Deployment – Urban Native Waterlife™ Explorations


The first deployment of the season was an success! Here is where we start to bridge the gap between inner-city youth and military veterans through an incredible river system that is part of the Oregon life and the heartbeat of Portland, Oregon. Youth and veterans together took on an educational advocacy leadership deployment on the Willamette River watershed connecting the dots of partnership of partners whom live and work on the Willamette River to maintain its healthiness and its recreation for all walks of life. We were very grateful to partner with Middlefork Willamette Watershed Council – Executive Director Sarah Drydah and her excellent team (Brian, Tim, and Justin) who spent half of the day with us all learning the headwaters of the Willamette River, including the history, ecology, hydrology, and threats. We also participate in Public Lands Stewardship through the restoration of habitat (removing invasive weeds). Sample and identify fish species in the river. Access and care for Public Lands.

And back to back with an awesome date on the Willamette river we met up with Benton Soil & Water and learned from Melissa Lemein Program Coordinator River Restoration & Invasive. Very cool and engaging with youth and veterans as Melisa lead us into an outdoor interactive class covering riparian ecology station activity learning the basic definition of a riparian area and how the condition of any riparian area dramatically affects the water quality and aquatic habitat of the water body it surrounds. And how the Riparian regions provide functions or ‘jobs’ in the watershed, but only if they are in healthy, functioning condition. Youth and veteran learned to name the four primary tasks and keep a scientific journal through the whole process.

By understanding our local river and the surrounding area, we then begin to know how this plays in our community and effects us all. Our first deployment deepens our minds and souls along the river while exploring the art of fly fishing and building a knowledge-base in conservation for our young ambassadors of the natural environment learning about so many levels and dynamics of the 180 river stretch.


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1.jpgSoul River Inc. “Thank you”
11Soul River Inc. Leader Gabe
13U.S Navy Veteran – Kimberly
14Soul River Inc. and Volunteer Adam giving a lesson on water hydraulics.
9Sri youth leader McKenna
6SRI Youth Leader Gabe
10Soul River Inc. Youth Angel
15Sri Youth and U.S Navy Veteran Kimberly having a discussion.
12U.S Air Force Veteran – Doug
4SRI Youth Leader Riley
3SRI Youth Yanet
8U.S Army Veteran – Sean

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Gala October 21, 2018

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