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May 10, 2019

Pollinators y Plantas

Sunday, April 16th, JCWC Speak Creek intern, Aaron, hosted ¡Abejas, Plantas y Usted!, a pollinator workshop at Leach Botanical Garden.

Read below about Aaron’s experience as an intern in the Bilingual Nature Johnson Creek Program, and continue scrolling for pictures and the English text of this blog piece Aaron wrote as part of his internship….

Mi experiencia con el Programa Bilingüe de Speak Creek ha sido una de las experiencias más satisfactorias por ahora. Cuando empecé en febrero estaba un poco nervioso por tener que diseñar mi propio evento, pero con la ayuda de Adrienne y el personal de Johnson Creek aprendí a salir de mi caracol. Una gran dificultad con la que he lidiado toda mi vida es la falta de confianza cuando hablo español. Lo entiendo y puedo leerlo, pero mi forma de hablar suele ser zigzagueante y entrecortada. Siendo yo hijo de inmigrantes mexicanos, puedes ver lo rápido que esto puede convertirse en un problema.

Sin embargo, con la ayuda de Adrienne y Speak Creek pude recuperar el orgullo que tengo de ser una estudiante bilingüe. Siendo la persona responsable de la traducción al español, la mayor parte del material para mi evento me dio el impulso que necesitaba para practicar mi español de la mejor manera posible. Yo no habría progresado tanto si no hubiera establecido mi meta, que era usar este evento para dar a la gente bilingüe de Portland la información que necesitaban para cuidar mejor el medio ambiente. Ayudar el terreno en el que vivimos es algo que todos los pueblos y razas deberían hacer, y si podemos enseñarles en el idioma con el que se sienten más cómodos, entonces les importará mucho más. Por lo tanto, después de muchas pruebas y tribulaciones, mi evento fue un éxito rotundo. Tuvimos una asistencia mucho mayor de la que esperábamos, y eso fue de gran alegría para Adrienne y mía. Además, al colaborar con el Distrito de Conservación de Agua y Suelo de East Multnomah, pudimos dar una lección detallada y relevante a los visitantes que recibimos. Después de todo lo dicho y hecho, todos los involucrados en la planificación del evento se fueron con un sentimiento de orgullo en el pecho, y mucho más yo.

My experience with the Speak Creek Bilingual Program has been one of the most fulfilling experiences so far. When I started in February, I was rather nervous about having to design my own event, but with the help of Adrienne and the Johnson Creek Staff, I learned to come out of my shell. A major difficulty I have dealt with my whole life is the lack of confidence I have when speaking Spanish. I understand it and can read it, but my speaking is usually stilted and mumbled. Me being the son of Mexican immigrants, you can see how quickly this can become a problem.

However, with the help of Adrienne and Speak Creek I was able to regain the pride I have in being a bilingual student. Being the person responsible with translating, into Spanish, most of the material for my event gave me the drive I needed to practice my Spanish to the best of my ability. I would not have made nearly as much progress if I did not set my goal, which was to use this event to give the bilingual people of Portland the information they needed to better take care of the environment. Helping the land we live on is something all peoples and races should do, and if we can teach them in the language they are most comfortable with then they will care all that much more. Therefore, after many trials and tribulations my event was a rousing success. We had a much greater attendance then expected much to the joy of both Adrienne and myself. Moreover, by collaborating with East Multnomah Water and Soil Conservation District we were able to give a detailed and relevant lesson to the guests we received. After it was all said and done everyone involved in planning the event walked away with a feeling of pride in their chest, least of all myself.

¡Abejas, Planta y Usted! was in partnership with East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and pollinator curriculum was led by Celeste Searles Mazzacano of CASM Environmental. After learning together about watersheds and pollinators in the Leach Manor House, guests got a guided walk through the lower pathways of the garden. At the edge of the creek, Aaron and Adrienne taught everyone about the connection between pollinators and watershed. When we plant native plants to restore riparian areas, we create habitat and food sources for pollinators that keep ecosystems strong. Bees, or Abejas, are some of the most commonly recognized pollinators, however, many people don’t know that they often nest in the ground. Often, we are unaware of the variety of pollinators there are in nature and of the many ways we can ensure these populations can thrive in our natural areas and even our own back yards! This is just some of the knowledge that informs the riparian restoration JCWC does, and sharing it with communities that don’t primarily speak English is one way we hope to foster community in the watershed.

Our Speak Creek internships are currently funded by Meyer Memorial Trust and we are thankful to previous funders, as well, like The Collins Foundation. To learn more about pollinators, check out similar workshops hosted by EMSWCD. For information about Spanish workshops contact [email protected]