Peace Village campers donate homemade trellises to community gardens

Thanks to the kids at the Columbia Gorge Peace Village in Mosier, some local community gardens will be looking a lot more festive and green this summer.

The 150 youngsters aged 6-13 who attended the annual five-day camp, which wrapped up on Friday at the Mosier Community School, donated homemade trellises to several community gardens located on both sides of the Columbia Gorge. The trellises were constructed out of trimmed choke cherry limbs that were provided by camp volunteer Jack Perrian and hand-tied by the kids — under the guidance of the camp’s art program director, Amirra Malak — with strips of colorful fabric.

On Friday afternoon, the trellises, along with a clay pot of peas to go with them, were gifted to representatives of six community gardens in the Gorge. They included: Sarah Segal, Hood River Middle School; Allison Betzing, Parkdale Elementary School; Joel Pelayo, Raice’s Garden in Odell, which is supported by The Next Door; Mosier Mayor Andrea Rogers; Carola Stepper, Cascade Acupuncture in The Dalles; and Judy Davis, Beth-El Shalom Senior Citizen Living Center in White Salmon, which has a community garden that grows produce for a local food bank.

DeLona Campos-Davis directs the camp, which is described on its website as “an interfaith, multicultural day camp with the mission to provide a fun, educational environment in which children can learn the messages and practices of nonviolence and peacemaking from various world traditions.” Campos-Davis said this was the first time in the camp’s six-year history that there had been a service project like this.

“Every year is different, because we take feedback after the camp,” she explained. “Staff, parents, and kids all said, ‘Let’s do more community service.’”

The kids weren’t the only ones who participated in community service. Campos-Davis said for this year’s camp, each family was asked to have one or more adults contribute a minimum of three hours of community service either before, during, or after camp.

The trellis idea came up in a brainstorming session held by camp leaders and fit nicely with the camp’s 2013 theme of “Healthy Habits.” Jody Behr, curriculum leader for the camp, said oftentimes, though, it’s the children who are coming up with the ideas, as the camp encourages children to assume a more independent role in their education.

“We have the rough ideas of the messages we’re conveying, but we let the kids do it,” Behr explained. “The kids come up with their own ideas and we try to stay out of it as much as possible.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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