From The Executive Director
By Kasey Hovik
On June 1st I retired from Umpqua Community College (UCC). It was my great honor and pleasure to work there. While it was sad leaving UCC, my colleagues, and our students, I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life. Over the past ten years, I have volunteered for Umpqua Watersheds (UW) while working full-time at UCC. I am excited to put all my efforts into working with the UW staff and volunteers and know we are on the cusp of accomplishing some important things to move the organization forward.
My focus will be on aggressively pursuing grants which will enable us to sustain and expand our programs and support our staff. The magnificent work being done by our committees, as detailed in this newsletter, provides compelling stories that are key components in inspiring grant funders and financial support from members and supporters.
Another area that will have my immediate focus will be working with our KQUA Radio Committee to expand our radio station, KQUA 99.7 Low Power, to KQUA 90.7 Non-Commercial Education (NCE) license frequency which will dramatically increase our terrestrial range so that it can be heard on the radio from Yoncalla to Canyonville. I will be meeting with UCC President Rachel Pokrandt, to talk about ways we will be able to partner with UCC on radio programming and outreach. We have had former and current UCC students work with various elements related to the radio station. I am very happy to announce that, thanks to a grant from the Collins Foundation, we were able to hire Patrick (Trick) Schneider as our Programming Manager. Over the past five years, Trick has volunteered as our Program Manager and the station would not exist without his many contributions.
Additionally, I will focus on expanding our collaborations with partners to increase our capacity to impact on our environment and our community. This will include continuing to work with United Communities AmeriCorps and their project host sites, UCC, the Douglas County Global Warming Coalition, and the Pacific Northwest Forest Climate Alliance. We are very excited about collaborating with our friends at the Umpqua Valley Audubon Society (UVAS). They will be adding an AmeriCorps member to their team for the 2022-23 service year, who will share an office with UW’s AmeriCorps. We will be working closely to support, promote and celebrate the work of our AmeriCorps members. Please see our website for details about how to apply: https://umpquawatersheds.org/2-position-openings-for-americorps-service/
One of the major projects we will be working on over the next year is a restoration project centered around the Boulder Creek Wilderness hiking trails. Our partners at Source One Serenity wrote a successful grant proposal for the US Forest Service and designated $12,000 for Umpqua Watersheds to help with monitoring, outreach, education, and volunteer management for the 12-month project. On June 17th we will be working with United Communities AmeriCorps to provide a service-day project as our first event.
Finally, I will be leading UW’s outreach efforts. We have many events coming up: see the Outreach Update on page 8 for more details. While I am retired from UCC, I will be busier than ever but less stressed by not juggling between my responsibilities at UCC and my responsibilities with UW. Forward!