My name is Katie and I’m a Washington Service Corps member serving at Moran State Park on Orcas Island. My responsibilities include disaster relief and the construction of a new trail. To date we have been preoccupied with disaster relief and coordinating volunteer efforts. 

The snowstorm in early February has caused a lot of damage to the state park. Winds reaching 90mph knocked down countless branches, leaves, and fell several trees – one destroying a building. When we arrived, all campgrounds were closed. Due to our efforts and the help of volunteers from Boy Scouts of America, the University of South California, and Americorps NCCC, almost all of the campgrounds are now operational and open to the public.

In the short time I’ve been serving in Americorps at Moran State Park I’ve learned how to operate a chainsaw, tractor, and one ton. I’ve learned how to motivate volunteers and make manual labor into a valuable team building exercise. I’ve learned the unique considerations site staff has in managing a park. 

I’m looking forward to learning more about the plants and wildlife in the region and how to construct the trail. It will be a particularly meaningful opportunity to take a part in creating a new trail that will be enjoyed for generations.