Since 1993, HRWC has occupied offices in the NEW Center in Ann Arbor. This building was built and is managed to nurture small nonprofit organizations by sharing space, resources, and support from our friends at Nonprofit Enterprise at Work. For the past 30 years HRWC has “grown up” here, expanding staff from 4 people to 16 and increasing our budget from$100,000 to $2.7 million. We have matured into a stable, sustainable nonprofit organization, and the NEW community of nonprofits are a big part of our extended family. For this we are incredibly grateful.
It has come time for us to make a leap. We have outgrown our space and have adopted an ambitious 5-year strategic plan that will require more room with additional facilities such as a laboratory for our monitoring programs and a gathering place for our community. By the time you read this, we will have moved! We have been hard at work creating a new Headquarters for the Huron, and we can’t wait to share it with you at an open house later this Fall.
Vote for clean water
Our move is important in our small slice of the world, but you know what is universally important? Elections! Elections are critical and election season is upon us. There are strong forces in this nation that are effectively impeding our ability to protect natural resources and provide people with clean air, soil, and water. There are actors working to slow progress on climate change, maintaining the status quo for industries that contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions. There are elected officials who are not likely to enact environmental safety standards on corporations that are, or have, polluted the air in our neighborhoods or the water we use for drinking. Yet, even at times when we may feel discouraged or powerless, we can, collectively, put people in office who will work to protect our future and our right to a clean and healthy.
Local elections are incredibly important, too. Local policies determine how, where and if development occurs, how much land along our rivers and streams remains natural, and if wetlands are protected. These decisions all impact the quality of our lakes and streams and the region’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities. This is why local leadership on these issues is vital. This November, several Huron River communities have millage proposals on their ballots for land protection, including Scio, Northfield and Dexter townships. Ann Arbor has a first-in-the-nation climate action millage on the ballot.
So my request of you is to please vote! Getting the right decision makers in place at the federal, state, and local level enables HRWC to protect and restore the Huron River for residents, visitors, plants, animals, and future generations.
This blog post was originally published in the Huron River Report, Fall 2022.