Stewardship is a family affair

By Erica Jensen, Public Affairs Office

Brandon Roth has been volunteering at The Dalles Lock and Dam since he was fourteen years old. The Corps' cost savings for his service is more than $1,400. (Photo by Amber Tilton, The Dalles Lock and Dam)

Brandon Roth has been volunteering at The Dalles Lock and Dam since he was fourteen years old. The Corps’ cost savings for his service is more than $1,400. (Photo by Amber Tilton, The Dalles Lock and Dam)

 

In 2014, nearly 400 volunteers brought their experience and skills to the Corps; enhancing our recreation and natural resource management programs through stewardship. Fourteen-year-old Brandon Roth was one of them.

Roth and his family are residents of The Dalles, Oregon. His mom, Cindy, worked for the Corps of Engineers as a teenager. She encouraged him to volunteer at The Dalles Dam as a way to explore various careers, which are a part of his high school graduation requirements.

Brandon Roth has been volunteering at The Dalles Lock and Dam since he was fourteen years old. The Corps' cost savings for his service is more than $1,400.  (Photo by Cindy Roth)

For the past two summers, Roth has assisted park rangers with various duties at The Dalles Dam Visitor Center and in several of the parks near the dam. So far, he has earned 64 volunteer hours toward the 100 service hours needed for his high school graduation.

“Brandon has helped us keep the grounds clean and landscaped around the visitor center by picking up litter, watering native plant species and by pulling invasive weeds,” said Amber Tilton, one of the park rangers at The Dalles Lock and Dam. “Inside the visitor center, he welcomes guests, provides information and operates the cash register in the Discover Your Northwest bookstore … all with a smile.”

Roth keeps the inside of the visitor center as tidy as the outside by cleaning and organizing and by helping to care for the native species of fish in the center’s 450 gallon fish tank. He also has participated in special events for the public, like the Eagle Watch, an annual opportunity for the public to view bald eagles every January.

Roth says the things he likes most about working at the dam is being able to talk with people from different places and helping them learn new things about the Dam. “At first it was hard to talk to people, but once I got used to it, talking with visitors is a lot of fun.”

Brandon’s volunteer efforts have exceeded $1,400 in value of service to the Corps,” said Tilton. “He’s earned valuable, on-the-job work experience while providing a public service to his community. He’s also built a network of relationships and made new friends and memories – and that’s what really lasts.”

This year, Roth turned 16 and plans to find a summer job while also volunteering in his free time. Meanwhile, his little sister has shown interest in stewardship and wants to volunteer her services to help park rangers at The Dalles Dam.

“It’s turning into a family affair and quite the educational experience,” said proud mom Cindy Roth.

During national volunteer week celebrations, it’s people like Brandon Roth and his little sister, that Portland District wants to promote … for their commitment to stewardship and volunteer service, their can-do spirit and their stellar work ethic!

Volunteering at a Corps park is easy to do. The National Volunteer Clearinghouse links prospective volunteers with Corps of Engineers lakes across the country. Find your opportunity today!

The Dalles Lock and Dam (Corps of Engineers photo)

The Dalles Lock and Dam (Corps of Engineers photo)