Watershed council to hold first fundraising dinner April 28
North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council will celebrate local waterways at its inaugural dinner — titled Resilience — on April 28. The fundraiser will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Rose Villa Performing Arts Center, 13505 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove; tickets are $65 per person.
The council seeks to improve water quality through habitat-restoration projects, community education, and advocacy for the protection and enhancement of the county's watersheds.
The dinner is a way to engage the community in a manner other than a cleanup or planting event, said Andrew Collins-Anderson, NCUWC's executive director.
"We want to honor our volunteers and the community for supporting us, and we want to build our capacity financially to do more outreach," he said.
Collins-Anderson hopes the additional funds will allow the council to hire its first AmeriCorps member to do more education and outreach.
"We want to get people more in touch with the streams in Clackamas County," he said.
People should attend the dinner to show support for NCUWC and its goal to improve the health of small urban streams that have been neglected over the years, Collins-Anderson said.
"Helping us improve these streams helps us improve habitat for fish and wildlife," he said.
Collins-Anderson identified the local creeks that NCUWC works with every day as Mt. Scott, Kellogg, River Forest, Boardman and Rinearson.
The event will include networking opportunities, trivia, auction items, a dessert dash, musical entertainment and recognition of Oak Lodge Water Services as NCUWC's first Partner of the Year.
Dinner sponsors include Leatherman, Metro, Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District, Rose Villa, Water Environment Services, and North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District.
Collins-Anderson said the watershed council chose Rep. Karin Power and Will Hornyak as featured speakers at the dinner because both are "passionate about advocating for our outdoors and local streams, and both are respected residents of the community."
Power and her wife live in Milwaukie with their baby and two rescue dogs. In addition to serving in the Legislature, Power is associate general counsel for The Freshwater Trust.
Power said her remarks that evening will revolve around people's love of rivers and streams for their beauty, for the fish and outdoor recreation opportunities they sustain, and for the drinking water they supply to our communities.
"We often take these for granted. As our region grows, however, and pressures on native fish and water quality increase, we need to support and cherish the organizations that are working to protect our urban streams and Willamette River for the next generations," Power said.
Hornyak is a nationally known, award-winning storyteller who teaches storytelling in professional communication at Marylhurst University.
At the dinner, he will be sharing stories and poems from his program "Living Steams: Stories for Healthy Watersheds."
"I'll be speaking about how the work of storytelling is the 're-wilding' of the imagination and how the work of the watershed council is the 're-wilding' of the landscape, to re-integrate the living, breathing natural world into the urban setting," Hornyak said.
"The watershed council is an important voice, and they're helping us to hear the voices of the streams around us and to remember the stories that dwell in the land beneath our feet," he added.
"NCUWC is the only nonprofit organization located right here in the North Clackamas area providing 'on the ground' stream and habitat restoration services to both residential and public properties, free of charge," said Steve Berliner, NCUWC board member.
The council is the only such group serving the area between Johnson Creek in Milwaukie and the Clackamas River at the southern end of Gladstone, and services extend eastward all the way to the headwaters of Mt. Scott Creek in Happy Valley.
NCUWC also conducts clean water and fish and wildlife advocacy work, and free education and community outreach and participation programs to the public, like Science Talks and volunteer plantings, Berliner said.
His book, "Nature Closeup," a full-color, hardcover edition with photographs of 100 species of birds and animals on 140 pages, will be available to order at a special price at the dinner.
Publicity materials for the inaugural dinner feature a close-up of a great blue heron.
Berliner added, "That photo was taken right here in Jennings Lodge in a big cottonwood tree overlooking the Willamette River, using my unusual digi-scoping technique."
What: Resilience — North Clackamas Urban Watershed Council's Inaugural Dinner
When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28
Where: Rose Villa Performing Arts Center, 13505 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove
Cost: Tickets are $65 and may be purchased at ncurbanwatershed.wordpress.com/events/inaugural-dinner-2018-resilience
More: Attendees receive one free drink ticket. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Lemonade, water, coffee and tea also will be available.
NWUWC: To learn more about the watershed council, visit ncurbanwatershed.wordpress.com