News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

STA coordinator is 'a forest person'

Eric Benedon, the Volunteer and Events Coordinator for the Sisters Trails Alliance, describes himself as a "forest person through and through."

Benedon grew up in Southern California, spending time snowboarding at Big Bear, in the San Bernardino Mountains, an alpine region of pines and snow, not dissimilar to Sisters' high desert.

With a degree in art history, Benedon graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC. While there, he worked as an assistant to the curator of education at a contemporary art gallery. From there he moved to Portland for graduate school in sustainability education. He ran the education program at an urban farm where sixth graders from Portland schools came once a week as part of the science program.

He also worked for the Snowdays Foundation, a non-profit which partners with youth outreach organizations to create access to snowboarding at Summit ski area on Mt. Hood and at Hoodoo on Santiam Pass. Through the physical and mental challenge of their experiences, the participants are empowered to apply their successes in their everyday lives. By working through their challenges on the mountain, students gain self-confidence, strengthen relationships with mentors, and gain a deeper appreciation for the mountain.

The majority of Benedon's time will be Portland where he will continue to reside, but he will spend part of his time in Sisters, as well as working remotely from Portland on STA matters. Benedon's parents, Doug Benedon and Louise Boyer, moved to Sisters about a year ago and joined STA. He has two older siblings, a sister in Portland and a brother in South Carolina.

Besides his duties as the event coordinator, Benedon is responsible for the Youth Ambassador Program which started last summer with three high school students and will be active again this summer. (Click here to see related story..) Benedon can be reached at [email protected].


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