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Gordon Watkins volunteers with local groups to enhance public opportunities

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Gordon Watkins moved to Boring 53 years ago for the "country-style living" and opportunities for growth.Gordon Watkins likes to watch things flourish — from the plants he grows at Boring Square Garden Center to the community he calls home, Boring.

A well-known volunteer in Boring, Watkins has served on the Boring Fire District Budget Committee, helped with promoting the annual Boring and Dull Day festivities and Boring Community Planning Organization and assisted with the planning process for Boring Station Trailhead Park.

Gordon has also teamed up with local resident Dale Derry to make sure the flag is flying right in the park, and maintain the grounds around the new Boring Vietnam Memorial site.

"As a community, we need to stay together — work as a community," Watkins said.

Recently, The Outlook, Sandy Post and Estacada News asked readers to nominate people they considered to be Extraordinary Citizens. The publications sought the "quiet steamrollers" whose actions propel the community forward through good deeds and service that go largely unnoticed. Watkins is not profiled in the Extraordinary Citizens publication, but is in fact an outstanding member of The Sandy Post's community. We invite you to meet the other six people profiled in the section inserted in today's newspaper and see why they are, indeed, extraordinary.

Watkins moved to Boring 53 years ago for the "country-style living" and opportunities for growth. Tending to plants and people is nothing new for Watkins. The Parkrose native comes from a long line of farmers, and he has always worked in some aspect of the agriculture industry. He first worked for Carnation, S&W, then as a truck driver for 27 years, during which he opened Boring Square Garden Center.

When Watkins was growing up, he and his family would take surplus produce they harvested from his grandparents' farm in Oregon City to area charities.

This act of kindness is one he's continued in his adult life at his Boring business. In the past year, the Watkinses, with the help of the Boring community, donated 12,000 pounds of food to local food banks, including SnowCap Community Charities, Hood View Junior Academy, Sandy Community Action Center and Damascus Montessori School.

He said it was a perceived "need" in the community that made him want to make the garden center into a donation drop-off.

Watkins is not usually alone in his charitable endeavors. His wife, Karen, who co-owns the garden center, volunteers alongside him for many of Boring's efforts.

Just as Watkins enjoys creating opportunities for his small community to flourish, he also loves to watch the plants he harvests grow.

Boring Square Garden Center is where people go to find the plants they can't find elsewhere. Even in his business he is constantly trying to be of service to others outside the box. If they are looking for something he doesn't have in stock, he'll help them find it somewhere else.

"I try to help them get started in the garden too," he said. "I give them advice."

Most popular are the Watkinses' fruit trees. They sell quite a few honey crisp apple trees throughout the season.

As a community-oriented person, Watkins also appreciates the interaction owning a small business affords him on a daily basis. At 80 years old, Watkins is nowhere near retiring. He still appreciates all that he does for the community and at the garden center. His son and grandson do help out when they can.

Watkins' community involvement does not go unrecognized. On Monday, April 16, Members of the Boring, Oregon Foundation, the Boring-Damascus Grange, and Friends of the Boring Station Trailhead Park hosted a celebration for Watkins' 80th birthday. Several community members turned out to visit with Watkins and celebrate his birthday with some cake and ice cream.

"Every community has special members that contribute and help define their community," said Steve Bates with the Boring, Oregon Foundation. "Boring would not be Boring if it weren't for the Watkins(es)."

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