I'm an avid amateur photographer who enjoys the outdoors and exploring Oregon's natural beauty when I have time. So when I learned that the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) was looking for volunteers to photograph Oregon's State Parks and campsites, I quickly submitted my interest and credentials.
The OPRD Web Photography Project strives to provide online customers with photos of the 55 reservable State Parks and campsites to view when reserving sites on the Active Network Outdoor Recreation Management System.
Campers will be able to see a picture of the site they wish to reserve, rather than a small icon on a loop map. Campers will also see photographs highlighting some of the park's most attractive features.
Oregon has more than 6,000 campsites in its State Park system. My wife, father, and I have camped at several of the State Parks on the Coast and in Central Oregon. We've slept in tents, a travel trailer, and even a yurt and rustic cabin. We're looking forward to sleeping in a teepee at two of the State Parks in eastern Oregon, but haven't made it there yet.
For several days I anxiously awaited news from OPRD on whether they would accept me as one of their volunteer Park photographers. For me, it's an opportunity to pursue a hobby that I'm passionate about, camp in beautiful places for free, and encourage others to enjoy camping in and exploring Oregon's State Parks. My dream "job" became a reality when Jimmy Childs with OPRD e-mailed back with details on the program and forms that I needed to complete and sign.
This is a long-term project, and I'll be one of several photographers involved. My wife, father, and I are already planning where we'll be camping in Oregon next year. Have camera, will travel!
Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest. He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.
To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook. You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.