Reflections on Summer and Appreciation for Fall
Summer is drawing to an end. Something that causes me to reflect upon things for the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah and the communities that it serves.
During the summer I spent much time in the North Bottomlands, observing operations of the staff and volunteers, doing my part to cut back blackberry and grass from around the Kienzle House and exploring ways to utilize the house and barn more fully. As fall approaches, I for one will fully embrace the changing of color of the leaves.
While I was doing my part, it never ceased to impress me the commitment the staff and volunteers demonstrate in a season, let alone in a year. I watched as they flexed their schedules to navigate the temperatures and machine operations restricted due to fire danger. Humbly responding to the needs of the park, the community and the larger world so that care and stewardship of the park continue regardless of the challenges being thrown their way.
Given my position, I would have assumed that someone would complain of having to adapt so much to things to make things happen, but no one did. Instead they began in the cool darkness of the morning, long before most people were awake and thinking about coffee or tea. This would continue into the heat of the day. If one, unfamiliar with this flexibility, were to come to the park in the late afternoon they may be under the impression that nothing had happened or minimal efforts were underway. That person would be sadly mistaken.
As fall approaches, as a non-profit, we are moving into the fundraising season. It is a common shift and very valuable. At our annual meeting, we focused a target on increasing members and donors to the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah. Something extremely important to continue the mission. Too often in my conversations with people, they are misinformed and confused as to who is tending to the needs of the Park and working diligently to care for the largest oak savanna in Oregon. Centrally placed with a variety of cities, towns and farms surrounding the area. This precious community resource offers recreation to a great number of people, covers an area 3 times the size of Central Park in New York and is a habitat to an extremely wide variety of flora and fauna. (I was privy to a picture of an elk herd spotted within the park, and got closer to the owl population that enjoys the shelter of the House and Barn.)
While the size of the Park is extremely impressive, I am reminded often that the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah has a stewardship area that doubles the size of the Park itself. Not all areas are open for access to the public and it seems the wildlife population readily crosses those human created lines. This tremendous amount of green space filters water and air, offers habitat and acts as a local temperature regulator (something extremely important to the local populations that want to escape summer temperatures and to consider the climate warms and many communities are suffering).
I write you all now to point to the value of the Park, the staff and volunteers who work in and around the Park, stewarding this space that we all benefit from. Working humbly and often without public recognition to the greater good they serve, this place and these people need our understanding, respect and support for the invaluable work they do. I am asking each of us to offer ourselves socially, financially and with sweat equity to continue the mission of the Friends. Share the story, beauty and value of the Park with friends, family and colleagues. Do your part to tend to and care for this place. And offer whatever financial resources you may possess to allow the next chapter in the organization’s operation as we seek to raise money for a development staff member who can more specifically address the financial needs of the organization.
Thank you for reading and being involved. I am always open to conversations for those interested who wish to share their perspective, stories and ideas.
- Steve Moore, Board Chair