The Riffle Award are given each year to individuals, organizations and business that help JCWC accomplish its mission to promote restoration and stewardship of a healthy Johnson Creek Watershed through sound science and community engagement. Riffle Award nominees are suggested by JCWC staff and the Board of Directors. Winners are chosen five categories; Individual, Business, Public Entity/Elected Official, School/Youth-Related Organization, and Community. Riffle Awards help recognize the significant contributions of those entities and individuals who are a part of the Johnson Creek community – all working towards a healthier Watershed. The 2012 Riffle Award will be presented at our Annual Meeting.
2011 Riffle Award Winners
For the past two years, Russ Stoll has been a leader on the Creek Committee, working diligently to advance the Tacoma Street / Johnson Creek Light Rail Station habitat enhancements and interpretive boardwalk. From graphic design on project fact sheets to editing grant applications, Russ is a tireless champion for this project. He’s also a committed restoration volunteer, both with the JCWC and with the Friends of Tideman Johnson.
(photo of Russ Stoll courtesy of www.brucemacgregorphotography.com)
Every August for four years and counting, the Overland Park Coalition, JCWC, and our partners have coordinated and hosted the annual Johnson Creek Clean Up. Dozens of volunteers remove tons of trash (literally tons of trash, from vacuum cleaners to computer consoles) from Johnson Creek. After the clean-up is finished, the Overland Park Coalition volunteers cook a delicious celebratory barbecue for everyone to enjoy.
Along with generous monetary and material donations through the years, Portland General Electric also has a strong culture of community involvement and volunteerism which brings tremendous aid to small grassroots nonprofits like JCWC. Dozens of PGE employees have supported JCWC with their hard work in the field. In the last ten years, four PGE employees have contributed their talent and leadership on our Board of Directors. PGE was also a prominent contributor to last year’s large scale creek habitat project, donating costly boulders and logs needed for Johnson Creek’s enhancement.
Several students from the Mount Hood Community College SEED Program have served as JCWC interns. Their projects have included collecting data and mapping restoration sites on Crystal Springs Creek, helping coordinate volunteer mussel sampling events, and producing bilingual volunteer restoration events. In addition to their valuable contributions to JCWC’s mission, we’ve enjoyed their cheerful presence in our office. At this year’s Watershed Wide Event, 30 SEED students planted trees at the Gresham Woods site.
In 2011 and 2012, Multnomah County Road Services led native fish surveys in upper Johnson Creek Watershed, collecting invaluable information, particularly about the importance of the smaller and unnamed tributaries for native fish production. Multnomah County Road Services also stored donated logs for the Johnson Creek – Willamette River confluence project, which enabled us to reduce our project budget substantially.
2010 Riffle Award Winners
(Photo of Nicole Alexander with Executive Director Matt Clark courtesy of www.brucemacgregorphotography.com)
Nicole Alexander was a cheerful presence on the first annual Johnson Creek Days event committee in 2010. Nicole and her sister Tina developed the concept of Discovery Saturdays, a hands-on activity program for families and young children. She provided catering service at the Johnson Creek Art Show and worked behind the scenes to ensure the show’s success. She is chairing this year’s Johnson Creek Days committee which began in January 2011. Nicole has also represented JCWC at various outreach events as a leading member of the Council’s volunteer Outreach Task Force. She has a passion for children’s environmental education and has been pivotal in helping the Council develop new children’s activities. Nicole has helped the Council find new donors including a print sponsor for this year’s Johnson Creek Days materials. She has served over 40 hours for the Council in 2010 and continues to devote hours to JCWC events and outreach in 2011.
For over a decade, Oregon Worsted Mills’ President Nancy Bishop and Vice President Howard Dietrich have generously supported the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, providing donated office and meeting space that serve as the Council’s base of operations. Oregon Worsted recently invested in significant energy efficiency improvements at the Council office. Oregon Worsted and JCWC are currently investigating the feasibility of installing bioswales and other sustainable stormwater management features in the JCWC parking lot. Howard is one of the Council’s founders, and serves as an Advisory Circle member.
Friends of Tideman Johnson has shown great commitment to caring for Tideman Johnson Natural Area through monthly work parties and volunteer support of the Watershed Wide Event. The JCWC has partnered with them on several grants to advance their restoration work. Since 2007, FOTJ has engaged more than 600 volunteers and students to plant 8,500 native plants and maintain more than 100,000 square feet of riparian and upland habitat. In 2009, FOTJ and JCWC collaborated to produce two interpretive signs in Tideman Johnson Natural Area. Also in 2009, FOTJ conducted macroinvertebrate sampling in Tideman Johnson as part of a watershed-wide sampling effort.
Multnomah Youth Cooperative / Reynolds Learning Academy (Rose Sandy’s class) adopted Ambleside in 2007 through the Council’s Youth Engaged program. They’ve removed 15 cubic yards of invasive plant material from the site, planted hundreds of trees and shrubs, anchored Ambleside for Watershed Wide Event for the past three years, and volunteered crew time beyond their school-to-work contract.
City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks and Recreation
Portland BES has invested millions of dollars over the past decade into restoring Johnson Creek. Major restoration projects, which have created essential habitat for salmon and other aquatic species include the Schweitzer project south of Powell Butte, the Kelley Creek Confluence project, the Tideman-Johnson Sewer Interceptor project, and the Errol Creek confluence project. BES is also actively engaged in conservation land acquisitions, and recently purchased a property on Crystal Springs where three fish passage barriers will be removed, as well as a property on Veteran’s Creek which provides critical habitat for sensitive amphibian species.
JCWC’s partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation focuses on community stewardship activities, getting work done on the ground. Of the twelve Watershed Wide Event sites in 2010, five of them were owned and managed by PPR. PPR provided tools, plants and staff members at each of the five sites as well as technical support in developing Watershed Wide.
2009 Riffle Award Winners
REI fielded an employee team at the 2008 Watershed Wide Event, and awarded a grant to the Johnson Creek Watershed Council to support the Watershed Wide Event based on event turn-out.
Cub Scout Pack 740 has volunteered at the JCWC Watershed Wide Event for the last four years, providing valuable stewardship at the Butler Creek and Gresham Woods natural areas.
Sam Barlow High School has been an active participant in the Watershed Wide Event, stewarding the Hogan Cedars and Ambleside sites. For the past three years, they have contributed an average of forty volunteers to the event.
The City of Damascus is taking an innovative ecosystem approach to development and associated code. The City is in the process of developing a comprehensive plan with a conservation overlay that will protect high value conservation areas in Damascus and will safeguard public and private investment in watershed health in areas downstream in the watershed.
(Bruce MacGregor taking photos at 2012′s Watershed Wide event)
Bruce MacGregor has donated his skills as a photographer (and student of the professional photography program at MHCC) to the JCWC and partners for over a year. His vision is to tell the story of the watershed and the work to restore and renew it through his photos. He has made himself available to us whenever we needed images. As a result, his work has graced our website, annual report, and outreach brochure, among other things, and has helped us to update and ‘sophisticate’ the Council’s image.
2008 Riffle Award Winners
PCC Structurals for their consistent support of Errol Heights and Tideman Johnson Parks through event sponsorships and volunteer teams at WWE’s since 2005.
(Oregon Hunters Association at Powell Butte in 2007 for Watershed Wide)
Oregon Hunters Assn has stewarded Powell Butte at WWE since 2004. They are a very reliable, dedicated group of volunteers who relish the hard work (e.g. removing hawthorn trees with the help of gas-powered equipment).
Alpha High School (Michael Lancaster’s class) has worked at Gresham Woods for several years, and this year signed on to the Youth Engaged program to steward Gresham Woods.
Public Entity/Elected Official
Milwaukie Riverfront Board, an advisory body to Milwaukie’s City Council, was appointed in 1998 to guide development and oversight of downtown and the riverfront, and particularly to see the Riverfront Plan through to fruition. Three of seven members have been there since 1998. In their capacity as advisory body to the City Council, they have welcomed and invited testimony from the JCWC, spoken for the watershed when threats loomed (such as the light-rail alignment), and supported plans to rehabilitate Klein Point.
2007 Riffle Award Winners
ODS Companies is situated near the mouth of Johnson Creek and have been partners on WWE days – fielded teams, provide access to property, allow restoration on their property.
Historic Downtown Gresham Kiwanis adopted Gresham Woods in 2005, and has quarterly work parties at their site for invasives/trash removal/tree planting.
David Douglas High School adopted Bundy Nature Park in September 2006, have visited the site more than 4 times since then to work, and will continue stewardship of Bundy as a partner in our Youth Engaged program.
Public Entity/Elected Official
Shirley Craddick is a former Land Use Committee member and President of Gresham City Council. She consistently supports environmental and sustainability issues coming before the Council.
(Gary Klein at Klein Point in 2011 – photo by Kyung Lee)
Gary Klein is an active member of Restoration Committee, designed and provided shelving and tool storage for tool room, maintains inventory and annually supplements tool inventory, and donated Klein Point to City of Milwaukie.