Meet Our Amazing CSC Summer Interns: Emily Kettell

Emily-Kettel CPW Community Planning Workshop OPDR Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience University of OregonName:   Emily Kettell

Where were you born and where do you call home?   I was born in Winfield, Illinois, but I’ve lived in Geneva, a Chicago suburb, for most of my life. I went to college at DePaul University, and now call Chicago home.

What’s your favorite pig-out food?    My favorite pig-out food would have to be pizza (I mean, I am from Chicago).

In which graduate program are you enrolled?   I’m enrolled in the Community and Regional Planning graduate program. I started out very specific and originally wanted to focus on environmental planning; however, now I’m more interested in land use planning in general.

Dream Job?   If I weren’t going into planning, I’d love to be a pastry chef and one day, open my own bakery. For those who don’t know me, I’m pretty obsessed with desserts, and learning how to make them. I studied abroad in Paris, and since then, have wanted to learn how to make desserts as good as the ones I had in France!

2014 CPW Project –   I worked on the Madras Hazards Plan Integration Project during the Community Planning Workshop (CPW) classes. For this project, my team and I worked to integrate the Jefferson County Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, a non-regulatory document, with Madras’ comprehensive plan, a regulatory document. The final deliverable was a revised natural hazards chapter for the Madras’ comprehensive plan. The revised chapter is important because it not only fulfills Goal 7 of Oregon’s statewide planning goals, but it is also one tool that City of Madras can use to better prepare for natural hazards. My team’s role was to research best practices, gather public input, and create the revised chapter as well as natural hazard educational materials for residents of Madras.

What are the most critical skill(s) you learned from being engaged in CPW this past year –   One of the most critical skills I learned from CPW this past year is how to communicate more effectively. In CPW I learned a lot about facilitating meetings and presenting information clearly and to various audiences, whether it be a world café style open house, or more formal presentation in front of the planning commission. CPW emphasizes the feedback process, so it was really helpful to run through presentations in front of the class to hear what I could do better, or what worked/ didn’t work before the presentation with our client. Along with that, learning how to communicate important information via writing was another critical part of CPW. My team and I created educational materials, a poster, a video, memos, a staff report, and a revised chapter, all which required a different style of writing in order to convey information effectively to various audiences.

What about CPW made you smile?   It’s been really interesting to look back on what I knew in January and look at what I know now. I never thought I would know so much about natural hazards, particularly flooding, or have the opportunity to work on such an important project for a city as a graduate student. While there is still some work to be done in order to finish up the project, looking at all of the deliverables the team made, particularly our revised chapter, and realizing that what we created will really benefit the city, is a pretty awesome feeling.

Name  one “best kept secret”  you recommend and why? I don’t know that I have a list of “best-kept secrets” books or websites, but one site that I find pretty interesting as a planning student is the Atlantic’s City Lab ( website. It’s a good one-stop place to find city/planning related news and innovative projects that are going on around the world, and can be a good jumping off point if you need an idea for school research. Also, there are usually really interesting visuals that make the articles much more interesting to read through.

What are your big summer plans?   On the weekends, when I’m not interning with the Community Service Center and with the City of Eugene Planning Division, I’ll be traveling around Oregon! Besides traveling for CPW and other school projects, I haven’t had a chance to see much of the state. This summer, I finally want to visit the coast and go camping at Crater Lake. In September, I’ll be traveling around Hungary and then going back home for a friend’s wedding!

Where can we ‘cyber-stalk’ you?  LinkedIn- Emily Kettell

Stories From The Field – A RARE AmeriCorps Perspective

Cascade Locks, Oregon:  RARE AmeriCorps Project Round-up

I am the last of a legacy of RARE AmeriCorp volunteers here, at least for a while. Cascade Locks has had over 10 years of ongoing RARE AmeriCorps projects. I don’t even know the half of them, but I think this is a good time to share a small sampling:

West Entrance to Cascade Locks
Rebecca Sergeant Cascade Locks, Oregon: RARE AmeriCorp Project Round-up
This is one of those things that I took entirely for granted. Knowing now that this used to be a stand of scrappy trees and weeds, I really appreciate the fantastic view of the Bridge of the Gods that is revealed to me upon entering Cascade Locks. There’s a lovely rock wall built by a citizen volunteer, and flowers, and a welcoming sign. It doubles as the entrance to the famous Historic Highway State Trail.

easyCLIMB Trail and Information Kiosks
Rebecca Sergeant Cascade Locks, Oregon: RARE AmeriCorp Project Round-upTruly a unique mountain biking opportunity in a scenic spot. Located on the far east end of town, the trail is kid-friendly, and a place for beginners of all ages to gain confidence in their skills. The trail was completed this past year (by Northwest Trail Alliance volunteers). It’s been exciting to live here and see this recreational trail planting the seeds for economic growth in formerly “sleepy” Cascade Locks.

 Sacagawea Statue Installation
Rebecca Sergeant Cascade Locks, Oregon: RARE AmeriCorp Project Round-up
A stunning statue of the young woman, her baby and the companion dog is located in the Cascade Locks Marine Park.  Heather Soderberg is the artist, and believe it or not, Heather’s studio and bronze foundry are the view from my office window! I love how Heather chose to put a fresh perspective on Sacagawea by researching and learning that she most certainly had a strong and brave personality, and sculpted her to celebrate that.

 Restoration of 100-year-old Locktender Home
Rebecca Sergeant Cascade Locks, Oregon: RARE AmeriCorp Project Round-up
One of three lookalike 100-year old structures has been fully renovated inside and out. It’s very attractive and I have enjoyed accessing the space for community meetings and events. These buildings represent the majority of historic structures still standing in the city of Cascade Locks, so in my opinion, their restoration is a very valuable project.

 Community Garden
Rebecca Sergeant Cascade Locks, Oregon: RARE AmeriCorp Project Round-upLocated in the yard of the above-mentioned fully restored locktender’s home in MarinePark are a group of charming garden plots. What a spot for growing veggies! It’s easy to imagine doing just the same thing in the same spot a century ago. It’s a special place because the front door aligns exactly with the gigantic doors of the old Lock and Canal, submerged since the late 1930’s.

 Sternwheeler Themed Playground
Rebecca Sergeant Cascade Locks, Oregon: RARE AmeriCorp Project Round-upWhat a cute idea. The kids love it! This playground is located smack in the middle of MarinePark, you cannot miss it. The custom features make it look a lot like the iconic Sternwheeler boat that docks here in Cascade Locks each summer. There are shapes and spaces to explore that your run-of-the-mill playground doesn’t have. Plus, everyone’s a captain on this boat!

I hope this post leaves you inspired to get things done! There are signs that Cascade Locks has instilled some of that can-do spirit to last awhile. For example, a partnership between the Port, Tourism Committee and Business Association will bring 40 new bike racks to town, to be installed this summer. Local business owners are spearheading the project. (A local RARE alum and I have been helping out here and there, but I am thrilled to see that this project has the energy it needs to happen regardless.) I see this increase in local capacity as a fulfillment of the purpose of the RARE AmeriCorps Program.

Rebecca Becca Sergeant RARE Resource Assistance for Rural Environments City of Cascade LocksAbout the Author:  Rebecca Sergeant received her Masters in Architecture from NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego.  Intrigued by the many variables that combine to create economic development, Rebecca has found Cascade Locks, Oregon to be a good place to increase her knowledge about creating a vibrant and livable place.  Coordinating often with various community groups and performing a wide array of tasks, she supports the City of Cascade Locks Tourism Committee in promoting the city as a tourist destination.  Her work serves to tie together Tourism Committee efforts with the local business association, downtown merchants, and the Port of Cascade Locks. In this capacity, she is completing a second term as a RARE AmeriCorps volunteer, and looks forward to a lifetime of learning and community engagement in the future.