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Droning Good

Visiting scholars spent a couple of nights at LEAD Agency lately, both professors at the University of the Pacific, who were here for the first "snow" on the ground day this new year brought us. Jennifer Little brought her cameras and drone and went out following the light and captured the contrast of red water with the white of the snow. But when she reviewed her footage, the image of where mine water is discharging from a stand pipe absolutely captured the imagination of Gabriel Teo, who teaches film and animation at the same university. They then reviewed the unique projects the Harvard School of Design had created and suddenly we dreamed of how these talents might blend and collaborate with this semester's graduate landscape studio students.


The first part of January brought the Sierra Magazine article written by Wendy Becktold which actually called me a "do gooder" saying, "The lifelong activist brings people together to heal the land." A week later on an eighteen degree day, I was faced with a drone that found me standing on a chat bar in the middle of Tar Creek right at dusk. At one point even asked to give a "Rock Star" stance. All are bizarre moments that should be happening to the new young activists who will emerge, I believe almost any day. I know they are out there. These budding environmental advocates, water protectors who long to be tapped, encouraged to speak up and out and this is what Micalea found herself doing when she reached out to her tribe and began communicating with their staff about the project, rather a capstone of her marine science education. She has developed a water project on the very stream running through her tribal boundaries and she is inviting other Ottawa Tribal members to come to the water on upcoming Saturdays for creek cleanups and experience the beauty that surrounds Tar Creek as they work together.

There is beauty with running water cascading over the rocks along the stream bed, the sound as it flows, the hope that lies within it, for the life once the superfund site is restored that will fully return. Crayfish, minnows, bass, tiny crappie want to return. Her tribal teammates will observe the beauty each of these upcoming Saturdays. They will note

the types of trees, grasses, vines that

grow in along the banks. All hoping

to find evidence or even the chance

sighting of their standard bearer, the otters.


They will look for signs of wildlife and identify the birds that they will surprise while they practice those skills we long to hone back into... of connecting back to nature again. It will be a pleasure to share time with this young budding environmental activist and those who rise to give her a hand as she leaps free from her graduate degree into a life of... my best bet? as another "do gooder."


What if any random person woke one morning and with her inspiration or that of Berkley Ulrey's monthly Riverview cleanups, decided to do an act of service or even begin a life of service, maybe as a career or the hobby or the calling that won't quit calling until up and doing begins? Those acts of Service that Martin Luther King Jr. Day inspires all across the country jar and jostle righteousness out of the most impossible sets of people, maybe even yourself.


LEAD Agency now has a VISTA position open and are hoping service minded persons may seek to apply. Longing to be involved in assisting us as we investigate the multitude of issues any community may have, and more so within one of the largest superfund sites in the nation? Do-gooders are encouraged to inquire.


Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim


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