Day campers spruce up Beggars Tick

Along with crafts and games, see how these campers are helping to beautify this portion of the Springwater Trail …

members of the YMCA “Eastside Breakaways” day-camp – Ian Pradham and Andy Tucker, Eric Thompson, and Audrey Ferguson – pitch in at Beggars Tick.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Along with their other camp activities, kids who go to the YMCA “Eastside Breakaways” day-camp learn community service.

We catch up with them as they are spreading mulch and cleaning paths at Beggars Tick, on SE 111th Avenue, just north of SE Foster Road, along the Springwater Trail.

“Part of our job is to help these kids as develop human beings,” says camp counselor Andy Tucker. “And part of growing into being a good citizen is learning to participate in community service. It is also about learning what is going on at this wildlife refuge – the plant life and other stuff they’re doing here.”

As the sixth through eight grade students toil away, Metro Park ranger Don Bee looks on and comments, “We take care of a lot of parklands. Whenever we can get volunteers to help us, it really makes a difference. These kids are doing a great job.”

Here, wheeling in mulch is camper Eric Thompson.

The mulching, Bee says, helps control weed growth, and retains moisture for the native plants, helping them do better against the invasive species of grasses.

What do the kids think?

“I’m used to doing yard work like this,” says volunteer Eric Thompson. “We’re helping out here; you can see that we’re doing helps. It’s fun to be of service.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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