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Teen crews on mission to offer help

Church youth tackle projects

A burst of activity one day last week saw three raised garden beds and a new path installed at the Harvard Park independent retirement facility on Spokane’s South Hill.

The work was done by one of several work crews with the Seventh-day Adventist Team Pathfinder Mission Adventure fanning out over the area all last week. The projects are a way for church youth to get a mission trip experience without going overseas, said Susie Workman Harvard Park community manager.

The teens cut a path into a slope in a natural area to the east of the retirement facility. The dirt they dug up was hauled down the hill to fill the raised garden beds. The new path was lined with gravel.

Other projects during the week included cleaning up a thrift shop and doing work at a person’s home, said volunteer Kylie Shugars.

Shugars, a resident of Pasco, said her group got a new assignment each morning.

“These are actually really fun projects,” she said. “I’m really enjoying it.”

Her fellow workers included young people ages 11 to 18 from throughout the region, including Ellensburg, Walla Walla and Colville. The teens didn’t seem to mind the hard work involved in creating a path in the South Hill’s rocky soil.

“We kept running into rocks,” said Shugars, 15. “We turned it into a spiritual lesson. They’re the everyday obstacles that we face in life.”

One raised bed was built outside the dining room using concrete blocks. “The Manito Garden Club is going to plant an herb garden for our chef,” Workman said. Two raised beds made of 4-by-6 chunks of lumber behind the facility are meant for flowers. Rebar was driven through the wood into the ground to make them sturdy.

“They’re not going anywhere in the near future,” Workman said.

Workman said she was able to get her projects on the group’s list because she knows the youth director of the Seventh-day Adventist Upper Columbia Conference.

“He gave us a call and said they had more kids than projects and did we have anything,” she said.

Dave Workman, who also serves as a community manager with his wife, said he has wanted a trail leading to the top of a small hill next to the facility for years. It will be a nice spot to put a bench for residents to sit and enjoy a small slice of nature “just to get away without getting away,” he said. “What a blessing for this community.”