Started by the Health Department in 2001, the life jacket loaner program is a cooperative effort among Safe Kids Lower Columbia, and the County Parks and Health Departments.
The program is designed to promote safety to both adults and children by offering the use of our life jackets, free of charge, while they are around water.
There have been over 20 drowning deaths in Cowlitz County since 1995. Most people who drown never meant to get wet, weren’t wearing a life jacket, and, surprisingly, usually know how to swim!
There are several life jacket loaner stations in Cowlitz County. Three are at Willow Grove Park–one by the boat launch, and two by the swimming areas. There is also one at Horseshoe lake in Woodland, and another at County Line Park, and others.
The rules are simple: take one to use while you’re enjoying any kind of activity in or around the water, and simply return it to the station when you’re done using it so the next family can use it too!