President of Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc.

President, OSFGC, Inc.

The President’s Theme

“Kids, Community and Creativity”

“Plant Oregon with Nature Playgrounds”

For the past 25 years Oregon has been my home.  I was born in the Netherlands and moved to the United States in 1976.  The 200th anniversay of our country!  I became a citizen in 2007.

The first time I traveled from Klamath Falls to Salem it was fall.  I exclaimed: “Who kept this such a secret.”  I was in awe of the beautiful countryside!  And every time Andy and I travel, it is a delight to find new amazing landscapes and vistas.  Every day we feel so lucky to live here!  So much beauty and still even in this state full of nature there is need for young people to get into contact with nature more.

The President’s Project

“Nature Playgrounds”

These are places, large and small, where kids can play, build, dream, discover and explore.  Where they can get dirty and wet.  In short: where they can play like in the old days.

In the first year I am asking each club to explore their neighborhood to see if they can find anything like it. Then report what you like about them. If you can only find traditional playgrounds, report about them also.  Then, in the second year, I would love it if you go back to your schools and park departments and lobby for nature playgrounds.  By then, we will have lists of all the advantages of these places.  It is not something we can do by ourselves, but we can work creatively with our community to establish Nature Playgrounds for kids.