2024 Annual Celebration Highlights

Annual Celebration Riffle award winners

We are truly grateful for the incredible generosity and support shown by our community during this years Annual Celebration. It is heartwarming to see so many individuals and organizations come together to help us further our mission of protecting and restoring watershed health. The success of our donation drive, with matching funds from a generous donor, will contribute to our continued work throughout the watershed.

The dedication and hard work of our 1,613 volunteers during 2023 have been instrumental in the success of our programs and projects in the watershed. Their passion for protecting and restoring Johnson Creek is truly inspiring. In addition to our volunteers, we appreciate our jurisdictional and business partners for their support and collaboration. By working together, we are able to achieve greater results and make a bigger difference in the health of Johnson Creek.

Two programs that we partner with and support are the bilingual program and our Back 5 partnership. During 2023, the bilingual program held 10 events throughout the year, including workshops, clean-up days, and educational presentations. This initiative aimed to engage a wider range of community members, particularly those who may face language barriers when accessing environmental resources and information. By providing bilingual support, we were able to reach a more diverse audience and empower individuals to take an active role in protecting and preserving the watershed.

The Back 5 partnership focuses on working with historically underserved communities. Through a combination of education and restoration efforts, this program aims to increase habitat diversity and improve overall ecosystem health along the creek. By partnering with local residents and community organizations, we are able to foster a sense of ownership and stewardship among those who may have previously been excluded from environmental initiatives. This collaborative approach not only benefits the watershed but also helps build stronger, more resilient communities that are actively involved in conservation efforts.

Our annual Riffle awards help highlight a few of the organizations and individuals that support watershed health. Melanie Klym won the “Ernie Francisco” award this year for her dedication to habitat health in the Johnson Creek. Her tireless efforts in organizing the annual Johnson Creek Cleanup have helped to remove 75.2 tons from the creek since 2009. 

Susan Hawes was honored with the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement” award for her unwavering commitment to protecting and preserving Johnson Creek. As a key partner of JCWC through Portland Parks & Recreation, Susan has played a crucial role in developing and implementing conservation programs that have helped improve water quality, restore wildlife habitat, and enhance recreational opportunities along the creek for over 14 years.

Both Melanie and Susan exemplify the spirit of stewardship and environmental advocacy that JCWC Riffle awards aim to celebrate. Their passion, dedication, and leadership serve as an inspiration to others in our community who are working towards a healthier and more sustainable future for Johnson Creek and its surrounding watershed.

JCWC also recognizes the importance of the jurisdictional and business partners in the watershed. We are grateful for the ongoing commitment and dedication of Double Mt. Brewery, Sunnyside Environmental School, and Depave in supporting our mission to protect and preserve watershed health. Their contributions have been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals and make a positive impact on the environment. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of our partners, sponsors, and supporters for their continued support and collaboration. Together, we can continue to work towards a healthier and more sustainable future for our communities and our planet. Thank you for being champions of watershed health!

As we reflect on the successes and growth of the Watershed in 2023, we can’t help but feel excited for what lies ahead in 2024. With each passing year, our community continues to thrive and evolve, and we eagerly anticipate the new opportunities and challenges that the next year will bring. Join us as we embark on this journey together, celebrating our achievements and striving towards an even brighter future for the Watershed. Here’s to another year of progress, innovation, and sustainability. See you in year 30!

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