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Flower Baskets throughout our downtown

Flower-BasketEach year, VDA hangs flower baskets throughout downtown. This is one of our more successful programs and is supported solely by donations.

These beautiful baskets add lively color and a welcoming sign to downtowners.  Our season is over, but we look forward to putting the 2017 baskets up near Mothers Day.





A Force for Public Art in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Downtown Association has a long history of investing in unique public art to enrich our city center and create a place that is unlike no other in the world. In the past 5 years, VDA has invested nearly $150,000 in various projects throughout our downtown.

Kinetic1The Phoenix

Created by Seattle artist Andrew Carson was dedicated October 1, 2010.

The piece and its location at 8th and Main were chosen by the late Carl Dobbs, an active member of our Design Committee. Sadly, Carl passed away on October 2nd and was unable to see this magnificent sculpture in its glory, but he was aware of the project and was pleased to know that it was going to become a reality. The Phoenix was funded through grant funds provided by the City of Vancouver. This sculpture helped raise other funds dedicated to public art in our downtown. The community is always pleased to see this kind of investment and is supportive.

Turtle Place


Turtle Place is a public plaza downtown on 7th and Main Street. Formerly a C-Tran bus stop, it is now a model of sustainability and urban beauty.

Thanks to a cooperative effort led by VDA and including the City of Vancouver and C-Tran, Vancouver has a new public gathering place rich with public art and environmentally low-impact fixtures and plantings.

The name “Turtle Place” comes from Vancouver’s past. There is a good reason Vancouver is located where it is. This rich, fertile area has been a population center for thousands of years. Before the Europeans settled the area, it was a gathering place for native people, known to them as “Turtle Place.”

Turtle Place received the 2009 Award of Distinction for Public Spaces from the International Downtown Association.  The annual Achievement Award recognizes the level of innovation, replication, partnerships, and impact for the project.  Vancouver’s Downtown Association, in partnership with C-TRAN and the City of Vancouver, transformed an underused bus mall into an urban plaza rich with public art, lighting, seating, and other amenities.  The plaza was constructed from repurposed materials as a model for sustainable practices.

Many local businesses contributed to our new plaza: Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, Group McKenzie, Tribe2 Studios, and more. Visit Turtle Place anytime and enjoy the many events now scheduled.

Flying Umbrellas

PublicArt3-2012The streets were alive on Friday for April’s Art Walk – Hundreds came out to witness the unveiling of downtown’s newest public art, “Flying Umbrellas”.

From a pool of 19 local artists, Cobalt Designworks was selected to produce our newest exhibit. Financial support came from Friends of Carl Dobbs, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Downtown Association.

The power to keep it lighted with LED lights will cost just pennies a month……only $8.09 annually!  The lighting was paid for with funds donated by Columbia Credit Union– Thanks CCU!!

Art is the icing on the cake that helps us explore, think, become amused, consider, and grow. It can beckon a pedestrian to walk just a bit further to see “what is that interesting thing I see in the next block?”.

It can take stories from our past and make them new again. And, it can teach us a bit more about our world as a whole and our place in its future. Art activates streets, helps connect busy places together, and enriches the fiber of the downtown experience.





2016…May 14th!  We’re going back for more.

Watch for more info about VDA’s Annual Spring Clean Up.  A Solve Oregon sanctioned event, we make great things happen in our city center.  Sparkle. Clean. Sweep. Rake. Together!


Downtown Employee Off-Street Parking Permit Program

The City of Vancouver desires to promote downtown employee parking at off-street parking facilities, long-term metered or monthly permit parking stalls, or use alternative transportation modes such as bike or bus.

The City of Vancouver has received comments from downtown business representatives that downtown municipal garage parking rates are prohibitive for hourly-wage employees who drive their vehicles to work.

thumbsUpIn partnership with Vancouver’s Downtown Association (VDA), The City of Vancouver is establishing a pilot parking program for downtown hourly-wage employees to gather data about their parking habits, needs, and experience.

During the pilot program period, the City of Vancouver will provide up to 20 parking permits to downtown hourly-wage employees to park at the Riverview Tower Parking Garage at a reduced permit rate.  The pilot monthly parking permit fee will be set at $30.00 per month.

Hourly wage employees working in the downtown who are interested in participating should make an appointment with Vancouver’s Downtown Association (VDA) representative to receive an application and present a recent pay stub to VDA for authentication.

Participants will submit the completed and signed application and agreement forms along with the required fee payment to City of Vancouver Customer Services and receive a parking permit for the garage.

Participants in the program must complete and return a survey at the end of the pilot program period.

For more information, please contact:

Lee Rafferty
Vancouver’s Downtown Association
811 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 258-1129
Mike Merrill
City of Vancouver Parking Manager
City Hall
210 E 13th Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 487-8658

More Street Trees!!

VDA-Trees-2010-007Vancouver’s Downtown Association and forty volunteers fueled by a pancake breakfast prepared by Chuck Chronis and his staff planted another 37 trees in Downtown Vancouver on Saturday morning.  This is the second year that the City of Vancouver and VDA have partnered to bring more trees to the city center, planting nearly seventy in all.  Three varieties were added to 8th Street and Evergreen Boulveard.

The City of Vancouver has been designated a Tree City USA since 1989 and hopes to increase the city’s tree canopy from its current 19% to a goal of 28%.  VDA is pleased with the green addition to the central business district.  Association President Lee Coulthard, yielding a shovel and assisting one of four tree teams, said, “We know that our visitors and shoppers appreciate tree-lined streets.  Trees are a gracious, welcoming element and our organization thanks the City of Vancouver for working with us to bring more lush green trees to our downtown”


No Ifs Ands or Butts

It’s a promise kept! VDA and the Esther Short Neighborhood Association, along with volunteer help from Clark College, Clark County Juvenile Justice System, and the Clark, Skamania, West Klickitat Central Labor Council have installed 24 cigarette butt receptacles throughout Downtown Vancouver.

The promise? Two years ago, volunteers at our downtown clean up saved every cigarette butt they found on the street. Even triple-bagged, the stench from the over 37 pounds of cigarette butts was overwhelming when the bags were brought to a City Council meeting to demonstrate the need for a plan. How would we keep our streets clean and the toxic butts out of the storm water system which flows directly into the Columbia River? VDA promised to lead the charge.

These 24 poles, manufactured locally and funded first by a matching grant from the City of Vancouver and then by the donations of local businesses and citizens, are a great step in the right direction.

VDA thanks everyone who worked with us on this project. And, we especially thank the local businesses who will now be helping us keep the program “alive and well” by emptying the receptacles on a regular basis and encouraging their patrons to use them.

Generous donors include:

ButtsUmpqua Bank
Kazoodles Toys
Esther Short Neighborhood Association

Lee and Patricia Coulthard
Esther Short Neighborhood Association
Gold Rush Restaurant
iQ Credit Union
Ginger Metcalf
Norris Beggs & Simpson
Plaid Pantry
Southwest Washington Convention and Visitors Bureau
Vancouver’s Downtown Association
Waste Connections

Not only did iQ Credit Union purchase five receptacles for their property, but also provided a match of $1,500 to the first $1,500 raised for the project.  Thank you iQ.

VDA, along with the Esther Short Neighborhood Association received a $1,500 grant from the Vancouver Watershed Council to continue its work to rid downtown of cigarette butts.

This effort will keep not only our streets and sidewalks clean, but our streams and rivers as well.  VDA has raised $7,000 to date to purchase and install the receptacles.

Support the effort by downloading and printing off a flyer to post in your business! If you would like a receptacle or would like to donate to the program, contact the Executive Director, at 360-258-1129.