September 2020: A Message from Our Director

Dear Wolf River Conservancy friend,

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Wolf River Conservancy had to be reactive in implementing many changes in how we operate on a daily basis. Now, after six months of enduring the pandemic, we are beginning to be more reflective, evaluating what we have learned in this time of extraordinary challenges. To that end, we have considered the following four questions as we think about our “new normal” in September 2020.

What were we on the verge of accomplishing before the onset of the pandemic?

In January of 2020 we launched the Wolf River Restoration Series which included four large community service projects: Martin Luther King Day of Service, the Annual Tree Planting, a World Water Day Cleanup, and an Earth Day project. Participation in our January and February projects was outstanding, but pandemic forced us to postpone the remaining two projects.

We have learned, however, that there are corporations and other organizations eager to participate and support a series of conservation service projects, especially when they are presented under a single “umbrella” to increase volunteer outreach and engagement. Our special thanks to the Wolf River Restoration Series Presenting Sponsor, Brother International, and its Sustaining Sponsors Bank of America, Buckman, International Paper, and Ring Container Technologies. 

Right now, our team is thinking outside the box in how we can offer a safe and effective Wolf River Restoration Series in 2021, perhaps offering a hybrid of virtual and small group volunteer opportunities. Stay tuned!

What was undervalued before that now holds greater value?

Without a doubt, we now realize just how much we value both the ability to bring together large groups of over 100 volunteers for community service projects, and the ability to offer field trips to large groups of students. We have worked with 400+ volunteers on some projects, and 60-80 students on some field trips, but we are now adapting as best we can to current limitations. We miss our volunteers, students, and other friends!

What is our greatest asset now?

Besides the Wolf River watershed itself, people are our greatest asset: our committed staff members, our talented and skilled Board of Directors, our members and volunteers, and our community. Since March of this year, we have leveraged an abundance of talent and skills to effectively continue our work, with events such as the Discover the Greenway virtual event and our expanded lecture series on Zoom, with registrations averaging about 100 per lecture and totaling over 1300 people from 12 different states!

What are the long term changes for the Conservancy?

While we don’t have all the answers for this one, we definitely know that the Wolf River Conservancy is an adaptable organization which continues to learn and improve on delivering on our mission and engaging our volunteers and the community.

Thanks to you all for your continued support to the Wolf River Conservancy!

- Keith Cole, Executive Director


Posted by Cathy Justis at 4:43 PM