Monday, December 19, 2011

A Message from NERRA President - David Ruple

Friends of NERRS:

As the years pass I seem to get more reflective, especially this time of year. Thinking back to the NERRS/NERRA Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, we had the opportunity to share what is happening at your Reserve and across the NERRS with our colleagues, at NOAA, the various Reserves and with our Friends organizations. There is so much exciting work going on that is supported by our Friends and volunteers. I, personally and on behalf of NERRA want to take this opportunity to thank you for your dedication and support over the past year.

As we discussed in Jacksonville, your Friends group was organized to support your local Reserve, in many cases for several years now. While we came together in October, we are now again back in our local communities, supporting our Reserve. As we look forward to the new year, please take an opportunity to think about innovative ways by which your actions can serve to support the broader System. The strength and health of the entire System and ultimately your Reserve relies on us all, and support from our local communities. Please bring those innovative thoughts to NERRA if we can be supportive and please respond to NERRA requests for assistance on the national scene as you can. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.

Please pass my appreciation along to your members.

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Outreach for educating and embracing in our communities

We were recently able to partner with a local organization called Senior College. Members of the community who have expertise and enthusiasm volunteer to teach classes to enrolled participants who are typically, but do not have to be, retired persons. In the course of other volunteer work in my town nearby called Anacortes, I was lucky to strike up a meaningful conversation with one such instructor, a former classroom science teacher. By having her come visit the Reserve, which she bashfully admitted she had yet to visit, I was able to give her a full tour, and direct her to our education coordinator to create a small curriculum for a Senior College class. In conjunction with Alex, our EC, the instructor designed an immersion day for 23 excited attendees. We made 23 new friends and I know they will be back with their friends and families.