My time here spent at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest headquarters has been humbling and educational. I’ve been given the unique opportunity to meet so many Forest Service (FS) employees. They all offer up their unique skill sets every day to execute the FS mission to “sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations”. Duties and responsibilities of these positions differ greatly and add resilience to the many moving parts that make up the whole of the U.S. Forest Service. These often geographically separate departments and districts place emphasis on communication and cooperation. This allows the Forest Service to execute multiple projects with often limited resources and multiple vacancies. I am proud to serve on one of these many teams and enjoy the challenging nature of the projects I have been a part of.
National Get Outdoors Day is an event that promotes children turning the Xbox off and getting outdoors to have fun and exercise. Helping plan and organize this event was quite the endeavor and took many hours of planning. I look back and can remember tediously navigating all the steps necessary to host an event in a National Park and attempting to figure out the many logistical challenges that arise when hosting 2,000 people. I am proud to say that National Get Outdoors Day 2017 went off very well. The experience of managing 15 plus youth volunteers was fun and challenging. I wanted to take the time to give a shout out to the Timber Lake Job Corps out of Estacada, OR and Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center for bringing out such enthusiastic young volunteers that contributed so much to this year’s event. This event could not have been done without the help of many community members, federal partners and local businesses who gave time, talent, and treasure to make this year’s event exceptional.