Umpqua Watersheds Blog

Education, Education-AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps Update

Published March 7th, 2021 in Education, Education-AmeriCorps

by Ryan Kincaid

Spring is coming quickly and with it lots of exciting events from Umpqua Watersheds!

Learning in the Umpqua Watershed: Engaging K-12 Students through Nature Connections & STEAM Activities: Wednesday, March 24th @9am ~ We are excited to be offering a professional development opportunity for Douglas County teachers. Workshops that day will cover information about how and why to teach about local environmental challenges and climate change, how to get kids outside and learning, nature journaling and creative problem solving/STEAM, as well as a number of offerings from other organizations in Douglas County. This training is funded through a grant we were awarded by the Clif Bar Family Foundation; the grant will cover the cost of various resources we’ll be providing to the teachers and allows us to give each participant $100 upon completion of the program. We are so appreciative to have received this grant so that we can offer this training for free to 10 local educators. There is a lot of interest in this event, and we are quickly surpassing our maximum number of participants! If you’d like to increase the number of teachers we can reach with this training, you are welcome to donate!

Toward the end of April, we’ll be holding a “Weekend of Service” April 24th and 25th, which will include a plethora of ways to get involved.

River Clean-Up: Saturday, April 24th @11am ~ This event will look a little different this year, in an effort to reduce everyone’s exposure to the virus. We are encouraging everyone to sign up in family groups, or alongside people with whom you already come into contact regularly. Each group will be assigned a particular stretch of the Umpqua, and we’ll have a few people shuttle the garbage from those sites to a dumpster for disposal. A few ways you can help out with this event:

  • Become a Team/Site Leader – This person is the main contact for a group and as such is responsible for picking up supplies from Umpqua Watersheds, as needed, and returning those supplies after the event.


  • Donate – COVID is limiting our ability to provide food the day of the event, but we would love to offer each of the ten groups a gift certificate to a local restaurant as a thank you for participating.


Turning Over a New Leaf Book Club: Saturday, April 24th @6pm ~ We will have a virtual discussion of the book Unbowed, by Wangari Maathai, founder of The Green Belt Movement. (Attend our March 27th discussion of Jane Goodall’s Seeds of Hope to have a chance to win a free copy of Unbowed.) 

Eco Innovations Challenge: Sunday, April 25th @2pm (with opportunities to join in earlier in the month) ~ Is there a local environmental issue you wish you could solve? The Eco Innovations Challenge offers a chance to do just that! Submit a proposal for an “eco challenge” and you might be selected to present on 4/25, with a chance to gain financial and volunteer support to put your plan into action! Ways to get involved:

  • Submit an Application – These are due no later than Friday, April 2nd and are available via both printable PDF and an electronic Google Form.


  • Volunteer for the Selection Team – This group will review all applications received, offer feedback, and determine which are high enough quality to present during the April 25th event.


  • Donate – We would like to fund at least part of two projects (youth and adult) that come out of this competition. Your donation can help us make this dream become a reality!


Additional Opportunities

Radio – Our new radio program, Living Downstream began airing in January! If you have environmentally-themed music you would like to contribute to the show, or would like to be interviewed for an episode, let us know!


Volunteer Training – Are you interested in helping out with our educational programs, radio station, river monitoring, or other activities? Stay tuned for a volunteer training, which will take place in May 2021.


Seeking Photos for “Scenes of the Umpqua” – If you have a photograph which captures the beauty and magnificence of nature in the Umpqua watershed (Douglas County), please send them our way! We will be compiling some of the photos we receive into a calendar as a fundraiser for the organization.

Please email our AmeriCorps member, Ryan, who is serving as Environmental Education & Outreach Leader if you’d like to learn more or get involved with any of these initiatives. You can reach her at



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