The following is written by Jaime Armour, who graduated from Roots of Success at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Jaime was able to return to her community in The Dalles, Oregon in 2019. In these blog posts, she will be providing us with updates about how she’s spending her time and energy since returning home.
On this Earth Day my friends and I helped clean up all the garbage from our much loved Taylor Lake, located in The Eastern Columbia River Gorge. This lake is essential to the local ecosystem which is one of the most diverse on the west coast. Surrounded by mountain terrain, deserts, and riverside, it is home to many unique flowers and animals found only here in the US.
From the creation of this project, my best friend Valerie Buckles and Bella Branum have been advocates for the cause and helped in every step of the way. We all made posts on our social media pages and I created a community event on The Dalles Happenings. I also ran a donation drive to help with disposal costs and garbage bags. We started the announcements 2 weeks prior to the day of event. We all received many inquiries and lots of interest.
However, there was only 1 woman who actually showed up for the event besides the 3 of us. The weather was nice but there were winds up to 60mph. Besides the extreme winds blowing us around we all got out and did our part. We each picked a section of the lake and got to cleaning up the trash. We stayed out there from 3pm to 8pm. We were all dirty, tired, and a hot mess as we sat and watched the sunset together.
My level of participation included: Creating the event, advertisement on social media and in person, purchased trash bags, took before and after pictures, cleaned up my area of the lake. I was able to actively teach my daughter the importance of giving back to our planet. I also got to see my daughter feel what it is like to get outside of oneself and give back. The most important thing I was a part of was showing my daughter first hand the effects humans have on the environment and the necessity of taking action to enact a change. I attended the event and showed up 30 minutes early and stayed late til the job was done.