Our plans for the future are ambitious and we know our community is curious about what we’re building. Here are a few things we know so far. We’ll update this page as our vision for this new organization takes shape.
Why is the Willamette River Initiative ending?
The Willamette River Initiative was conceived as a 10-year funding commitment by the Meyer Memorial Trust that aimed to realize measurable gains for the river and provide a springboard for the Willamette restoration community’s continued success. As we begin year 10, we are building a new, community-led network to assume many of the roles WRI has played.
What will the new organization look like?
A team of advisors is exploring this question. We do know this organization won’t continue as an initiative of the Meyer Memorial Trust, but it may be a stand-alone organization or be housed within an existing organization(s).
Will Meyer be involved in the new network?
Yes. We believe more diverse community leadership is important to the future success and resilience of a network, but Meyer intends to continue to be involved as a partner. Our Board of Trustees has committed $1 million in funding over four years to help launch this new organization, and will be engaged in inviting other partners and funders to join the network.
Will Meyer continue making grants in the Willamette?
Yes. Although the Willamette River Initiative officially ends in March 2019, Meyer has committed an additional $1 million in grant funding to support restoration projects on the mainstem Willamette River through 2022. This reflects our continued participation in the funding partnership with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) and Bonneville Power Administration through OWEB’s Willamette Mainstem Anchor Habitat Focused Investment Partnership. As a statewide grantmaker with an explicit focus on the environment, Meyer will continue to fund important environmental work across Oregon, including in the Willamette. After WRI’s conclusion, Willamette Basin conservation groups may apply for Meyer funding through the statewide Healthy Environment portfolio’s annual funding opportunity.
What will this new network do?
The network will support the people and groups working toward a healthier Willamette River system by seeking funding for the field and providing convening, coordination, technical assistance and other services, while advocating on behalf of members as a unified voice for actions that make a healthier river possible.
When will the network launch?
We plan to launch this new organization by WRI’s March 2019 conclusion. View a timeline of our planning process.
How can I get involved?
Join our mailing list to get updated on our planning process and alerts about opportunities to get involved.
Have a question we haven’t answered? Get in touch.