Saturday, January 23, 2016
Audubon Nature Reserve in West Salem. They were part of a group of almost twenty Willamette University students that spent the afternoon volunteering their time at the Reserve. They worked on a variety of tasks, spreading wood chips on the trail, cutting back English Ivy, moving and placing logs along the trail, and digging up new flower beds to plant milk weed to be able to attract butterflies. Their upbeat attitudes were a stark contrast to the bitter dissension of the continuing Republican Party circus, and the discouraging militant take over of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. I saw no smoking, or tattoos, or piercing. These were wholesome, upbeat young persons, curious about nature and the community, positive about life, and confident in their ability to complete their education and move forward. It was a wonderful respite from the above mentioned concerns that seem to currently consume my thoughts both day and night. A thank you to this group of kids. They provided a glimmer of hope for the future.