Rally Ho! - Experiencing River Rally by Sabrina Kliman, OSM/VISTA for River Watch
Through the River Network's scholarship program, I was fortunate to be able to attend River Rally in St. Louis, Missouri this past month. It was a really great opportunity to connect with folks around the country who are doing great work to protect our nation’s waters. One of the greatest parts of the conference was the incredible networking opportunity. Everyone was very open and happy to talk about what they were working on and if their missions were related. I even spoke with a couple of folks from EPA in Washington who are using River Watch data for a mapping project! There were many workshops that were packed with useful information ranging from organizational development, information about fracking, tribal stories, building volunteer bases, and much more. One of the sessions was all about the Missouri Stream Team, the Missouri statewide volunteer water quality monitoring program, which started around the same time that River Watch did. Since the two programs have taken very different paths it was interesting to hear about how Stream Team has grown and what they’ve done to involve the community.
Since many of the people attending this gathering tend to be the type of people who really just want to be on the river, Sunday afternoon was a time for field trips to get out and explore. Both Michaela and I went on the LaBarque Creek hike, which contrary to what we believed, was not in fact along the creek. However, we did get to enjoy some lush forest, see a turtle, cross the creek, and get a great view of the Meramec River from the top of the bluff. It was a nice opportunity see a little bit of Missouri – and remember what humidity feels like.
River Rally was a wonderful opportunity to recharge and be with like-minded individuals, but I am happy to be back in Colorado, ready to put to use everything I learned from the many engaging workshops at Rally. Rally ho!