Wow, 20 years! We can hardly believe that it’s our 20th Anniversary already. What we do know is how thankful we are for all of you, our loyal partners and supporters.
Much like the field of riparian restoration, our organization has changed and grown throughout the years, but one thing has remained constant - you all have been by our side. We are proud of our shared accomplishments, both big and small and look forward to celebrating with you this year.
We made a little video to celebrate the occasion - you can watch it here.
Some of our proudest accomplishments from the past 20 years include:
→ Forming, leading, or supporting more than 58 restoration partnerships that have made real progress in helping restore thousands of acres of riparian lands. Most of these partnerships continue to operate and work together to restore their watersheds.
→ Implementing youth and community education programs that are cultivating a future generation of diverse and educated stewards.
→ Hosting an annual conference that has brought together thousands of riparian restoration professionals to share ideas and best practices for improving the future of restoration as well as providing numerous workshops across the West.
→ Advancing restoration science and hosting an accessible online resource center that provides key riparian restoration publications.
→ Raising millions of dollars for riparian restoration throughout the Southwest.
→ Working with hundreds of partners since 2007 as part of our tamarisk beetle monitoring program that helps land managers employ new approaches for restoration in areas affected by the tamarisk beetle.
None of our accomplishments would be possible without our vast and diverse community of supporters. It has taken a commitment from individuals like you - our partners, volunteers, donors, foundations, and many more - to help get us to where we are today.
Our hope for the next 20 years is to build upon our successes and see our positive impact on rivers grow. A few of our upcoming initiatives include:
→ Expanding local and regional river and riparian initiatives:
Continuing the Grand Valley River Corridor Initiative - This regional initiative is working to engage diverse river corridor stakeholder groups, identify common values and challenges and establish better communication and coordination in decision making.
Sharing the Lower Colorado Assessment (coming soon!), an evaluation of riparian restoration projects in the Lower Colorado River Basin, and exploring future opportunities.
Implementing the conclusions of our Lessons Learned analysis (coming soon!) that examines collaborative conservation work between RiversEdge West (REW) and our watershed partners in the Colorado River Basin states.
→ Developing a confluence center, a long-term home for REW, and five other conservation-based non-profits near the Colorado River!
→ Expanding our education programs to provide better access to information throughout the community, including:
Our Wellspring Project, a 5-day river and art program for middle school students that focuses on the complexities of the Colorado River and provides students with the opportunity to respond artistically to that experience.
Internship programs focused on monitoring riparian lands in the Grand Valley.
Creation of a school-based curriculum, providing schools an opportunity to teach valuable information about our rivers and restoration.
→ Launching of our River Stewardship Program, a sustainable program where we are hosting volunteer events with partner agencies across the valley.
→ Continuing and enhancing our current partnerships on the White, Dolores, Gunnison, and Colorado Rivers, and others throughout the West.
Restoration work on key stretches of the White River and its tributaries in Colorado is now underway. Along the White River in Utah, the focus is on improving the habitat for endangered native fish and adapting the monitoring plan to better track progress.
We know that as priorities on rivers change, we will add many more initiatives to this list.
Today, we are launching a fundraising drive to celebrate 20 years of restoration and to invest in the next 20 years. We invite you to help us bring in:
20 donations at $2,000 each
20 donations at $500 each
Funds from this $50,000 drive will directly support the endeavors listed above. You can help us reach our goal by donating here (of course, a donation of any amount is always appreciated).
Again, thank you. We genuinely appreciate you and count on your support, and are excited to take this year to celebrate with you (we hope you'll join us at one of our upcoming events!).
Our accomplishments over the last 20 years are an excellent foundation for what we’ll accomplish in the next 20 years!