Fun in the Sun

Convention is where we recognize all the hard work our members have done over the last year, and sometimes over a number of years. This year, there were four strong nominees for the Alonzo Stevens Jr. Government Affairs Award. The one selected by the review committee represents years of dedication and hard work by a changing cadre of volunteers. The nomination was prepared by the AANR-Northwest Government Affairs Chair Shirley Gautier. Parts of her nomination narrative are the bulk of this month’s column. The well-deserving winner is the AANR-Northwest beach volunteers. 
 
For more than 15 years, volunteers have built up and maintained a positive relationship with the Oregon State Parks Department, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and SOLVE. “SOLVE is a statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.” 
 
It would be impossible to nominate one person or even a handful for this award. So many people have contributed to the success and longevity. The reality is that every AANR-Northwest dues paying member in some way contributed.
 
Accomplishments include: 
 
  • Officially holding the Oregon State Park adoption at Rooster Rock State Park since 2003. This requires two beach cleanups every year to maintain the adoption contract.
  • Officially adopted Sauvie Island (Collins) Nude Beach and Rooster Rock State Park with the SOLVE Adopt-A-River program. This adoption requires two cleanups a year to maintain.
  • Contributed more than $300 to finance a welcome bench built by a Multnomah County Sheriff, and chair of the Friends of the Gorge, who later became a member of AANR and Sun Meadow Resort.
  • Contributed more than $400 to finance additional signage over the years.
  • Attended the Oregon State Parks Volunteer Appreciation potluck at Rooster Rock and shared AANR highlights.
  • Presented a discussion about appropriate behaviors to camp hosts and park employees.
  • SOLVE highlighted our work at Rooster Rock for their national ad campaign one year.
  • A group of AANR members attended the SOLVE volunteer appreciation events.
  • Oregon Parks and Recreation District Manager, Kevin Price, attended a Fall Board Meeting at the Willamettans to thank volunteers for their commitment and volunteerism.
  • SOLVE sent an employee to speak at two regional meetings concerning the Adopt-A-River program.
  • SOLVE used our “nude but not nude” photo on their website after a state wide cleanup.
  • Oregon Fish and Wildlife Sheriff attended and spoke at a regional meeting held at the Willamettans.
  • AANR Adopt-A-Park signage was installed at Rooster Rock State Park in 2004.
  • Participated in a meeting in 2008 to strategize a plan to address public indecency at Rooster Rock. This meeting was held at a local fire hall. Those in attendance included Oregon State Parks Department, Oregon State Police, Multnomah Sheriff’s, Friends of the Gorge, District Attorney, and members of AANR.
  • A suggestion that a beach card with information would be a valuable tool motivated park rangers and local GAT volunteers to create one in 2009. Beach cards were printed and Park Rangers began handing them out in the summer. Several thousands of cards have been financed by AANR-Northwest members.
  • AANR-Northwest secured thousands of tree saplings from Lava Nursery in Hood River to supply Rooster Rock tree-planting events. Members also participated in the tree-planting events.
  • AANR-Northwest has supplied too many AANR dogs (hot dogs) to count, as well as condiments and bottled water over the past 15 years. Dues-paying members make these beach meals happen. 
 
Beach Volunteers:
 
  • Removed invasive species
  • Built trails
  • Maintained trails
  • Picked up litter
  • Removed sand
  • Planted trees
  • Passed out beach cards
  • Worked the information table during events
  •  
Park ranger supervisor of West Gorge Management Unit Glenn Littrell said, “no specific number count is taken of those visiting the nude beach in the summer but he knows it is hundreds.” That means that hundreds of visitors view that AANR adoption signage. The American Association for Nude Recreation is spelled out and the acronym is not used on the signage. 
AANR-Northwest affiliated clubs and resorts have donated cash, raffle prizes, free resort and camping passes, and T-shirts, as well as preparing free meals for volunteers, publishing beach events in their newsletters, and much much more.
Congratulations to the winners, as well as all of the other nominees.