On a recent fall day, veterans living at one of two rest stops in Eugene could be found at Owen Rose Garden placing 20 yards of chips in tree wells. This isn’t the first time they’ve lent a hand. Since last spring, rest stop veterans have been working with the City’s Eugene Parks Stewards (EPS) Program and volunteering for three-hour shifts twice a month.
Their projects range from painting light poles in Skinner Butte Park to removing invasive species in natural areas. Executive Director of Community Supported Shelters Erik DeBuhr says, “It gives the volunteers the ability to view themselves in a positive way in their community, which is the beginning of them improving their life situation.”
While access to the appropriate rain gear and places to dry off during the winter months may be somewhat challenging, the EPS program is working to find a solution and hoping this team of volunteers will be continuing their efforts.