My two-week training in the Central Coast Ranger District concluded with me working at the Get Outdoors Day event held at the Peavy Arboretum of Oregon State University. This event is focused on encouraging healthy, active outdoor fun for all members of the community. I really enjoyed working at this event because many of the volunteers were bilingual so they were able to connect with all of the visitors. I think having volunteers that are bilingual at events like these is crucial because it allows people from many different backgrounds to be able to participate and get involved in activities they might not have gone to in the past. Being able to speak to someone in their native language and put them at ease is very rewarding and I am grateful that I got the opportunity to speak to so many people.
Getting to interact with the people of the area as they walked around with handmade bird feeders and the fish they caught in the lake, I realized how important being part of this was. Many of the people here had not been exposed to nature in this way since they had spent most of their time in the city, so this was the perfect opportunity to help them get involved and visit the nature that has always been around them.
After Get Outdoors Day I moved to the Hebo Ranger District where I got to visit the top of Mt. Hebo during the sunset and even saw a barred owl on the way up. Since this is only the second year there has been an Environment for the Americas intern in the Hebo Ranger District and there are no other field rangers, I work very closely with Karen Roberts who is the Interpretive Specialist. During the first week, we have been contacting different organizations to try to collaborate and present interpretive programs at their events. I have also started to explore the different areas of the Hebo Ranger District that I will be working in. I look forward to spending the rest of my time here in Hebo and doing interpretive programs in both English and Spanish as well as working with the different departments here!