it’s essential to bring something along for a quick bite.
- Sunglasses: You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses! They are so cheap now that there is no excuse not to own several different ones.
- Sunhat or Hat with Shade: A hat is a good idea if you want to take a nap and don’t want your face getting too much sun.
- Baby Wipes: These are great when you need something quick to freshen up with or clean off some sticky hands!
- Bandana/Handkerchief: Keep one of these on hand if someone gets hit with something like pollen.
- Camera: You’ll never regret taking photos of your time outdoors! They are great memories that can be cherished for years to come.
- Portable Phone Charger: Chances are, if you’re spending the day at a park, you’ll want to take pictures and post about it on social media! Make sure your phone is charged up so you don’t miss out on any fun.
- Athletic Shoes: If you plan to do any hiking or walking, wear proper shoes.
- Bug Repellent: Mosquitoes can carry diseases like Zika or malaria, so it’s best to keep them away from your skin! Best of all, these are available at most drug stores for under $15/bottle.
How to Get to Vancouver Parks & Recreation
Traveling to Vancouver, WA on the I-205 North or Southbound lanes.
The park is located off NE 82nd Ave and Sandy Blvd, between Interstate 84 and Columbia River Highway (Columbia Gorge Expressway). From Interstate 205, take exit number 13 toward Portland Airport/I-84 West. Merge onto northbound I-205 and follow signs toward Vancouver. After the exit for I-84 west, stay in the right lane on the next two exits to get onto eastbound NE 82nd Ave. Travel about 0.75 miles until you reach Sandy Blvd; turn right at the stoplight (which is also called NE 82nd Ave). Take an immediate left into a parking lot or continue on Sandy Blvd. Turn left into the second parking lot, which is just ahead on the right.
The park can also be accessed from SE 82nd Ave./Halsey St., traveling eastbound. Take a right onto NE 81st Ave., travel about 0.50 miles, then take a left at stoplight (also called NE 82nd Ave). Take an immediate left into a parking lot or continue on Sandy Blvd. Turn left into the second parking lot, which is just ahead on the right.
About Vancouver Parks & Recreation Department (VPRD)
Vancouver’s community parks, trails, recreation centers, and sports fields are part of a healthy lifestyle for our residents and visitors. The Vancouver Parks & Recreation Department (VPRD) is responsible for the operation and maintenance of our city’s park system, which totals more than 900 acres, including:
- 55 developed parks
- More than 26 miles of trails
- Seven recreation centers
- Nine sports complexes with nearly 50 fields
The department also oversees cemeteries, forestry, and landscape maintenance.
The Vancouver Parks & Recreation Department is committed to providing quality parks and diverse recreational opportunities for all residents, visitors, and future generations. Their staff is dedicated to creating an enjoyable experience through safe and well-maintained recreation facilities, programs, and services. For more information call (360) 4873000.
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