Building a Legacy of Stewardship
One of the essential elements of the Tree for All model is that it includes such a wide range of partner organizations, from massive federal agencies to lean local nonprofits. Among Tree for All’s nonprofit partners, SOLVE is the only statewide organization, and one of the oldest. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, SOLVE brings Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.
Two of SOLVE’s signature annual events provide important opportunities for people in Washington County to grow as watershed stewards. Each April, SOLVE IT for Earth Day mobilizes thousands of people to protect water quality, habitat and quality of life by removing tons of trash from hundreds of sites. SOLVE IT also includes an ecological enhancement component, with volunteers at certain sites removing invasive plants and planting natives. Each fall, the Beach & Riverside Clean-Up touches 100+ sites across the state, including many in Washington County.
Volunteers at these annual events typically participate in clean-up projects at locations where natural areas meet developed park facilities, such the Jenkins Estate, Noble Woods Park, Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Willow Creek Greenway. SOLVE volunteers have also played key roles on projects such as Forest Glen Park and Banks Schools.
SOLVE is one of the largest volunteer networks in the state, engaging more than 30,000 people each year. They embrace and value the diversity of Washington County, the most diverse county in Oregon. The organization’s statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion reads, in part, “Just as fostering a thriving biodiversity is critical to the ecological functioning of the habitats we seek to protect, the inclusion of the demographic and geographic diversity of our community is critical to the strength and healthy functioning of our entire state.”
By recruiting and mobilizing community members, SOLVE continues to connect people to the natural areas around them—inspiring volunteers and partners to commit to positive change in the Tualatin River Watershed and beyond.