We hosted our 2020 Annual Meeting virtually, in place of our pot-luck meal due to gathering restrictions. Every Annual Meeting is an opportunity to recognize the great work accomplished by our partners and key volunteers. As an organization, we know the work for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock River, from the mountains to the bay, would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of our river friends.
EDUCATION PARTNERS OF THE YEAR
We work with hundreds of teachers every year. Over time, we see teachers that continually enrich their curriculum with additional environmental education programs. These educators are helping students become more invested in the health of our watershed.
Robin Didlake: Worked with us to get 170 students paddling kayaks. Her students have taken on a wide variety of MWEE action projects: invasive species removal, native shrub and pollinator plantings, tree plantings, and a tree seedling giveaway. She assists in professional development for other teachers and actively shares her Environmental Science curriculum.
Carolyn Reiner: Led river clean ups with her students, built floating wetlands, and installed both living shorelines as well as riparian buffers. She coordinated and installed a rain garden and a native plant garden at her school. She was our very first FOR Trout in the Classroom instructor. She has joined us for lobby days and is a strong voice for our work.
CONSERVATION PARTNER OF THE YEAR
Rappahanock County Garden Club: Helped distribute and plant 350 blooming cherry, dogwood, and redbud trees to both public spaces and residences in Little Washington and Sperryville. They are an example of taking an innovative approach to involving the community in conservation.
CLEAN WATER DEFENDER AWARD
Southern Environmental Law Center: Has worked with us for several years to protect the Rappahannock River against the threat of fracking. They have consistently worked with FOR and many watershed conservation organizations to defend the Clean Water Act.
CLEAN WATER PARTNER AWARDS
These individuals have demonstrated a great commitment to clean water by partnering with us to complete large scale tree planting projects. They’ve designated large portions of their property to tree plantings which help improve water quality and wildlife habitat. They’ve also served as hosts for our education programs to high school students as they plant trees and test water quality. This year we’re pleased to recognize:
Paul & Joe Godall
Pamela & Larry Baldwin
BILL & DENISE MICKS SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
Shelby Bourquein: This scholarship is awarded to a University of Mary Washington student who has demonstrated a great commitment to improving the health of our river. She has volunteered with us at a tree plantings, cleanups and outreach events.
RIVER SAFETY AWARD
Lt. Jon Hensen: Working with the Stafford Fire & Rescue Swift Water Rescue Team, he has set an example and demonstrated a commitment to making the river a safer place. He’s completed countless rescue missions and actively works with agencies and community leaders to improve safety and conservation on the river.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Leslie Raterman: Has worked closely with our staff for countless hours. She’s volunteered at events and worked behind the scenes to make us a better organization. She has used her computer expertise to tackle complex projects.
NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Two new board members joined the Friends of the Rappahannock Board:
Cynthia Lucero-Chavez: A pioneer of our Student Stream program, she has been a long time FOR community partner. Cynthia works as a liaison and case manager for students who are experiencing homelessness in the Office of Equity and Accountability for Stafford County Schools.
Tamara Muldrow: Is a long time FOR volunteer and has participated in tree plantings, clean ups, and community outreach. After a career in biotech, she switched to teaching biology at UMW and Germanna.