Umpqua Watersheds Blog

Executive Director

Executive Director Update

Published March 12th, 2024 in Executive Director

B y Kasey Hovik


Spring is a time for renewal and an increase in activity in nature and in organizations. This is certainly the case with Umpqua Watersheds as we continue to work on some major projects that will have a tremendous impact on our organization, the environment, and the community we serve. I want to provide an overview of some of the major projects we are working on, and hope that you will be inspired and will contribute in whatever way you can to support our work.


All the projects we are working on involve collaborations with other organizations. Our strategic partnerships have played a major role in our success over the last couple of years. I  provided an overview of the importance of collaboration in my summer 2021 update  We are so grateful and proud of our partnerships and our work with them. We believe the projects we are working on together in 2024 will have major impacts in the Umpqua Basin for years to come.


Eastwood Nature Days and Trail Restoration Projects

Eastwood Nature Days is an opportunity for over 500 third-grade students to learn about the natural environment. It has been an extremely successful event that Umpqua Watersheds and our AmeriCorps project partners have participated in putting on. When long-time organizer Jeff Plummer stepped down, Umpqua Watersheds agreed to take his place in organizing and facilitating the event. This year it will be held during the week of May 6-10.


Eastwood Nature Days includes five 40-minute lessons with transition breaks and a 30-minute lunch break. The day generally starts between 9:00 and 9:30 and ends 1:45-2:00. Explorations in natural environments aligned with third-grade Next Generation Science Standards and Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core Standards.

UW and our partners will also be working to be able to create an Environmental Education Training Program for teachers. UW’s Learning in the Umpqua program, started by Ryan Kincaid will be expanded to include the Eastwood environmental education program.

Situated on Deer Creek in East Roseburg is a nature area that includes a pond, a Ponderosa Pine Forest, and a Native American Plank House. The Eastwood Nature Trail is approximately one mile on a circular path that is a flat, easy walk. Side trails lead to overlooks and additional learning opportunities. In addition to providing Eastwood students with an on-site learning lab, the area is used to educate students throughout the school district.

There are lots of opportunities to work on maintaining and restoring the Eastwood Trail system and wetlands, and our Restoration Committee and our partners will be working on this very important project.

South Umpqua Beaver Survey and Restoration Project

Umpqua Watersheds will be receiving a $97,000 grant from the Forest Service and EPA to do beaver surveys in the south Umpqua to determine where beavers are present and provide the data to work with multiple partners in protecting and enhancing habitat for beavers.

The grant will provide the opportunity to do restoration, conservation, outreach, and education related to the important role beavers have in creating and maintaining healthy aquatic and wetland ecosystems. Cindy Haws, the President of the Umpqua Natural Leadership Science Hub (UNLSH) and UW’s Education Chair and member of our Restoration and Conservation Committees, took the lead on writing the grant, and we believe this opportunity will be a keystone in the history of Umpqua Watersheds.


We plan to create a template to expand these types of surveys across the Umpqua Basin, and we are also working to create a Beaver Working Group as part of the Pacific Northwest Climate Alliance ( where we can share best practices and engage state, federal and other stakeholders to do more to protect beavers.


Operation Access

We have several initiatives which fall under the umbrella of a project we call “Operation Access”. These programs include increasing the signal of our KQUA radio station using the Non-Commercial Education (NCE) license we received in 2023 and the Umpqua Outback Project.  We continue to write grants and seek public support to pay for leasing space on a tower on Mount Scott. Our goal is to be able to “flip the switch” in June, so anyone within 20-30 miles will be able to pick up the station on their radio in addition to listening online at

Last summer we constructed a new stage behind our building (, and this Spring, we will put an awning over the stage and a mural behind it and purchase a 40’ x 80’ tent we can use for special events. We recently received a $4,999 tourism grant from the City of Roseburg and are in the process of writing other grants to reach our goal of adding covered seating areas on both sides in front of the stage.


In addition to these projects, we have also started a monthly meeting of our supporters called “Watershed Wednesdays”, held on the last Wednesday of the month to be able to meet with our supporters, update them on issues and projects we are working on, and celebrate the friendships we have made in the process of doing our work.


We have a lot going on at Umpqua Watersheds; we’re doing good work for our environment and our community. None of it would be possible without the financial and volunteer support we receive from our funders and members and through our collaboration with our partners. Thank you!




Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)