It was a very busy summer for Umpqua Watersheds. We kicked off the summer with our “Concert for AmeriCorps” when Lance Canales and the Flood returned to Roseburg on May 24th. We were able to raise $800 toward 2019-20 AmeriCorps program. A generous $2,500 from one family, a $1,500 grant for education from Oregon Community Foundation and other donations totaling $2,500 nudges us closer to the $8,200 we need to fund our AmeriCorps position for the upcoming program year. We still have about $1100 to raise and we hope to reach our goal with the “Old Soul Music Festival, 3-8pm on Saturday, September 7th. We are very fortunate to receive so much support from our community for UW’s Environmental Education Program.
On July 19-21 we celebrated the service of our two AmeriCorps members, Christine Smith and Maris Wilson at our 4th annual AmeriCorps campout. While the primary goal of the campout is to give all of us some special time with our AmeriCorps “superheroes” we also invite any AmeriCorps serving with our United Community AmeriCorps partner. It was an amazing time and it was great to look back at all of the wonderful contributions Christine and Maris made to UW and our community. We are very grateful that they chose to serve two years in the AmeriCorps program. We are very excited that United Communities AmeriCorps is adding Camp AmeriCorps as a part of their yearend program. We will once again celebrate River Appreciation Day during Camp AmeriCorps. Next year we will be at Steamboat Ball Field in the Umpqua National Forest for a 2 night campout. combined with River Appreciation Day.
The final activity for Christine and Maris as they finished their AmeriCorps service was to lead our annual Twin Lakes Youth Wilderness Campout on the Umpqua National Forest. We enjoyed spectacular weather and the wonderment in the eyes of the kids who attended was a great reward to all of us who worked with Maris and Christine to facilitate the campout. We had presentations on bats, sea birds, owls and a hike to “the rock” at dark for an astronomy talk. The next day Ken Carloni led a botany hike and Heather Wise talked about dragonflies and that ended at the point overlooking Twin Lakes. It is always a highlight of the campout and the questions and comments made during these educational activities gives us all hope that we are making a difference by “planting seeds” in the hearts and minds of kids so they will have a special appreciation and dedication to protect our natural environment.
We are very excited to announce the next AmeriCorps, Robyn Bath-Rosenfeld, who will join UW as our Environmental Education and Outreach Leader this year. See her biography in this newsletter.