Wisdom Honors Our Wisdom Workforce Development Partners! 

Wisdom held another amazing celebration last month acknowledging eight Native American interns graduating from the Wisdom Workforce Development initiative. We had a heartwarming event that included a meal and a giveaway honoring the interns and our education team.

In retrospect, an untold story needs to be told! Wisdom’s Dawn Lowe (Apache, Hawaiian) Alvey Seeyouma (Hopi-Tewa), Lora Price (Landscape Architect) and Executive Director Gerry Rainingbird (Nehiyaw Cree) and our interns were all raving about the wisdom, skills and enthusiasm shared by our awesome partners. For the past two years, these partners have helped to make our environmental assessment and habitat restoration training productive and fulfilling for our interns. The warm friendships that have been created make them more like family to us.

This stunning list may be missing a few partners. If we are leaving someone out, please forgive us. We’ll make it up to you in a future newsletter.

Wisdom is honored to be a partner in the Green Workforce Collaborative, a partnership of seven vibrant Portland-based nonprofit organizations: The Blueprint Foundation (TBF), the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI), Second Chances Are for Everyone (SCAFE), Ecotrust, The ReBuilding Center and Wisdom of the Elders.

Susan Hawes, Isabel LaCourse, Janelle St. Pierre and Lynn Barlow at Portland Parks and Recreation lined up environmental assessment activities plus opportunities to mentor school students we were training in habitat restoration work.

Noah Jenkins, Alexis Barton and Daniel Newberry at Johnson Creek Watershed Council have trained us in riparian restoration along the creek and serve as cheerleaders for our interns.

Mike Wenrick, Bryan Allen and Laura Creny at Zenger Farm have raised our awareness of the important training and work at this organic farm in our own neighborhood where our Wisdom Gardens buffer is growing.

Marie Walkiewicz and Eli Callison with Bureau of Environmental Services — the landowner of the buffer at Zenger Farm — who have approved our work for more than two years.

Erica Timm, Whitney Dorer, and Rudy Roquemore at Friends of Trees have given us the honor to plant trees in East Portland plus now we are mulching and maintaining some of them.

Some of our partners within the Lents Urban Renewal Areainclude Adam Brunelle and Arlene Amaya at Green Lents, Luke Bonham at Rose CDC, David Porter and Joanna Vrilakas at Leach Botanical Garden and Nancy Tingley and Alys at Pilgrim Lutheran Church.

Mary Logalbo, Scott Gail and Kammy Kern-Korot at West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District have invited Alvey to lecture in their Urban Conservation trainings and helped us harvest in a wapato patch along the Columbia River, and more!

Claudia Christensen-Garcia and Jenn Bildersee with Portland Brownfield Program conducted lectures raising awareness of brownfield work going on in Lents URA and other neighborhoods.

Suzanne Easton at East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District; Crista Gardner, Heather Nelson Kent, and Oriana Quackenbush at Metro and Leila Aman, Alison Wicks and Ann Crispino-Taylor at Prosper Portland have funded our Wisdom Workforce initiative and our Native youth leadership initiative, Discovering Yidong Xinag for the past two and a half years!

We can’t neglect to mention some of our newest partners, including Lori Epstein at Columbia Riverkeeper, Samantha Dupont of Estuary Partnership, Steve Wise at Sandy River Basin Watershed Council and Corrina Chase, Jennifer Starkey, Matthew Lee and Amira El-Cherbini at Columbia Slough Watershed Council.