Volunteer Grove

The Volunteer Grove recognizes civically minded community members or groups who donate their time to the City of Vancouver. Nomination forms are accepted year-round and submitted on behalf of individuals, organizations, and/or businesses that have made a significant and positive impact in our community. Once a year, recipients will be awarded a Volunteer Grove Certificate with the location of their tree.

2024 Volunteer Grove Recipients

View photos from the day.

Evelyn Hallett – nominated by 50+ Recreation Programs, Kelly Lund

Evelyn Hallett just 98 years young has been volunteering with seniors here at the Luepke Center well before our pandemic. Her involvement now and then has always been one of inspiration and activity.

Ms. Hallett herself has served on several of our community’s boards and is always helping those who are in need. Recently Evelyn has volunteered to bring entertainment to the 50 and Better Program where we partner with Meals on Wheels People congregate meal program. Each week her smile, energy and enthusiasm encourage her peers to stay active and to get involved a true example of a valuable volunteer.

 She has recently retired from her other volunteer duties throughout the community but wants to make sure to keep involved her at the Luepke Center to bring life and happiness to all.

Kyle Roslund – nominated by Naturespaces Staff, Jade Jones-Hawk

Kyle leads the Vancouver Bee Project, and is a great community partner to the City of Vancouver. He is happy to show up to our community events, and bring tabling materials for his organization, and promotes the City’s environmental events at the VBP events as well. He has been a vital partner in the establishment and development of the Naturespaces pilot program and has inspired the ongoing efforts to establish Vancouver as a Bee City USA, working in collaboration with the City to create pollinator friendly meadowscapes. The work that Kyle is doing will benefit Vancouver residents and wildlife for many generations to come.

Leah Jackson – nominated by Community Development, Rebecca Kennedy

Leah Jackson has been a dedicated City volunteer for nearly two decades. She served on the Parking Advisory Committee for eight years, including several years as Chair and Vice Chair, representing the needs of small businesses, residents and visitors in downtown. She was a longtime founding member of the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and   continued to serve on the Transportation and Mobility Commission when it was established. She has been a tireless advocate for safe transportation infrastructure in the City, including supporting the needs of people who can’t afford to drive or are unable to drive. She’s organized policymaker rides and walks to highlight road safety issues that need to be addressed, and volunteered on many ad hoc committees and groups aimed at improving access for all community members, regardless of age, ability or how they choose to travel. Leah is so deserving of recognition for her long commitment to the community.

Mike Cavanaugh – nominated by Vancouver Fire Department, Kassidy Owen

The Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office is proud to nominate Mike Cavanaugh for his dedication to the Fire Corp’s. Mike has created and implemented several projects contributing to the success of the Fire Corp’s. Mike has gone above and beyond to improve program efficiency and coordinate volunteers for Community Risk Reduction events. We are lucky to have him on the team!

Skylar Dopps, Morgan Geddry & Sukyoung Kim – nominated by Volunteer Programs, Chelsea White

Skylar, Morgan, and Sukyoung are a small but mighty team of high school students who have volunteered over 50 hours to restore our natural areas throughout the City of Vancouver. Not only do they frequently show up for Naturespaces events at Behrens Woods despite cold, rain, and mud, they bring passion for protecting the environment and an interest in learning more about pollinators and other wildlife. Sukyoung also wrote a feature in our quarterly Naturespaces newsletter where she said “I volunteer because it’s a small part of the bigger picture of helping the environment.” These young volunteers already understand the importance of taking small steps to make a big change and we are grateful for their dedication to the natural systems in our city.

Varun Rathi – nominated by Naturespaces, Jade Jones-Hawk

Varun Rathi has been volunteering with the City of Vancouver’s Adopt-a-Park and Naturespaces pilot program since Fall of 2022. In that time he and his family have consistently organized ivy pulling events every other weekend at Behrens Woods UNA in the Bella Vista neighborhood, networking with active members of the Bella Vista Neighborhood Association and drawing in volunteers from across the city. Varun brings positive leadership to these events, providing bubbly water to volunteers and adding a little environmental education to each event. Motivated by a desire to make a difference and a positive impact, his family are dedicated volunteers, with his mother, father, partner, and sister-in-law regularly in attendance. Varun and the Rathi family are shining examples of how recent arrivals to the city can dig in and make a difference in their local parks and natural areas.

Interoffice Mail Delivery Team – Nominated by Vancouver Police Department, Jordan Macfarlane

The Vancouver Police Department partners with the community to preserve life, protect property and enhance livability. VPD volunteers assist with a multitude of roles and projects in the field and at our facilities. Janet Hobbes, Bob Knauer, Kathy Lyman and Ralph Harris demonstrate Valor, Professionalism and Duty as valued VPD Support Volunteers serving on the Interoffice Mail Delivery Team.

The Interoffice Mail Delivery Team improves operations by providing the accurate and proper delivery of internal documents and mail between police facilities. This role can take up to three hours a day and the volunteers deliver internal mail five days per week with the only exception of federal holidays. 52 weeks a year is a large commitment, and our group is wholly committed.

Beyond the tremendous assistance to our system efficiencies, our VPD staff enjoy the joyful moments of interacting with the amazing volunteers on the team. The connection and warmth they provide brightens our day and enhances sense of community.

2023 Volunteer Grove Recipients

  • Amanda McCallum, 50+ Programming
  • Clif Barnes, Urban Forestry
  • Dan Lincoln, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • Linda Gentry, Vancouver Police Department
  • Margi Russo, 50+ Programming
  • Peter & Vera Marez, Litter Stewards
  • Stephen Wille, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services

2022 Volunteer Grove Recipients

  • Randall Franklin, Office of Neighborhoods
  • Barney Levie, Vancouver Fire Department
  • Paula Person, Vancouver Fire Department
  • Bob Knauer, Vancouver Police Department
  • Jean Avery, Urban Forestry
  • Vancouver USA Walking Club, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services

2021 Volunteer Grove Recipients

  • Mary Elkin, Office of Neighborhoods
  • Frank Woodberry, Special Events Volunteer Team
  • Susan Law, Urban Forestry
  • Arthur Greene, Vancouver Fire Department

2020 Volunteer Grove Recipients

  • Melissa Johnston, Urban Forestry
  • John Caton, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • 50+ Travel Program, 50+ Programming
  • Paul Stasz, Urban Forestry
  • Gillian Johnson, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • Billie Shank, 50+ Programming
  • Haley Miller & Georgina Reyes-Garcia, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • The Heights District Plan Community Advisory Committee

2019 Volunteer Grove Recipients

  • Friends of Hearthwood Park, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • Jean Kent, Urban Forestry
  • Bob Kennedy, Vancouver Police Department
  • Jeff Kessenich, Urban Forestry
  • Bev Schubert & Arlys Borjesson, 50+ Travel Program
  • Esther Schrader, Office of Neighborhoods
  • Michael Harrison, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • Holly Williams, Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Forever Young Hike Leaders, 50+ Programming

2018 Volunteer Grove Recipients

  • Erika Johnson, Urban Forestry
  • Gene Wigglesworth, Urban Forestry and Parks
  • Lisa Nelski, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • Neighbors on Watch (NOW) Leadership Team, Vancouver Police Department
  • Ross Montgomery, SMART program, Office of Neighborhoods, and Urban Forestry
  • Susan Sanders, Urban Forestry
  • Tom Massart, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services
  • Tracy Weedman, Office of Neighborhoods