Thanks to the help of some resourceful people at the National Park Service and the diligent EFTA interns of the Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge, we were able to have a small EFTA intern gathering at Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in Astoria, OR. We were treated with the up-most hospitality by the staff and volunteers of the park, and the experience was so pleasant, I hope to make a trip up there on my own time. The purpose of the visit was to meet a fellow EFTA intern working with Lewis & Clark National Historical Park for the summer, Salvador Ornelas, who is part of the National Park Service and EFTA’s Latino Heritage Program. It is one of a few Celebrate Shorebirds/Latino Heritage meet ups that will happen this summer, in part to network and learn about each others work.
Scott Tucker, Superintendent of Lewis & Clark HNP, was kind enough to provide a camping spot on a newly acquired parcel of land near Sunset Beach. The estate was donated to the park and is adjacent to the “Fort to Sea” trail, a 6 mile track leaving from Ft. Clatsop through spruce forest and ending at the Pacific Ocean. We spent the night, huddled near the fire, talking about ourselves, our dreams, our experiences and even telling ghost stories. It was a much needed moment for all of us. A place in time when we could share our similar struggles and insecurities and also our achievements and visions for the future. After a wonderful night of camping, the following day was full of hard work and lots of learning.
Early in the morning we joined park staff on an invasive species removal where we learned to identify and properly eradicate noxious weeds. We were all equipped with gardening gloves and Japanese hori hori garden tools and went to work. After a successful morning we joined with Scott to talk about the NPS and to help Sal with a summer camp he was coordinating. We learned how to use a compass, to make different knots and to create survival kits with the campers and even made some new friends. Our day ended with a personalized tour of the fort by Scott and a promise to collaborate on more projects in the future. We can’t wait for Sal to make a trip down to the Central coast!