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 email@example.com 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.
We Are Hiring!
We are hiring a Program Director. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates who progress in the application process will be invited for interviews in Austin, Texas, beginning in late-January.
Join River Watchers and the community for a MLK JR Day of Service Cleanup and Planting Volunteer Event on Monday, January 15th from 10am to 12pm.
We highly encourage yourself or group to signup below to provide us with an accurate count and to effectively communicate any event updates or changes.
Location and parking:
Buttermilk Park and Creek are located behind the St. John Community Center/St. John Branch Library, 7500 Blessing Ave., Austin, TX 78752. Parking is available in the lot in front of the library.
- Remove trash from the Buttermilk Park Greenbelt and creek area. Tools and supplies will be provided.
- Plant native grass plugs. Austin Youth River Watch staff and student leaders will be leading volunteers in planting approx. 100 plugs near the creek to improve stream health. Planting these plugs require little more than a hand trowel. All tools and supplies will be provided.
Considerations: Appropriate for elementary age children accompanied by an adult. All activities will be outside. There’s no restroom on site. If the event is cancelled, you will be sent an update to the email address you used to sign up.
December 11-14, 2017 | End of Semester Celebrations
All of our River Watchers took time off of environmental monitoring this week to celebrate the end of the semester and start of the holidays. Five student groups had the opportunity to visit Zilker Park to see the lights while playing games and enjoying hot chocolate and pizza. The other five student groups visited the capitol building, something we had not done before, and enjoyed seeing the Christmas tree and had Pizza and treats.
December 4-7, 2017 | Financial Aid Workshop
Fifty-one River Watchers had the opportunity to attend a financial aid workshop this week, led by Aida and Jaime from Foundation Communities. Foundation Communities is a local nonprofit dedicated to providing affordable, attractive homes and free on-site support services for thousands of families, veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. They offer an innovative, proven model that empowers their residents and neighbors to achieve educational success, financial stability, and healthier lifestyles. During the financial aid session, students learned about FAFSA preparation, TASFA preparation for DACA students, the financial aid process, and general information regarding how to get into college and where to find help.