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Oct 23

District Welcomes New Volunteer Coordinator!

Posted on October 23, 2017 at 9:12 AM by Allan Warren

CamilaPCDPortrait2
The District is happy to introduce Camila Matamala-Ost as our new Volunteer Coordinator and Outreach Specialist. Camila is excited to get more people involved with the District’s volunteer opportunities and to help make our programs more accessible to the diverse population of Pierce County. 

Camila attributes early attraction to the natural world to her amateur naturalist grandparents and the countless hikes she took with them growing up in McMinnville, OR. In high school she realized the depth of her interest and got hooked on plant identification in high school botany class. She also started organizing restoration volunteer events for her friends. 

She continued to cultivate her interest in the environment by studying environmental science at Oregon State University in Corvallis. While at school she got involved in habitat restoration and floristic research. Upon graduating she decided to spend some time giving back to her community and spent several years working full time with the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, a middle school mentor program, where she realized her passion for community capacity building. The neighborhood based, spiritual empowerment program’s vision was to inspire youth to find ways to contribute to their communities and also to connect the community to the potential of this age group. 

She also worked at a local native plant nursery and volunteered with endangered plant conservation projects. This fueled her interest in habitat restoration and led to a job with the King Conservation District through the Washington Conservation Corps. Her time there solidified her commitment to building communities through education and service opportunities. She learned to connect community engagement and volunteerism to her passion for natural resource conservation. Volunteers are vital to the success of the Conservation District’s efforts and she witnessed how community is empowered when people can put into practice the conceptual things they learned through the environmental education programs.

Camila’s commitment to service and nature is inspired by the Bahá’ì Faith and its emphasis on treating people kindly, seeing everyone as capable, and seeing that community is family. Her favorite aspects of the job at PCD are interacting with volunteers personally and getting them plugged into great opportunities, and the creative process of capturing photos and designing outreach pieces that will get people excited about stewardship work. In her spare time Camila paints water colors of plants, sings, writes music, plays piano and ukulele and is learning percussion. She also enjoys cooking and eating with friends and going to farmers markets.  


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