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Thank you, Hilary McDonald, Pollinteer!

by Julia Babb

In observation of the United Nation’s International Volunteer Day (Thursday, December 5th), Pollinator Project Rogue Valley salutes all of our talented and generous “Pollinteers” for their time, dedication, and skills. We would not be able to keep up with our numerous pollinator endeavors were it not for their efforts!

This month, we want to heap kudos on Hilary McDonald, who volunteered steadily with PPRV before she (sadly for us) moved out of the Valley. Many of the "The Pollinator Times" newsletters you've read this past year were compiled by Hilary. And she wrote our first “Volunteer of the Month” article. Though we are sad she is no longer working with us, we wanted to tell you what a rock star she is and what she is up to now.

Hilary was introduced to Kristina Lefever by Lauren Kemple [another Pollinteer!] at a work party to make signs for the 2018 Jacksonville Christmas parade, to bring to light the alarming use of pesticides in “our beloved Doc Griffin Park in Jacksonville”. She talked with Kristina at the work party, expressing interest in helping out with the Pollinator Project. “Kristina invited me to tea a couple of times, and that led to me working on the newsletter from December 2018 through October 2019, when we moved to Bend.”

“I was inspired and awed by my experience with PPRV. I saw grassroots ideas come to fruition and results happen. I watched my friend Lauren go from concerned mother to someone meeting with community leaders, writing articles in the Jacksonville Review, and speaking before the City Council about the pesticides being used in Jacksonville's parks."

“I was inspired to take action and join in to make my community a reflection of my values. I made friends, became informed about gardening, pollinators, and local happenings, and even found myself writing comments on Oregon Senate and House Bills. I am so thankful for this experience which will stay with me the rest of my life!”

And she’s still “pollinating”! Within a week of starting her new job at Central Oregon Community College this past September, Hilary was invited to join the sustainability committee on campus, and is now working on the College’s Sustainability Committee newsletter. She says “I am excited to continue the work and learn about the sustainability community here in Central Oregon.”

Thank you, Hilary, for your valuable time and energy, and your good work for us, the pollinators, and your community, and for bee-ing part of an effort to make change happen!


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