“Get Outdoors Day” was planned by the Friends of Tryon Creek, Columbia Land Trust, and the folks at HAKI (Humanitarian Aid with Kindness and Intercultural), an organization serving the Swahili-speaking community in SW Portland. Within resources for the East African immigrant & refugee community, this language group can be underserved and HAKI aims to fill those gaps; we felt very lucky to be able to engage with them in a meaningful way with the help from Swahili language interpreters.
Over 70 community members of all ages came on down! After welcoming everyone to the Tryon Creek State Natural Area, there were three stations for community members to go through for environmental education facilitated by community translators. The stations included pelts and skulls of wildlife inside the classroom; Iris Benson, OPRD Park Manager at TCSNA led a talk on plants, and in the Jackson Shelter, we at TCWC educated folks about watersheds via a hands-on activity with paper, markers, and “rain”. We especially enjoyed the delicious home-made meal at the end of the day!
Clockwise from top left: TCWC’s Terri Preeg Riggsby and HAKI’s Saalim Saalim, who have crossed paths in other local community engagement; Columbia Land Trust, HAKI, FOTC, OPRD, & TCWC staff welcoming community members to the Jackson Shelter; a plate of the delicious home-made meal at the end of the day; CLT & community members doing the watershed activity: By tracing the peaks of the paper with washable marker then “raining” on their paper watersheds, the flow of the ink shows how water moves and can help start the conversation about how what we do in our watershed affects larger bodies of water.
Thanks to the Friends of Tryon Creek and Columbia Land Trust for inviting us, and Oregon Parks and Recreation to be part of this great day! We were able to participate thanks to funding from the Community Watershed Stewardship Program through the Bureau of Environmental Services!