September 18, 2017 | World Water Monitoring Day
September 18, 2017 | Fall 2017 Crowdfunding Campaign
Support our crowdfunding campaign! Austin Youth River Watch transforms and inspires underserved high school students through a nature-based, experiential, and service-oriented afterschool and summer program in environmental science. Through our program, students become local environmental heroes, gain leadership and collaborative skills in interdisciplinary settings, and have peak experiences that they carry on with them for the rest of their lives.
But we can’t do this important work alone, we need your help!
Click this link or text 74837 to (512) 399-0330 to help support our mission. With your support, you will not only be investing in our important environmental work, you will also help us transform and inspire 120 more students this year! Please consider giving today!
August 2017 | Our Year in Review
Thanks to all of our dedicated staff, board, and supporters, we accomplished a lot last school year! If you’ve been following us on social media, then you’ve seen how busy we’ve been, and how much fun we’ve been having engaging and empowering youth through our hands-on environmental science program! Every year, Austin Youth River Watch transforms and inspires 120 high-school students through environmental education, community engagement, and adventure. As a result of our work, youth are better prepared to create positive outcomes for themselves and environmental conditions are improved, ensuring a better future for all. Nearly all our River Watchers are defined as “at-risk” by Texas Education Agency Code, which means they are “at-risk” of not graduating. Most of our program participants are economically disadvantaged (71%), and 93% of our students come from ethnic minority backgrounds. In order to retain this population and best serve their needs we provide: full transportation, often the #1 barrier for the underserved; healthy food, to alleviate nutrition access issues; and modest participation stipends, to better enable those who have to work afterschool to help support their household to be in our educational program.
This infographic summarizes the outcomes we achieved this past program year, from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.
We Are Hiring!
Do you have a passion for outdoor education and environmental science?
Do you enjoy supporting Austin’s youth and contributing to your community?
Are you looking for a new career with an awesome team?
We are hiring a Program Coordinator. Read more about the position here.
Interested and qualified applicants should submit a resume, a cover letter with your statement of interest, and a list of at least three references to email@example.com. Candidates who progress in the application process will be invited for interviews in Austin, Texas, in beginning October.
November 3, 2018 | Rain Garden Build Volunteer Event
Join River Watch students, City of Austin Watershed Protection, the Environmental & Water Resources Institute, and other community volunteers in building a rain garden at the Austin Youth River Watch EcoHouse! A rain garden is a shallow, vegetated depression designed to absorb and filter runoff from impervious surfaces like roofs, sidewalks, and driveways in order to help conserve water and protect our water quality. Rain gardens are usually planted with colorful native plants and grasses while providing attractive additions to any yard. Come have fun helping us build this rain garden in our yard and learn more about Austin Youth River Watch! (All materials provided, but feel free to bring your own gloves or shovels if you feel particular to them.)
Stick around afterwards for our open house event from 12:00pm to 3:00pm and enjoy free food and drinks, live music, and fun activities out in nature! This will be a great day to give back to your community and learn more about AYRW’s service to Austin’s youth and environment. We hope to see you there!
Sign up to volunteer via BetterUnite here. To attend both the volunteer event & open house, please register for both.
November 3, 2018 | Open House Party
Following our Rain Garden Build Volunteer Event, Austin Youth River Watch will be hosting an Open House Party! Please join us for an afternoon of food & drink, live music, and fun activities out in nature at our EcoHouse in Hornsby Bend.
This year we will have:
-Live music provided by Brand New Key
-Food and drink from local restaurants
-Adult beverages from Tito’s Vodka, Thirsty Planet, Live Oak Brewery, and Real Ale
-Hikes along the Hornsby Bend River Trail
-Lawn games (bean bag toss, frisbee, bubbles, etc.)
On Wednesday, April 25th, we hosted our annual fundraising event, Take Me to the River, at Mercury Hall. Friends and supporters of River Watch enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they learned about the important work we do for underserved youth and the environment through personal stories from current students, alumni, and River Watch staff. We also honored 3M with the Dragonfly Award for being our largest supporter last year and Jennifer Quereau with the Full Circle Award for her dedication to AYRW, from River Watch student to Board President. Finally, we held a fun paddle raise activity and auction where we were able to secure support for future programming, thanks to the generosity of everyone who attended. It was an exciting and successful evening! A special thank you to our board and staff for your hard work organizing this event, to all of the local businesses and individuals for your donations for the bar and auctions, and to our emcee’s Ruben Cantu and Koy McDermott for making the event extra fun!
Through this fundraising event we were able to raise almost $20,000 from the paddle raise, silent and live auctions, sponsorships, ticket sales, and various donations. With this amount we can help improve the environmental conditions around Austin and continue to train, develop, and inspire at-risk youth to succeed and become our future environmental stewards! If you did not have a chance to attend or donate, you can always do so here: http://riverwatchers.org/how-y
Thank you again to our sponsors, donors, attendees, and all of River Watch’s board and staff for making this event a success!
February 23, 2018 | New Staff Announcement
We’re excited to introduce everyone to our new Program Director, Amelia DeVivo!
Amelia has worked as a bilingual educator for AISD for the past eight years, with a passion and specialty for connecting youth with nature. Her outdoor educational experience includes coordinating and leading the Gulf Coast Expedition, a nature immersion camp for young adults along the Texas Gulf Coast studying conservation and coastal ecology. For her master’s thesis, Amelia designed, implemented, and evaluated an urban school agricultural program in Austin, developing STEM skills, SEL, and health and nutritional outcomes in underprivileged youth. Amelia will graduate from Texas State University in May with her MS in geography. She is delighted to be part of the River Watch team, and she hopes to make a difference for Austin’s youth through environmental education.
Amelia starts with us on March 1st and we can’t wait! If you see her out in the field with students, please wish her a warm welcome to the River Watch family!
2018 Spring Break EcoAdventure Crowdfunding Campaign
This year is the 19th Annual Spring Break EcoAdventure. On March 10th, the young men of River Watch will head out for the ultimate road trip to East Texas! You can be part of this adventure by donating to our Spring Break EcoAdventure Crowdfunding Campaign on BetterUnite.
The EcoAdventure is a transformative, educational experience that cultivates the imagination, resourcefulness, environmental awareness, and collaborative skills of our young explorers, our future environmental stewards. The trip is a culminating experience for our River Watchers where many of the lessons of environmental stewardship of the past year on the local level will coalesce into a deeper, global understanding and appreciation for nature.
For many River Watchers, the EcoAdventure is their first real camping trip, setting up and pitching tents outdoors. It’s their first road-trip even, first time making s’mores by a campfire, and their first time seeing a magical night sky full of stars. (The picture below is of a young River Watcher’s first visit to the coast from the EcoAdventure to East Texas in 2014, where he first felt sand and first laid eyes on the big blue sea.)
Please give to our crowdfunding campaign to support our young men if you can. Every little bit helps! You can donate here.
We are excited to announce Take Me to the River 2018, a fundraiser for Austin Youth River Watch, will take place on April 25th at Mercury Hall. Please join us for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and a silent auction to help support the important work we do. All money raised will benefit future AYRW youth development and environmental stewardship programming.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
615 Cardinal Ln
Austin, TX 78704
Parking will be available at Mercury Hall, free of charge, in main lot or overflow lot located at 3504 South First Street.
$50 / ticket, $90 / pair. Get your tickets now: https://www.betterunite.com/austinyouthriverwatch-takemetotheriver2018
The attire is business casual.
Sponsorships are available, see below for more information.
More exciting details to come!
Paddle Raise and Live Auction
Part of the fun at Take Me to the River will include a paddle raise activity and LIVE auction. The paddle raise allows you to support AYRW’s mission in a fun and engaging way, encouraging your friends next to you to do the same. The live auction is an exciting way for you to support AYRW, in exchange for some amazing prizes. You really don’t want to miss out on these two experiences being auctioned off:
- TWO general admission passes to the 2018 Austin City Limits weekend two music festival, October 12-14th!
- Private birding tour and pancake breakfast for up to six people at Hornsby Bend with world-renowned birder and author, VICTOR EMANUEL! Victor is a birding expert who operates one of the oldest and largest birding and ecology tour companies in the world, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours!
We have some really cool packages that will be available for you to bid on at the event’s silent auction, thanks to the generosity of several local individuals, groups, and businesses. Here are just a few of the individual items:
- Hops & Grain Private Brewery Tour & Tasting for 10, with growler and hat
- KUT/KUTX Studio Tour, Live Concert, and Merch
- Yeti Rambler Mugs
- Round Rock Express Tickets
- ABGB gift certificate for 3-pack of 32 oz crowlers
- Cook’s Canoes – canoe trip for 4 people
- Fuerte Fitness – 5 class pass
- Alamo Drafthouse – 2 movie passes and $40 food and beverage gift card
- REI camping equipment
- 4th Tap Guided Brewery Tour and Tasting for 4
- Canoeing Adventure with the River Watchers
- Tito’s Vodka Gift Basket
- Girl’s Rock Austin – gift certificate for We Rock! Camp (for adults)
- Career Counseling session with Jeanne Quereau
- Tree Climbing Adventure with the River Watchers
BIDDING IS NOW OPEN! Click the auction button on the BetterUnite event page to view, bid, or purchase one (or more) of our 21 awesome silent auction packages. Place a bid online or text the package number to (512) 399-0330 to register with the auction page. Once you have registered, you can continue with the bidding process online or over text. Don’t miss out on the chance to claim some of these amazing items and experiences. Bid now!
Not going to make it to the event and really want one of these packages? You can skip the bidding process by purchasing the package at asking price now!
Thank You to Our Sponsors
A huge THANK YOU from AYRW’s staff and board to our monetary and in-kind event sponsors: 3M, The Trail Foundation, Peggy & Matt Winkler, Hops & Grain, Tito’s Vodka, Synthetic Pictures, Mosaic Sound Collective, Sayers Real Estate Advisors, Inc., Girls Rock Austin, KUT/KUTX, REI, Victor Emanuel, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, C3 Presents, and the Environmental & Water Resources Institute (Austin Chapter). Thank you for supporting this event and the important work we do!
Sponsorships are still available!
If you are interested in giving back and supporting our mission by becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact Jamie Green via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (210) 232-7367 for more information. You can also visit the event page and select the desired sponsorship level to complete the transaction all online.