It was kinda like first day of school. I’m attending Volunteer Naturalist training at the Trualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. I’m excited. I’m one of about 18 people getting ready to be guides for groups visiting the refuge — especially school children — and for interacting with the community.

How’d it go? I got there at 9:00 am and by about 9:01 we were heading out to the refuge trails to learn about how to communicate with people about what the refuge means and offers. Yes, as the picture shows, it was raining, but that’s the everyday reality in Oregon this time of year. Training and visitor tours happen within that reality. Our naturalist group leader was telling us about the white oaks planted there to become massive as the decades and centuries go by. Ya gotta think long range.

Six hours today with three more sessions ahead. Frankly, I’m proud to be part of protecting the wildlife and environment of the nation. A country is more than just its people and cities. The expanse of Earth on which this country was founded is extraordinary, and we need to keep it that way.


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