Here's the latest update from the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our second service story comes from Amber Thacker, originally from Florida, who is one of seven members on the team and is also serves as the Service Learning Coordinator and Peer Helper on the team:
Laughter & Life in the Garden
For the past three weeks, the team has spent many hours serving at the SAGE; tilling the land, planting starts, and weeding. While seeing the land transform has been wonderful, it has been more than just sprouting spinach that has awakened the garden. As the sun starts shining more frequently, visitors are bringing life and laughter into the garden. The children in particular have filled SAGE with a spirit of discovery and wonderment.
Last Tuesday, the garden had many young visitors and it was so fun to watch them quiz Pam (the garden manager) about everything from worms in the soil to the roots of the plants. They wanted to participate hands-on in the garden; watering plants, feeding the birds, and assisting with starting the earth-oven. Watching these young volunteers explore the garden, with their eagerness to learn and help, has resonated with me. It can be so easy as a "grown-up" to get caught up in checking off the day-to-day tasks involved with maintaining the garden and forget to stop and take in the experience. I think it is so important to have children in the garden, not only to help them learn and grown, but also to remind the adults how to play! It is the simple art of play that makes working in the garden an experience full of joy.
We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.-Benjamin Franklin