Taking Pride in His Roots

Horitcultural Manager Damon Crume

As horticultural program manager, Damon Crume cares for all of Willamalane’s parks, ball fields and orchards.

But he’ll admit to having a couple of favorites.

Crume especially enjoys Dorris Ranch, for its history, and he also is fond of the red maple trees at Thurston Park.

Crume, who is from North Bend but has lived in this area for 33 years, started working at Willlamalane 15 years ago as a parks specialist and worked his way up. He’s proud to supervise a great crew.

“The pride that they take, it illuminates through the whole group,” Crume said.

Also important to Crume are his family — who include wife, Brenda, three grown sons and two young grandkids — and his Native American heritage.

Crume is a member of The Klamath Tribes. He honors his heritage by teaching his kids and grandkids the native language, attending pow-wows and staying close with his aunt, who also is a tribal member. He hopes to one day visit Oklahoma and the Trail of Tears, a historical event in which Native Americans were forced to relocate from the southeastern United States in the 1830s.

“It’s who I am,” Crume said of his heritage.

The Dorris Ranch area is among the places where the Kalapuya Indians once lived, and Crume encourages the community to visit this favorite and the other Willamalane parks.

“We offer a huge variety for whatever they’re looking to do,” Crume said.

— Cara Murez