What We Can Accomplish When We Work Together

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In Oregon’s Tualatin Basin, more than thirty-five partners are committed to ecosystem-scale approach to the region’s ecological and economic health. Twelve cities participate alongside the county and regional governments; public utilities and agencies play key roles alongside nonprofits and a host of private businesses, from fourth-generation farms to an international technology titan.

“Those relationships need to be built. Trust needs to be established,” Aaron Shaw (Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District) stresses. “It's not as black and white as ‘We have a program, we have a solution, let's go do it.’ It's ‘Let's talk, let's engage, let's educate each other on what our goals are.’ Through those conversations, we can usually find mutual interest and common benefit for the rest of the community.”

Jonathan Soll (Metro) adds, “What excites me the most is the engagement of so many community organizations that share a common vision of clean water, healthy wildlife habitat, and access to nature close to home.”

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“Each partner brings the expertise they have within their own organization to bear on Tree for All projects, so it just allows us all to do a much better job,” Larry Klimek (US Fish & Wildlife Service) explains. “That might be the personnel aspect, or maybe contracting, or just ability to get things going quicker on the ground. Everybody's willing to take off their agency hat and just look at what the issues are, what the questions are, and figure out solutions. People are looking at the end goal more so than the individual gain or glory of their own agency or organization.”

“Everyone has their different needs,” says Esther Lev (The Wetlands Conservancy), “but it still keeps coming back to water management and water systems.”

“How do we create communities that the watershed can handle? How do we create vibrant families and vibrant schools and a vibrant economy?" asks Diane Taniguchi-Dennis (Clean Water Services). "The solutions are here. It's with people. Creative people, innovative people, people who want to make a difference. And it's about all of us working together."

If others want to replicate the program, they need to understand that you have to get community buy-in to be successful. Tree For All is a collaborative effort that takes many jurisdictions. Folks from the public sectors, schools and others, they all have to buy into it.
— Andy Duyck, Washington County Commission Chair
 

Eleven Keys to Landscape Conservation 

Business Innovation
The field of landscape conservation continues to evolve, refined by adaptive management and our ability to continually learn and iterate. Innovation is crucial to reduce administrative costs and leverage our resources toward impactful landscape-scale strategies.  

Catalyzing a Collective Impact
Weaving diverse strategies and funding mechanisms together, we create focused, on-the-ground actions across broad landscapes (e.g. riparian/upland landscapes or aquatic/terrestrial).

Common Community Vision
Nature and humans can thrive together. Our natural resources provide countless benefits to the citizens of the Tualatin River Watershed, including clean water and air, healthy soils for farming and habitat for wildlife.
   
Common Language
Speaking a common language helps us break down the silos inherent in government and lay the foundation for a productive community dialogue. Our story is best told by the members of the community we serve: how our work improves their lives and supports their values.   

Community Values
Success depends on the ability to welcome and support the diverse values of project partners. We support vibrant urban, agricultural, and wildlife communities. 

Co-investment
Investment comes from many different sources and meets multiple objectives. Many resources are needed, from multiple partners, to successfully execute large-scale landscape restoration. 

Good Business
Investment in our natural resources must add value to our rural and urban communities by meeting multiple economic and ecological objectives. We target efforts that provide the best return on investment and ensure the long-term resilience of our riparian corridors.   

The Long Haul
Landscape conservation requires that we think long-term about our investment and stewardship. We are putting actions in place that address both our community’s immediate needs and the interests of future generations. We think in terms of fifty- and even sixty-year planning cycles.      

Mother Nature
It's amazing how quickly wildlife returns when Mother Nature is given the opportunity to succeed. If we help to restore native vegetation, Mother Nature is very capable of doing the rest. Once we provide clean water and food for beavers, for example, we see the cascading effect: more native wildlife returns and thrives. 

Partnerships
We form strategic, resilient partnerships to enhance the benefits that natural resources provide to the community. Working together we each gain strength. As we face challenges, decision-making remains transparent; individual roles and the value each partner brings becomes self-evident.   

Watershed Approach
Tree for All partners, and the communities we serve, live on farms, in suburbs, and in cities. Acting as a whole watershed helps us cross the boundaries of urban and rural communities and allows us to work together toward our common goals. 

 

Questions? Get in Touch.

For more information about Tree for All, email us at info@jointreeforall.org.