Dick Powell

At work in the woodworking shop

My 45-year career (now retired) was as a forester for Starker Forests in Oregon’s Coast Range.  Though I’ve done a great variety of things, my last 15-20 years had been as the company’s public outreach forester. 

Three wide turned wood bowls with wide painted rims
Turned bowls with painted rims

In that capacity, I took thousands of school kids on field trips to the woods.  One of the things I’m most proud of is that I originated the idea for Kids Day for Conservation.  With KDC, we brought together a variety of people with an interest (and differing environmental philosophies) in natural resources to present some sort of hands-on, family-friendly, educational activity.  We routinely drew around 1800 people with about two-thirds being kids; this ran about a dozen years.  I developed and led the Forest and Ag Expos; these were held in alternating years.  These Expos targeted third and fourth grade students over a 3-day period and drew about 750 kids each year; this ran about 15 years.  (With my retirement, so far no one has stepped forward to keep KDC or these Expos going.) 

Wood bowl with decorative textured detail

I also co-led the revival of the Corvallis 6th grade Outdoor School, which ran for about 13 years.  There are two other outdoor schools that I still work with where I teach forestry and “wilderness” survival.  One outdoor school is a cooperative for six small, rural schools that would not otherwise be able to develop and maintain an outdoor school; this is managed by a non-profit where I am the treasurer.

Recent new exploration – turned bowl incorporating woven basket

In my retirement, I’ve been doing more woodturning and teaching kids how to use a lathe at Philomath Middle School.  [I probably have more fun doing this than the kids!]