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.

2023 Volunteer Grove Recipients

View photos from the day.

Amanda McCallum – nominated by 50+ Recreation Programs, Kelly Lund

Amanda is a community volunteer who leads a 50+ Club called Happy Crafts. She provides a wonderful opportunity for those 50 and Better to create, craft and socialize.

Community volunteers such as Amanda are important to our 50+ programs. Volunteers donate all supplies and time, she currently is employed First Choice Advisory. Amanda is a wealth of knowledge for seniors who might need resources to age well in Clark county and she does this with a smile and support of a great volunteer.

Bella Vista Neighborhood Association Board – nominated by Naturespaces Staff, Jade Jones-Hawk

The Bella Vista Neighborhood Association Board, Nancy Roth-President; Bob Rowe-Vice President/Parks Chair; Cheryl Higgins-Secretary/Newsletter; Kathy Carmody-Treasurer; Ruth Wilmoth-Community Food Garden; Penni Howard-Rose Garden and Email; Michael Martin-Tellis-NTSA liaison: Kate Altenhof-Long; Fred Garmire; Perry Elliott have consistently worked on behalf of the neighborhood to expand opportunities for residents and take thoughtful and consistent care of their homes, parks and natural areas. The Bella Vista NHA works to make sure residents are aware of City offered opportunities. Board members regularly participate in clean up and invasive plant removal at Bella Vista and Behrens Woods, collaborate on neighborhood projects with one another including a little free library at Bella Vista and a rose garden, and remain in open communication with the City about their desires for the neighborhood.

Clif Barnes – nominated by Urban Forestry Coordinator, Jessica George

Clif is our tree hero. He is a longtime volunteer in our community and advocate for trees. In 2016 Clif took the Tree Stewards course and quickly began volunteering with Friends of Trees; he has served in every role with them over the years. In 2018 Clif joined the Urban Forestry Commission and just last year was appointed to serve as the vice-chair. His guidance and leadership as a commissioner is only matched by his enthusiasm to plant more trees. Clif walks the talk. He has planted several trees on his property over the years (including many Oregon White Oaks!), encourages others to plant on their properties, and volunteers to plant and prune these trees. Clif, your selfless commitment to our trees and the health of our communities is truly incredible. Thank you!

Dan Lincoln – nominated by Volunteer Program Assistant, Chelsea White

Dan joined the City as a volunteer in March 2022 with a strong desire to be part of the solution to litter in our community and has since spent over 30 hours beautifying his neighborhood and has removed over 30 bags of trash! When he noticed some other opportunities in his local park, Dan adopted Shumway in June of last year and has already coordinated volunteers to serve over 80 hours, cleaning graffiti, removing dead plants and other organic debris, and maintaining Shumway Park’s cleanliness and safety. When Dan noticed the park’s dog bag station was empty, he signed up to stock the station to keep the park even cleaner. When Dan sees an issue in the community, instead of complaining about it, he rolls up his sleeves and becomes part of the solution.

Linda Gentry – nominated by Vancouver Police Department Volunteer Coordinator, Jordan Macfarlane

The Vancouver Police Department is proud to nominate Linda Gentry for her dedication to the Neighbors on Watch program and improving systems within the organization. In Linda’s professional life, she worked in Information Technology for over 40 years, taught Microsoft Office products at Clark College in Continuing Education and developed databases and websites for small businesses. Linda’s journey led her to volunteering at the Vancouver Police Department in 2014 and she has enriched the program ever since. Linda has provided recommendations and support to various units at VPD. Linda has developed and facilitated new and innovative systems to promote productivity and efficiency within VPD and the NOW program. Linda has also contributed to the training experiences of fellow volunteers. Linda has created and implemented several training courses, serves as a Mentor and guides volunteers through the various computer systems utilized by the NOW program. In 2022, Linda led the Base Log Review Team, implements our Google Calendar and Drive systems, provided IT support to volunteers, tracked statistics of the program and so much more. Linda goes above and beyond to improve efficiencies and teach volunteers and staff how to utilize computer programs to a greater capacity. She is a gifted instructor, patient advisor and we are lucky to have her on the team!

Margi Russo – nominated by 50+ Recreation Programs, Kelly Lund

Margi is a community volunteer who leads a very fun and interactive 50+ Club called Colour Your Canvas. She provides a wonderful opportunity for those 50 and Better to paint on canvas and find their hidden talents. Margi donates all supplies and time, she currently is employed by VAN MALL Senior Living. Margi was teaching this club prior to COVID and was eager to come back in 2021 when we reopened we are very happy to have such a volunteer who is dedicated to Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

Peter and Vera Marez – nominated by Solid Waste department AmeriCorps member, Chris Fauls

Few individuals have shown the consistency, care, and determination to keep Vancouver free of litter as Pete and Vera. They joined the Litter Stewards program in its infancy and to this day are some of its most active members. Whether showing up to one of our events to clean-up a neighborhood park, or getting out there and doing it by themselves, Pete and Vera have shown incredible dedication in the fight to keep our City clean. Thank you, Pete and Vera in helping to create a cleaner community, for everyone.

Stephen Wille – nominated by neighbor, Kara Harden Egan

Steve Wille has been a dedicated member of the Countryside Woods Neighborhood Association for many years. He has served on the Executive Board as Chair and other positions over the years. He cares deeply about maintaining the neighborhood park and has spent many hours with the “leave the leaves” projects and the annual park clean up day. He always volunteers to organize the annual neighborhood cleanup, securing a location for the dumpsters and recruits volunteers and leads the coordination with the city and other neighborhoods. Steve is proactive in offering assistance if he sees a neighborhood issue that needs addressed, such as mailbox vandalism and theft, he has assisted with finding out information for replacing mailboxes that were hit in traffic incidents and other circumstances. He is always willing to listen and help find solutions and assist others.

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