Johnson Creek Watershed Council volunteers honored

Here’s why volunteers with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council gathered for a dinner and celebration …

Volunteers and partners, from Gresham through outer East Portland, gather for the annual meeting of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On the evening of May 23, workers, volunteers, and supporters of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) gathered for the annual “Riffle Awards and Annual Meeting” on the campus of Reed College, in Kaul Auditorium.

JCWC Executive Director Daniel Newberry chats with people attending the annual banquet.

“While it is our organization’s 24th anniversary, we call it our 24th birthday celebration for the Johnson Creek Watershed Council,” said Executive Director Daniel Newberry, as he greeted guests arriving for the evening.

“It’s our opportunity to reflect on our successes, and honor some of our partners who have helped make it a successful year,” Newberry told East Portland News.

A silent auction is a popular feature of this annual gathering.

“As a community organization, in addition to our Board and staff members, we have volunteers; and, for example, for the third year in a row we’ve had more than 2,000 volunteer sign-ups,” Newberry said. “Also we’ve been working with a dozen agencies, and an equivalent number of community groups; JCWC a large active community, so it’s important to get everyone together at once a year, to help remind ourselves of what we’re doing, and why it’s important, as we honor one another.”

Guests at the awards banquet serve themselves salad, rosemary roasted potatoes, Draper Valley chicken breast with tomato basil relish, grilled organic tofu, and roasted local asparagus.

The awards banquet is also a modest fundraiser for the nonprofit organization, Newberry reminded. “Business sponsors help us out; and we have a silent auction to help raise money to continue our efforts. Although grants cover a good chunk of what we do, we do need to raise some funds to fill in the gaps.”

Community Partner Riffle Award

Representing ROSE Community Development Corporation, one recipient of a JCWC Community Partner Riffle Award is Ana Meza.

Southeast Portland Riffle Award recipients included ROSE Community Development Corporation, headquartered in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. “I’m with the Lents Youth Initiative (LYI) at ROSE, and we’re being given the Community Partner Award for hosting interns with JCWC,” explained its program manager Ana Meza.

“LYI focuses on teaching youth about environmental justice, social justice, and leadership skills, in our over-the-summer high school programs for students who apply for paid summer internships,” she said. “One of our partner organizations is JCWC; we’ve been working with them since 2016. This past year we helped plan the JCWC cleanup event that happens in the summer.”

Business Riffle Award

Damon Schrosk and Andrea Schrosk of Treecology are presented with the JCWC Riffle Award Business Partner Award.

From their shop, overlooking Johnson Creek, ecologist and arborist Damon Schrosk of Treecology said they were pleased to be presented with the JCWC Business Riffle Award this year.  “We want to be part of JCWC, because are doing things to improve the watershed on a scale much larger than what we can do, and we support that.

“More than us, we get our volunteers and family involved to volunteer as well,” added company partner Andrea Schrosk.

Additional awardees included:

  • School Riffle Award: Bilquist Elementary School in Milwaukie
  • Jurisdictional Partner Riffle Award: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Ernie Francisco Award: Caz Zyvatkauskas

JCWC hosts, or partners with organizations, that frequently hold volunteer events along the creek or watershed. Their next major event is the Johnson Creek Clean-Up, on August 24.  To find out more, CLICK HERE to see their website.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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