Our Strategic Plan

A strategic framework for guiding our annual work plans and goals

About Our Watershed

Our watershed is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse in Oregon. Johnson Creek Watershed Council welcomes ALL people who live, work, and play around Johnson Creek. We acknowledge there is a legacy of systemic inequalities within our watershed. The Council is devoted to doing our part to heal the legacy of systemic racism and inequality by enriching the lives of all people who touch Johnson Creek Watershed. Learn more about JCWC’s equity work on our website: https://www.jcwc.org/equity/

Restoring a stream and its watershed is much more effective with community involvement. We feel pride and ownership in our local stream when our community members join us to plant trees, remove garbage and collect data that helps inform the restoration. Our programs also include removing fish passage barriers, improving fish habitat, riparian management and stormwater retrofits.

Johnson Creek is 26 miles long with its headwaters in Boring. It flows through Gresham, Happy Valley, Portland, and Milwaukie on its way to the Willamette River. The mainstem creek has many tributaries that feed it. The watershed encompasses 54 square miles in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties.

Johnson Creek Watershed Council was founded in 1995 by a group of local residents and agency representatives, with a goal of improving water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife.

Our mission is to promote restoration and stewardship of a healthy Johnson Creek Watershed through sound science and community engagement.

About Our Strategic Plan

The strategic plan was developed by JCWC staff and board with extensive input from community and government partners, and volunteers. We have chosen to create a brief plan that reflects our organizational values and provides a strategic framework for guiding our annual work plans and goals. Each year we will review our actions and impacts against this framework as a way of holding ourselves accountable.

The core of this plan is a series of goals, each with our commitments for realizing these goals.

Our Goals & Commitments

Move organizational approach toward building collaborative relationships and centering community values and voices. Relationships will be rooted in mutual benefit and shared understanding.

Watershed restoration and stewardship will be rooted in sound science, strengthening the connection between ecosystem resilience and environmental justice, and recognizing the impacts of climate change and other threats. An updated 10-year Action Plan will reflect this approach.

Organizational culture, practices, and policies will strive towards equity and inclusion, and ensure sustainable capacity and resources to fulfill our mission.


Build and Sustain Collaborative Relationships

Move organizational approach toward building collaborative relationships and centering community values and voices. Relationships will be rooted in mutual benefit and shared understanding.

Expand and deepen partnerships with historically excluded groups, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), multilingual communities, people experiencing houselessness, and rural residents.

  • Build partner capacity through fundraising, administrative,and programmatic support
  • Develop culturally relevant programs and storytelling
  • Listen and learning about community needs, including the voices of young people
  • Collaborate on joint projects with community partners
  • Offer and collaborate with partners on workforce development opportunities and support for technical education

Community engagement approaches will be welcoming and inviting to diverse communities, addressing individual barriers to participation centered on community values and voices.

  • Increase event and program accessibility, including language, mobility, visual aids
  • Create story-based messaging that is inclusive and relevant
  • to diverse communities
  • Build on internal work, defining and prac ticing welcoming customs for external events with community members
  • Offer more diverse types of events such as diverse levels of difficulty, languages, and educational topics
  • Create opportunities to deepen a connection to the watershed
  • Ensure communications and language is current and accessible to diverse communities

As a convener, and through coalition work, community engagement and stewardship, maintain strong jurisdictional partnerships focused on watershed science and land use impacts.

  • Participate and lead Johnson Creek Inter-Jurisdictional Committee
  • Partner with jurisdictions and organizations with shared
  • interests on land use and development policies
  • Advocate for interests of historically excluded communities

Center Ecosystem Resilience in Watershed Restoration

Watershed restoration and stewardship will be rooted in sound science, strengthening the connection between ecosystem resilience and environmental justice, and recognizing the impacts of climate change and other threats. An updated 10-year Action Plan will reflect this approach.

Develop science-based restoration strategies that consider all stressors and limiting factors.

  • Continue assessment efforts to understand stressors and limiting factors
  • Consider watershed restoration to include uplands as well as the riparian corridor
  • Implement projects that repair historic and existing human caused impacts to the stream

Design of restoration work will consider and incorporate climate change impacts on the ecosystem and keystone species.

  • Manage vegetation for ecosystem health and climate adaptation
  • Mitigate for high stream temperatures for threatened and endangered fish
  • Explore mitigation for heat in upland and developed
    areas to benefit both human and wildlife communities
  • Implement best practices for infrastructure projects
    hat include anticipated changes to hydrology

Engage Tribes and other groups representing Indigenous people to collaborate on watershed restoration plans.

  • Plan with Indigenous groups, for example, incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge and First Foods into restoration designs
  • Provide opportunities for Indigenous people to participate in paid restoration implementation, especially in a workforce development context

JCWC will continue to provide leadership on restoring and repairing watershed health. By 2025 we will complete an updated 10-year Action Plan, which will serve as a guide and coordinating tool in our restoration and stewardship efforts. The plan will center around ecosystem resilience and environmental justice.

  • Collect, analyze, and synthesize relevant monitoring data in preparation to inform the Action Plan update
  • Engage jurisdictional partners and other stakeholders in planning process
  • Select priority areas for projects and investment of resources and capacity

Strengthen Organizational Capacity for Sustainability and Equity

Organizational culture, practices, and policies will strive towards equity and inclusion, and ensure sustainable capacity and resources to fulfill our mission.

Internally create a welcoming culture with a sense of belonging for diverse staff, board, and volunteers, through inclusive practices and intentional outreach and relationship building.

  • Define and practice welcoming customs for board, staff, and committee meetings
  • Invest to lower barriers for participation and to be welcoming to all board members, such as providing hybrid meeting access or food at meetings
  • Provide new opportunities for volunteer participation
  • Explore and implement new inclusive and culturally responsive approaches for recruitment of staff, board, and volunteers
  • Energize committee engagement opportunities, including increasing
    non-board member participation
  • Celebrate successes together
  • Explore opportunities for equity and inclusion resources and education for staff, board, and volunteers

Develop equitable and inclusive HR infrastructure, such as conflict resolution policies and practices focused on employee retention and wellness, including professional development opportunities, increased  compensation, and sustainable work plans.

  • Offer trainings to help staff while working with partners and volunteers, and each other, such as trauma-informed practices and cultural responsiveness
  • Engage in succession planning
  • Provide competitive compensation package (salary & benefits)
    that reflects a living wage
  • Allow flexible work hours
  • Increase opportunities for team-building that include both board and staff
  • Provide professional development for career interests and training opportunities
  • Support sustainable work plan development to mitigate potential burnout and turnover
  • Add capacity through strategic use of consultants and contractors

Focus on increasing multi-year grants and  contracts, diversifying income streams, and  building community culture through  fundraising.

  • Deepen relationships with funders to explore opportunities for multi-year funding and general operating support
  • Create a development plan with a focus on cultivation of individual
    and corporate giving, including long-term funding through legacy donations and the endowment, on fundraising events, and a culture of appreciation for giving at all levels
  • Collaborate with partners on fundraising

Prioritize IT, communications, and facilities planning to meet the needs of the organization.

  • Improve and simplify information management and IT platforms, including providing training in new and existing technologies
  • Improve website and other communications forums to be usable and sustainable for staff
  • Plan, identify and secure office and storage locations beyond 2024, the current end date, with consideration of accessibility needs
  • Assess and plan for upgrades/new equipment, such as phones and technology for outreach, and a new truck

Curious about our Action Plan now?

Our 2015-2025 Action Plan summarizes the best available information for fish, wildlife, and natural conditions and sets our course for the next 10 years.

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