ENTERPRISE — Katherine Marrone is fairly new to Wallowa County, but moving here has been a long-time goal that she’s finally been able to realize.
She moved to Enterprise in November, having lived in the county since the previous May, moving from Portland. The presence here of her aunt, Colleen Higgins, was the prompt that got her here.
“I have been wanting to move to Wallowa County for some time,” Marrone said. “For a while, I had an idea floating around in my head about working in social work in a rural area and I’m originally from La Grande … so I have ties to this area.”
She’s now a legal/crisis advocate at Safe Harbors, a social services organization in Enterprise. She helps survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
She recently shared her thoughts about living in Wallowa County.
What’s your favorite thing about Wallowa County?
Where do I begin? It’s the fact that there’s so many people from so many different backgrounds coming together to create community, people of different political ideologies, people of different religious affiliations, people who are really creative and artistic all coming together and it feels that although there are those differences, I feel a cohesive community here. I feel there’s a healthy relationship of interdependence in the county that we all are looking out for one another … and also having good conversations with one another about those issues.
What fun plans do you have in the county for this summer?
Lots of lake things, hiking, I want to hike all around the lake. I want to spend time in the Hells Canyon area and go camping there and just explore this whole area. And also go to events finally.
What are your thoughts now that fire season is here?
It’s pretty sad. It makes me think is it going to be like this every summer? It’s really important that people are really conscientious … about how dry it is.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected you?
I feel really fortunate to have moved here when I was very scared and I feel I was able to get outside and still find community and to get out of the city. That was really important.
What have you learned from living in Wallowa County?
I’ve learned about the importance of community, the importance of welcoming people, also the importance of the work that I do, especially in such a rural, isolated area.
What’s your advice for people who are thinking about moving here?
I would say do it. I think that … for people to have difficult conversations with one another is important. It’s such a beautiful community. I meet new people everyday.