Hockinson Community Works Together to Recognize Earth Day

Plants on Earth Day

On Sunday, April 18, Hockinson community members carried on the Earth Day tradition started in 1970 by Clark County native Denis Hayes. This year, the Hockinson Main Street Team, Hockinson Citizens for Better Schools, and Hockinson PWT partnered together to organize a Hockinson School District-wide Earth Day cleanup and beautification volunteer effort in observance of the holiday. The cleanup was a great experience for young volunteers to not only make our town more beautiful, but also learn about teamwork, celebrate our community, and develop new friendships.  

Volunteers helping out




Volunteers helping out by the track





According to Kelsey Chappelle and Ada Carter, key organizers for the Earth Day activities, more than 80 Hockinson community members, including district teachers and staff, volunteered to spread mulch; plant flowers and shrubs; and weed and clean the grounds at each of Hockinson’s three campuses. 

Superintendent Steve Marshall holding a box of flowers.




Volunteers assemble for welcome and safety message





Volunteers came from a range of experiences, from the very young to the young at heart. First-time volunteer Judith Choma, an HHES kindergartner, proudly announced, “I helped with six shovels of wood chips! Because it was hard.” 

Superintendent Steve Marshall holding a box of flowers.




Superintendent Steve Marshall holding a box of flowers. 





Helping lead the Earth Day Cleanup, Superintendent Steve Marshall informed and reminded volunteers on the Covid-19 health safety guidelines, which included staying a safe distance apart, wearing masks, and knowing how and who to notify with safety concerns. He also helped direct volunteers on various activities and promoted a positive attitude throughout the day. 


Gay Snipes enjoyed the cleanup as one of the many service projects she has participated in over the years. “Even though, at 75, my body doesn’t hold up very well with physical labor, the experience was delightful. It was great to soak up some rays, work the muscles, and visit with friends while serving our community. Service is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure!”


As part of the Hockinson Earth Day celebration, a community bench was installed at the entrance to the Middle School track. The bench was donated by the Hockinson PWT, and was constructed in a joint effort by two Hockinson families: the Fosters and the Blomdahls. The bench reads: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind,” a quote favored by Michelle Staley, a beloved HHES teacher who passed away unexpectedly in April of 2019. Volunteers planted a combination of purple flowering plants near the bench, as it was well-known that Staley’s favorite color was purple.


Event participants are already looking forward to making the Hockinson Community Earth Day Cleanup an annual activity. HHES parent Emily Combelic worked alongside her family to spread bark chips along the Nature Trail at the Elementary School. She said, “Earth Day was so much fun. It was very well organized. We got to meet new people and also contribute to the school that my kids will be at for many years to come! Looking forward to next year!”


Thank you to the many volunteers and community businesses that donated to make this event possible:

  • Battle Ground Rockery

  • Heritage Safeway

  • Heritage Burgerville

  • Hockinson Market

  • Weyerhaeuser

  • Red Beard Concrete

  • CalPortland Concrete

  • ShurWay Building Center

  • Chapman’s Greenhouse and Nursery

  • Scent Acres Lavender Form

  • Clark Native Plant Center

  • Good Year Farms


Earth Day takes place on Thursday, April 22, this year. Here are some family-friendly tips to help you celebrate at home while caring for the Earth:

  • Plant flowers or a tree in your yard or in a pot

  • Go for a bike ride instead of driving somewhere

  • Use reusable bags for groceries and other items

  • Carry a refillable water bottle

  • Spend time outside and enjoy nature

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