Gay works as an educator and advocate for Alzheimers Resource of Alaska, and is very active in the Kenny Lake Community, bringing her superpowers of building consensus and inspiring laughter and positive action.
Welcome Friends of WISE,
Once again we are grateful to all who have contributed whether directly or indirectly to making WISE such a wonderful organization for all these years. We hope this Newsletter will show you at least some of the creative ways we are managing to make our programs work during this rather upside down year.
Our theme this year is Resiliency. Being resilient and adaptive has always been important for people of all ages but this year is showing how important those traits actually are. Being able to be flexible, resilient, and adaptive is critical if we are to be safe, creative, and intelligent in how we deal with and relate to our world. One of the major goals of WISE is to help “youth” of all ages develop and strengthen their abilities to be resilient. There have been multiple studies in the past that show how important it is for us to have connections with others who model these traits or attributes as we continue to grow up.
Most of us have heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child.” There are many parts to a village including the family unit, the schools, the spiritual/religious and other community groups, anything that provides opportunities to explore, practice, make mistakes, be of service, learn new things with good mentors.
This year of 2020 has only emphasized just how critical these particular traits are. When you read through this newsletter you will see just how successfully WISE, with Executive Director Robin Mayo at the helm, has been in modeling how one “does” being resilient. With the help of her leadership, and in cooperation and support from our multiple partners throughout the watershed, just look at how WISE has continued to provide new ways to counter act that social distancing mandate.
We started in early May with the Science Lecture via Zoom and then helping to release salmon fry raised by the school children in two locations in the Copper Basin. We figured out how to conduct successful virtual programs for the school children for Earth Discovery Day. Then in June and July there were three Virtual hikes as well as the creation of family bubbles to safely lead small groups on hikes. With the help of the Paycheck protection funds we were able to hire a part time worker, Jolene Nashlund and a local youth, Moses Korth to help with the final year of the important 10-year Willow Creek Research Project as well as doing other much needed projects and maintenance work around the WISE office. One such project that Moses was able to do was building the “Kids Don’t Float” life vest station at Pippen Lake in memory of Sam Lightwood.
We then moved on to a successful Copper River Stewardship Program using a modified format, and finally in a grand finale, helping with the Kotsina River Cleanup and Volunteer Day.
All of this and more was made possible not only with the help of the government COVID relief and all our partners but also and even more importantly by the fact that our membership donations and additional generous contributions from our donors went up. In this way you are all part of this “village” that is helping all of us to become even more resilient and adaptive so we can continue to stay not only safe but sane during this crazy year.
We would love to hear stories from you all about how you have been putting your resiliency into practice. What ways have you been able to find that Silver Lining?
Chair, WISE Board of Directors