The Rotary Club of Newport showed up 21 members strong on a chilly Saturday morning, October 29, 2017 to roll their sleeves up and literally dig in for a work day to help the Olalla Center’s Nature Connection Therapy program, also known as the Warren Project. After collaborating with Olalla Center’s project coordinators, Clinical Director Benjamin Williams and Development Director Dee Teem, Rotary committed to contributing in a variety of ways.
Rotary’s plans included making improvements to the Warren Project Nature Therapy “Base Camp” site located on Oregon Coast Community Forest Association (OCCFA) forest lands. The Warren Project site first received a pavilion constructed by Carlson Builders. Previous to the October 29th work day, Rotarian Chris Carlson donated the time and efforts of his construction company to create a structure to shelter the students from the elements while participating in the program. “Chris’ team did an amazing job, said Teem, “they built the base camp structure to mirror the points on a compass which ties into the nature connection work.”
On the work day, Rotarians collaborated to spread crushed rock around the perimeter of the base camp pavilion, maintain the surrounding trails, install a firewood shed, and provide general clean up around the site. The firewood shed was built and donated by Mark Hanrahan of Hanrahan Construction. The 3 cubic yards of crushed rock was donated by Rob Wienert of Road and Driveway of Newport. Rotary of Newport’s President, Rob Thompson, said, “One of my club goals for 2017-18 is a hands-on-project, and our efforts to support the Olalla Center and The Warren Project definitely meet this goal.”
“The positive impact of the hard work and generosity of these Rotarians will benefit Olalla youth for years to come,” Teem said, “we sincerely appreciate all of the Rotarians who helped on the work day and the donations of materials and labor from Carlson Builders, Hanrahan Construction, and Road and Driveway, and of course Rob Thompson and Tiana Tucker for coordinating these efforts.”
Olalla Center’s Nature Connection Warren Project is a new therapy program with the potential of revolutionizing how children and teens, particularly those in foster care, receive treatment and are embraced by the community. This program combines traditional mental health services like individual, group and family therapy with a mentoring program, all of which is based in an outdoor setting on the beautiful Oregon Coast. “We use the vastness of the outdoors and provide deep, meaningful experiences for these kids and their families, all while creating awareness and familiarity in the community,” said Williams “All the additional support will have a cumulative effect on children and teens, the foster care system and the community as a whole.”
Rotarians are also participating as mentors for Warren Project youth participants. To learn more about the project visit www.olallacenter.org.
Information provided by Dee Teem