It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost half over! I am very proud and grateful for everything Umpqua Watersheds staff, board of directors and volunteers have accomplished in the first half of the year. In April we had our 22nd annual banquet. I was so proud of the presentation our team put together of the accomplishments of each of our committees in 2017 and I am amazed at what we have done so far this year and what we hope to accomplish in the next year exceeds our accomplishments in 2017. None of this would possible without the generous financial support of our members. When we were concerned we might not sell all of our tickets to the banquet, members stepped up and gave sponsorships for AmeriCorps serving in our community and students attending UCC so that they could attend the banquet. Many people stepped up to contribute to our Silent Auction and as a result of the tremendous support we received from donors for the auction, sponsorship tickets and our “Friendzee” giving campaign the banquet and auction raised over $10,000 to support Umpqua Watersheds.
As I mentioned earlier, the second half of 2018 will exceed our lofty goals for the year. Thanks to the tremendous support of one family we will be able to totally revamp our website so that it will match or exceed the websites of other cutting edge environmental organizations in the Pacific Northwest. This is extremely important because grant makers, foundations and individuals utilize what is presented on organizational websites in order to understand the mission of the organization and whether the organization has the capacity to be successful.
Another extremely important accomplishment I am very proud to share with you is that for the first time ever, Umpqua Watersheds will have two AmeriCorps service members in 2018-19. For the third time we have an AmeriCorps member who has decided to come back for a second year. Christine’s article says it all. We are so very grateful for her service and commitment to our community and organization and know, with her leadership, our environmental education and outreach initiatives will enable us to do so much.
On Sunday, June 24th at 4:00pm we will sponsor the first of what we hope will be many concerts in the parking lot behind our office. Lance Canales and The Flood will be playing in an event we are calling “Concert for the Kids” because 100% of the profits from the concert will go to support our environmental education programs. Over the past 4 years we have been able to give every 5th grader in Douglas County the opportunity to go to Crater Lake National Park. We have enabled many UCC students to opportunity to learn, earn and serve in the process of becoming the next generation of wildlife and natural resource professionals.
While we face enormous challenges because of the current political environment, the best is ahead of us as we find ways to bridge the divide in our community and we move forward with our mission to protection and restoration of the Umpqua Watershed and beyond through education, training, advocacy and ecologically sound stewardship. Join us for work parties, committee meetings, events, hikes, concerts, fundraisers and more. As members, you are a part of our community. Be a part of activities so we can get to know you. You won’t be disappointed.