I end my service with a complex array of feelings owing to the sad upheaval this pandemic has unleashed. Rising to the sudden unexpected challenges has proven no simple task in this line of service, though the positive developments we have managed to make are extremely rewarding and give hope for further adoption of distance teaching methods.
Though my service term has not looked quite how I thought it would due to restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been able to contribute to a valuable program that will thrive in the future thanks to the innovative and adaptive ability of our team to create a framework that will serve for years to come.
This quarter of my term was all about fire. A great strategy for invasive species removal and native species recruitment is to burn a section of prairie. I spent my time cutting fire line and mowing burn breaks in preparation for prescribed burns on the prairies.
The usual duties for my position (before the pandemic) included animal care, volunteer coordination, mentoring at-risk youth, and helping pre-school classes who visit the farm. Most of these responsibilities required in-person contact with our community, so after the pandemic, a lot of those responsibilities changed.
I was able to contribute to the community by helping pack and distribute the meals. I even planned a Spirit week for the Toppenish School district in the hopes of helping the kids feel a little back to normal and to show them that even though school is out, we can still show our Wildcat Spirit while social distancing at the same time.