This decade we’re in a critical window to curb the worst impacts of climate change and bring life back to tens of thousands of acres of river landscapes statewide. The scale of these challenges means we have a lot of work to do, and right away, to keep the state vibrant. Rivers are the lifeblood of healthy communities for wildlife and people.
How do we stay motivated to continue leading bold change, without feeling overwhelmed by the urgency and gravity of our task?
At times, the scale of these challenges can be discouraging. But from our point of view, we have the most satisfying jobs imaginable.
Yet, we wouldn’t have these jobs to create a thriving California without you, the supporters who make our work possible.
In short: we depend on your support. In order for us to turn the California that we all love into a more beautiful and healthier place, we need you to open your hearts, and your wallets.
12 Reasons We Love What We Do
There’s no one better to talk about why our work maters and why we love what we do every day than to hear directly from our staff at River Partners.
As someone who lives in an under-served community, I see the impact River Partners has on a personal level. By choosing to source, staff, and contract locally, we’re having an impact that’s important to the local economy and people here. Plus, I’ve seen projects I started on my first year grow into beautiful forests and places I can go back to.
— Holly Ferrera, Restoration Biologist
It’s very satisfying to not just track the trajectory of the way the world is going but actually do something about it. The news often focuses on the negative because that’s what gets clicks and evokes a lot of emotion. Instead, we’re choosing to be a force for positive, creating outdoor spaces for people to have personal connection with nature. That can bring a lot of healing. This year, we took a group of 5th graders out to one of our projects, and over half of those kids had never been to the river before. They were touching the river for the first time, interacting with it, learning about the plants. They’ve lived here their whole lives and never had that opportunity before.”
— Jade Jacobs, Restoration Ecologist
When I look at the big picture in my life, from high school to the early eighties, I worked for an oil company. Then until the early tens I worked for computer magazines. I worked to make other people rich. The oil company and computer magazine sold for millions. And now, I get to work for something bigger than that: the environment. Which is everything.
—Chuck Lundgren, IT Manager
What we’re doing is giving native plants a fighting chance. If we were to do nothing, invasives would persist and take over easily. But what we’re doing is giving native plants, and wildlife who depend on them, a chance to come back. That’s pretty incredible.
— Claudia Delgado, Restoration Biologist
I couldn’t be prouder to work for this organization. It takes a lot of details, but when you see the results, in every tree and in every plant, and all the people in this organization that makes that happen is incredible. I’m excited that we’re breaking ground in Imperial Valley before the end of this year. It’s a challenging project but I’m excited that we’re going to get started.
— Jorge Robles-Romo, Field Manager
I’m so thankful for this position that I’ve been able to hold, this is my first job that I’ve ever had that truly gives me satisfaction in the workplace. It feels great to know that I’m a part of something bigger. It’s good for my mental health to know that we’re doing something about all that’s going on.
—Kylie McNary, Restoration Scholar
For years, we were so busy putting trees in the ground, and we didn’t have a communications team. Now people are hearing about our work and getting excited. I’m glad these stories are finally being told. It resonates so deeply, and I need others to feel it too. We need more, and not just in California. We don’t want to be the only ones. It’s for everyone, and for everyone’s benefit.
— Helen Swagerty, Director of Grants
When I was a kid, we would go out to the river park and walk the trails, looking at the river. Those are some of my greatest memories. Now, when I’m building projects, I know I’m giving people an opportunity to take their kids out and have something to do that’s worthwhile and not very expensive. We didn’t have much money, and I couldn’t imagine the type of person I’d be if my parents didn’t have a place to take us outside as a free adventure.
— April Damanti, Restoration Biologist
I wanted to join River Partners because it’s apparent to me that it is the organization with the right approach, capacity, and expertise to meet the scale of the ecosystem restoration need in the Central Valley. I look forward to helping build resilient communities and riverine landscapes in the Central Valley.
—Mike Davis, Senior Restoration Ecologist
Working with a team who loves what they do and loves where they’re at makes everything better. We’re putting stuff back the way it was the best we can and getting to see it all. Getting to see a buck in the San Joaquin Valley is amazing. Down here we don’t have that. Getting to see the life come back the land: it’s pretty awesome to be a part of that.
— Austin Stevenot, Field Manager
It’s a circle of life issue for me. You have to do everything you can to save imperiled species. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. The salmon, they really matter, and what we’re doing might allow my grandchildren to enjoy these species. Watching my children have children is a whole new experience. We’ve got to dig our heels in and keep going. We’ve got so much opportunity, the time is now to make huge strides.
—Torey Byington, Sacramento Valley Regional Director