Dear River Lovers,
As an avid whitewater enthusiast, I am always eager to connect with people who want to connect people to rivers and rivers to people. When I joined the board of Rivers for Change in early 2020, I anticipated rolling up my sleeves to participate in the successful execution of events and programs. Instead, the pandemic hit and most events and programs were canceled. We capitalized on the “down time” by creating a strategic plan that outlines 4 strategic priorities, sets our course for the next 3 years, and builds renewed energy and commitment. In this 10th year of Rivers for Change, I’m excited to share what we’ve accomplished and what we will focus on moving forward into our next decade.
Like river systems, these strategies are all interrelated and interdependent of each other. Here is the confluence of our goals:
1.Programs and Partnerships: broaden the reach and impact of our programs
This year, much of our effort has gone into supporting the Grand Salmon, a 1,000 mile source to sea down the Salmon, Snake, and Columbia rivers in a call to action around breaching the 4 lower snake river dams and putting a moratorium on the Stibnite Mine. This multifaceted, multi-event collaborative effort hits at the core of Rivers for Change’s mission – building community connections, creating educational opportunities, and providing a visceral understanding of the interconnectedness we have to rivers from source to sea.
We will continue with these types of programs as well as leverage our source to sea expertise to create a network of advisors, partners, and information on how to create a successful source to sea campaign.
2. Storytelling: building our outreach
There are some amazing people doing some amazing work around rivers; we want to help amplify their impact and share their stories! Our micro grant program supports those doing the often grueling, often exhilarating work of undertaking a Source to Sea Adventure. In 2023 we will be supporting Nina Gordon-Kirsch project Home 2 Headwaters, Nina recently walked Sea to Source on the Mokelumne River in a quest to understand where her water comes from. With our support, she will continue to work on a film and an educational curriculum for East Bay schools to connect kids to where their water comes from.
We are also helping support Jess Wiegandt’s project A River Called Home. Jess completed a source to sea on the James River in Virginia and is currently finalizing a film for film festivals and educational distribution, as well as developing affordable curriculum for local schools to understand the importance of the James River to their ecosystem, conduct citizen science, and provide hands-on learning experiences. We are excited to share the stories of these amazing women!
3. People: growing our staff, board, volunteers and funder base.
Relationships are key to our work so we want to make sure we have a robust, committed and energized team. Here’s where you come in!! We need your energy, your ideas and your commitment to rivers and river systems. We are seeking to grow our board and expand our networks. Check out our board description, ambassador page, and grant application, volunteer page, and join our growing Source to Sea Network. Let us know if you’d be interested in being part of our small but mighty team!
4. Financial sustainability: aligning our fundraising capabilities with our programmatic aspirations to keep doing this important work.
In order to meet our ambitious goals, we seek your support. Rivers for Change operates on a small budget and we need YOUR help. Please donate to Rivers for Change as part of your annual giving routine, no donation is too small or too big.
If you’d like a glimpse into the work we do around planning a source to sea conservation adventure, check out the latest River Radius Podcast featuring Samara Rosen board member and Danielle Katz co-founder.
Take a journey with us over the last 10 years as we highlight our accomplishments in our 10th year anniversary report! Coming next week!
Thank you for being a part of our the Rivers for Change family. Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a time to connect to the communities, rivers, and drops of water in your life,
Pam-RFC Board Chair