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Volunteers Serve with Passion

By Jim Hart
West Linn Tidings

Rain or shine, Oregon Tilth Program Coordinator Marci Krass and AmeriCorps volunteer Conner Voss are active in the Oregon Tilth demonstration garden at Luscher Farm between West Linn and Lake Oswego. Krass was an AmeriCorps volunteer in 2005 and 2006, working at Camassia Nature Preserve in West Linn. Now, she supervises AmeriCorps volunteers at Oregon Tilth.

Volunteers Serve with Passion

Marci Krass and Conner Voss in the Oregon Tilth Gardens

Often working out of the limelight are members of a group of mainly 20-somethings who are looking for opportunities to improve the environment.

They are AmeriCorps volunteers, members of a nationwide group of people motivated to help mobilize communities and give of themselves to benefit people they haven’t met.

Here are stories of a few of the many AmeriCorps volunteers working tirelessly in and around this community.

Marci Krass

When Marci Krass came to Oregon a couple of years ago, she was searching for her life path.

She came from the eastern U.S. with a college degree in her hand, but chose to become an AmeriCorps volunteer for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), based in Portland.

Her work must have been impressive, since after two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and more than 3,500 hours of work, she was hired to the staff of Oregon Tilth.

Oregon Tilth, located at the north edge of West Linn, certifies farms and processors as organic, conducts research and educates local residents and children in school.

“We promote the holistic view of gardening,” she said, “promoting organic principles and practices as well as environmental stewardship beyond what’s in the garden.”

Acknowledging the role of AmeriCorps volunteers to motivate and engage communities, Krass began supervising AmeriCorps volunteers as soon as she joined Oregon Tilth.

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