Posted by: gatheringwater | 2009/04/06

Tree of Hope

hope in hard times

hope in hard times

A cherry tree in Port Hadlock is blooming early this year, thanks to Laurie Meyer, who decorated the tree with more than 400 ribbons last week. I took this photograph on a lovely clear day when a brisk spring breeze made the ribbons flutter and dance. It was very beautiful.

Meyer told a reporter from our excellent and independent local newspaper that she wanted the tree to be a sign of encouragement and hope to people suffering from the current economic downturn. What the newspaper didn’t report, and what makes the story particularly poignant to me, is that Meyer works for the Washington State University extention office, which is facing sharp cutbacks in funding for its programs because of Washington’s  projected $8 billion deficit in the state budget.

I know our legislators must make some tough decisions to balance our state budget, but I also know that the WSU extension office’s  many programs have been an economic stimulus to our local community. My hope is that creative and caring folks like Meyer will be allowed to continue serving the community despite shrinking state resources.

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