A Day of Work and Friendship at SCOL

November 10, 2023

On Saturday Oct 21, a beautiful sunny autumn day, twelve hearty souls met at SCOL to add flowering native plants to our cloisters and front entrance. Lead by Dora DeCoursy, eight volunteers from KCC and four from the Columbia Gorge OSU Master Naturalist Program tackled our rocky desert soil to establish balsamroot, flowering currant, mock orange, penstemon, and other native plants suitable for this eastern Cascade climate and forest type. At noon we shared a delicious Harvest Potluck. Many of those traveling from Portland stayed overnight to enjoy the inspiring landscape and each other.

Special guests from the Master Naturalist Program were Barbara Robertson, a native plant expert from the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, and Bill Wieler from the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute. Bill conducts wildlife habitat and forest assessments for landowners. Both Barbara and Bill were impressed by the health of our forested property and by KCC’s efforts over the years to enhance native vegetation, especially in those areas most affected by human disturbance. They have both agreed to be on-going partners with us in the stewardship of SCOL.

Many thanks for the service given by all our volunteers, particularly Dora and Bill who obtained all the plants and researched the best ways to get them in the ground. Special thanks to Patricia Delich who donated several native plants from her beautiful Portland Garden.

– Vicki Fields, SCOL Caretaker

“Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.” – Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass