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Earth Team Volunteering Has Been Rewarding


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Submitted By Pamela Nelson, Volunteer, Ephrata

Earth Team volunteer, Pamela Nelson, interviewing area conservationist Harold Crose for the Getting to Know You article.

Earth Team volunteer, Pamela Nelson, interviewing area conservationist Harold Crose for the "Getting to Know You" article.

As a retired teacher, I have a great deal of time now to enjoy living on our ten acres in the country. I usually enjoy eating simple, healthy meals at home, however my husband, Leigh Nelson, likes to eat out. So about two years ago, I decided to drive to Ephrata on Fridays to go out to lunch with Leigh, and be an Earth Team Volunteer at his office.

It has become a highlight in our week. It has been good to be able to understand more of what Leigh is doing as the Irrigation Engineer for Washington State. I’ve been able to help him by proofreading many tech notes and reports. I’ve also been able to help him prepare for various courses and workshops that he presents. The week before the Thanksgiving vacation, that almost wasn’t, I worked full time helping with the audit process.

Shortly after I became a weekly volunteer, Harold Crose, the Central Area Conservationist, decided to start a monthly newsletter to build team spirit and keep the entire area up to date on progress and developments. I suggested that they put in an interview article about a person from the area, each issue, as a “getting to know you” idea. The suggestion was accepted and I was asked to do the interviews. That has been one of the most interesting and enjoyable things that I do. It has been fun getting to know the different people in the Area, and learning about their families, NRCS history and hobbies.

It was quite an honor to be involved with the telephone conference with the then acting, now current Chief, Dave White. It was very apparent by that conference call that the volunteers were truly appreciated and valued. They even took time for us to ask questions, and I was the first volunteer to ask a question.

Another highlight of my time as an Earth Team volunteer was the day that the new Washington State Conservationist, Roylene Rides at the Door, and her husband, Brian, came to the Ephrata office to meet everyone. I was so impressed that even though she held a position of such power and authority, she was very gentle and approachable. It was wonderful to see the love and respect that Roylene and Brian had for each other.

For all of these reasons, and more, it has been a very fun, informative and rewarding experience being an Earth Team volunteer.