By Matt Walsh, PSU Capstone Student
The title of this course is Neighborhood Watersheds, and on my way to the first day of this class I had Googled watersheds in my smart phone to try and get an idea of what I would be spending my summer doing. When I finally figured out what exactly a watershed was, I thought to myself, "Oh, this will be great! I'll get to spend my summer outside, working in a river somewhere." While there was a little of that, one day to be exact, I ended up spending most of my time indoors working on a computer for this class. I am not complaining, it was not a great summer for us Portlanders anyways, but it was completely different from what I had pictured.
In my mind I saw a group of student sweating it out in a river, maintaining and trying our best to bring a river or creek into a healthier state. The idea of bringing a river into a better state of health was there throughout the entire class but what was more important, and what I really took away from this class, was that there was another benefit to be found in doing this work - Community building. Our focus was not only to benefit the river in many ways, but to also benefit it's surrounding community. I was pretty surprised when I first realized this mutually beneficial relationship between creek and community. That idea was never even on my radar, but it became our main focus in this class. Our goal was to get the surrounding community involved in their environment, which will help bring better health to the river and at the same time give the community a purpose/identity/common goal that will keep there community thriving. Although it will always be a work in progress, I really hope that the work I contributed will bring good health to Crystal Springs and it's surrounding people. Thanks CSCC for all your work has taught me.
Crystal Springs Partnership members, PSU Capstone students, and Special Guest writers all contribute to this blog.