Planting trees. Picking up litter. Prepping a garden for spring planting.
All of these are ways Ford Alumni celebrated Earth Day and helped out in their communities at the same time.
“It is important for alumni to participate in service projects because it not only helps everyone stay connected as a family, but it carries out Kenneth Ford’s legacy by continuing to give back to our local communities,” says Ford Scholar Alumni Association Member at Large Emilie Jensen.
She was one of four alumni who gathered friends and fellow alumni for Earth Day service projects across the state in April.
Jensen organized a tree planting project for Friends of Trees on April 1. A group of eight FSAA members and friends joined a volunteer group of about 100 people at the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant Park in Wilsonville to plant trees and other pollinator-friendly shrubs. These plantings were all part of the Bee Stewards Wilsonville project.
“Working with Friends of Trees was extremely rewarding because the organization is incredibly efficient at what it does,” Jensen said. “Our group planted nearly 1,000 plants in less than two hours! We even had a child’s birthday party join our planting group, and it was very inspiring to see such a diverse group of individuals working together to better our environment.”
Pheobe Skinner, an alumna from the class of 1996, and a friend did their own “mini beach clean-up” in Gold Beach, collecting two big garbage bags full.
Class of 1998 Ford Scholar alumna Holly Scholz and 2012 Ford ReStart alumna Kate Soliz picked up litter around Prineville on Earth Day during an event hosted by the local parks and recreation district and SOLVE.
Class of 2010 Ford Scholar alumnus Ryan King invited fellow alumni to join him on April 29 in preparing the Produce for the People garden for the coming season. The Corvallis organization grows food for low-income individuals and agencies while providing opportunities for gardeners to grow, learn and contribute to the community.
While no other alumni joined him, King weeded around the raspberry plantings, planted lettuce starts, and spread mulch and compost.
“I had a great time and hope to volunteer more there in the future,” King said. “I love gardening and thoroughly enjoy working with and growing food for others.”