A big shout out to the Department of Corrections Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women work crew. For the past two months teams of these ladies have put in 250 hours of dedicated work on the Duckabush Oxbow and Wetlands Preserve in cold, wet, muddy, prickly, and otherwise difficult conditions. They have done tremendous work – work that would simply not have happened without them. And they enjoyed it!
When we heal the land, we find the land can heal us in return. During two months of dedicated stewardship work on the Duckabush River by a crew from Department of Corrections Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women, we saw this idea in action as the crew became engaged and inspired by the land they cared for.
We often talk about repairing land, but we should remember that land can repair people too. I’ve personally experienced it, and I’ve seen it as joy and inspiration in the eyes of the women. Part of our work included a daily guided nature walk during which I talked about the natural history of the area, and the importance of conservation. I was surprised by their interest in ecology, and by the growing depth of their questions as time went on. It was wonderful to hear some of the women anxiously telling newcomers all about salmon life cycles, tracking bears, and the wonders of lichen. Perhaps we have developed some future stewards? Perhaps we’ve planted a seed of inspiration in lives that may be in great need of hope and positive energy? I like to think so. My thanks to them, and to the land that brought us all together.
-Jesse, Veterans Conservation Corps Intern