COMMUNITY MATTERS: Truckee River needs the help of community
I did it six times yesterday and barely remember it.
Crossing the Truckee River is something we all do whether we live in Truckee, at the lake or are visiting the region.
When was the last time you stopped and admired the river? Nearly all of us moved here from somewhere else to live in this beautiful region. If you are like me, you are so tangled up in day-to-day work that you forget to stop and appreciate the beauty of something so integral to our community as the Truckee River.
John Weaver has lived in Truckee for 10 years. One of those high-tech guys who retired here, John is becoming a philanthropist. A couple of years ago he established a donor-advised fund at the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. He gave money to establish an endowment – a fund where the principal stays with the foundation forever. The earnings, however, are spent to support projects important to John.
Last fall, when the Truckee River was at its most beautiful – colorful and wild – John called to say he wanted to make a grant to the Truckee River Habitat Restoration Group. TRHRG’s most visible project is Truckee River Day, where over 800 youth and adult volunteers join to restore the river.
Truckee River Day is when TRHRG receives media attention, volunteers get T-shirts, and everyone feels more connected to the Truckee River. TRHRG continues working on the river and its watershed throughout the year. Probably the most important thing the group does is work in collaboration with many other organizations to improve water quality. It is our voice for improving the Truckee River.
John volunteers at Truckee River Day. He shows his appreciation for the work TRHRG does all year with a financial contribution. He recognizes that working together to develop consensus is hard work, especially since everyone at TRHRG is a volunteer. These volunteers sit down at the table with a myriad of groups, many of whom have conflicting interests, to advocate for the health of the Truckee River.
The Truckee River will be here forever. If John chooses, earnings from his fund will continue to support the health of the Truckee River forever, too. One day, probably after all of us are long gone, the Truckee River will have clean water, the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout will again be plentiful and everyone who crosses the Truckee River will remember it. That can be the legacy of Truckee River Habitat Restoration Group and people like John who contribute to it.
Today, when I leave work and cross the Truckee River at Highway 267, I am going to admire it and the many volunteers who are investing in the Truckee River’s future. Will you do it, too?
If you are interested in learning more about Truckee River Habitat Restoration Group, you may call TRHRG at 587-4509 or Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation at 587-1776.
Lisa Dobey is the president of Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. She can be reached at 587-1776 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. TTCF’s goal is to grow local philanthropy to meet community needs and opportunities.
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