It’s time to pass the baton for editing the Oregon Counseling Association’s quarterly newsletter, and I’m happy and sad all at the same time. It’s been so great to be a part of this organization, and I’ve been so grateful to have the opportunity to really have carte blanche to change the direction of the newsletter, and to really play around with design. Most of all, I’ve been so stoked to get to work with some very brave and inspiring counselor-authors over the last three years. But spring is bringing new challenges and adventures for me, and it’s only fair that someone else gets the chance to play. Excited to see what the new editor brings to ORCA 🙂
One of my favorite volunteer gigs right now is that I get to edit the quarterly newsletter of Oregon’s chapter of the American Counseling Association. It’s been fun to revamp this small journal’s content to focus on issues surrounding social justice as they relate to the counseling profession in Oregon. And it’s always a huge blast to find and reach out topotential contributors and advertisers, edit content, and manage/do all of the design and layout. If you’re interested in issues affecting this field and this work, check out the summer edition of The Counselor, out today 🙂
It’s the end of summer, folks. We all need a little extra self-care as the season’s getting chillier and darker. Hiking Forest Park, or even Washington Park’s arboretum, can feel daunting. I suggest two much shorter hikes – well, more like walks – that happen to be right across the river from one another.
Elk Rock Island, in Milwaukie, has ample parking, or is a ten minute walk from the Orange Line. Once you’e away from the traffic, however, and crossing the dry river bed that, in wetter months, makes this place an island… you’ll find yourself in another world. A quiet, unpeopled collection of Game-of-Thrones-y crags and rocks that once formed an active volcano. If you take the perimeter, you’ll find a leisurely, unpaved stroll by the water, watching infrequent kayaks pass by. Pack a sandwich (prepare for the lack of restrooms), find a comfortable ledge to sit on, and relax to the sounds of waves lapping gently on the rocks beneath you. If you choose to venture inland, there are a few very short paths through a forest. If you’re lucky, you’ll see bald eagles or other critters.
If you’d like a little more of a walk, head directly across the river, up to the cliff you’ve been staring at from the island. At the cross-streets of Military Ave & Military Lane (right off Riverside Drive) – down a lovely, long lane of old Portland mansions – you’ll find a sign alerting you to The Elk Rock Gardens of the Bishop’s Close. Here you’ll find several gorgeous trails that wind up and down a small hill, through occasional meadows, lily ponds, flower gardens, and more. There are benches for resting or meditating along the way, and no matter the season you visit, a lovely green smell and fresh, not-at-home air.
Peter Kerr spent 60 years on his estate’s huge garden, and when he passed, his daughters gave the land up, on condition that it always be available to the public, free of charge 🌼