We are excited to partner with the Intertwine! And we look forward to the future with this phenomenal build alliance of collating private firms, public agencies and nonprofit organizations working together to tap new sources of funding, better leverage existing investments, and more fully engage residents with the outdoors and nature. The Alliance was built over many years, but was formally launched as a nonprofit in July 2011. In its first year in operation, The Intertwine grew from 28 partners to 68. And now they are at 80 partners.
There Alliance exists to ensure the region’s trail network gets completed; that our natural areas get restored, and that people of all ages discover they can enjoy the outdoors near where they live. We exist to make our region more attractive to new businesses and to help our existing companies attract talent. There here to reduce utility and transportation costs and keep our water clean. And now Soul River has now partner up with this strong alliance of Intertwine!
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Partners with Soul River Runs Deep’s New Currents Outdoors Program
New Currents Outdoors (NCO) has partnered with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to promote accessibility of local outdoor resources to urban youth. The Urban Explorers, based out of Portland, Oregon, was founded by Robert Blake with the intention to raise awareness of the outdoors, wildlife, and environmental justice. Urban Explorers works with different resources, such as wildlife refuge centers to provide information to the urban population. Recent studies have shown that the future of urban America is rapidly growing. This growth has created a wedge of disconnection between urban communities and experiences in the outdoors. The more populations increase, the further we get from nature and the outdoors, as well as the less aware future generations are of resources who preserve land, water, and air as well as foster natural growth. Wildlife refuge centers nation-wide are mostly based near highly populated cities. As the cities and urban boundaries expand, the wildlife refuge centers and other natural resource organizations and facilities are easily forgotten and become obsolete to younger generations. NCO sets out to bring youth and U.S. veterans into the outdoors. NCO collaborates with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to bring passion with a forward-thinking cool factor by combining art classes with the wild life refugee center visit.
Participants will learn “The Art of Fly Tying”, a lesson from Soul River Runs Deep’s proprietary curriculum. The event is a combination of the introduction to and tour of the wild life refuge center for participants to explore. Participants will investigate insects within the wildlife refuge and then take the new knowledge and incorporate it into the lesson “The Art of Fly Tying” to ultimately create art by imitating life they investigated. Soul River and its partners are looking forward this fun event!
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Brian Chow, Chad Brown, Michael Davidchik”
Of all life’s companionable activities, fly fishing tends to cement new friendships or foster the ones you have. Most of my journeys have been around a handful of select friends, many of whom are well-rounded anglers and ambassadors of the sport. They’re good, respectful, down-to-Earth friends with humble perspective on and off the water. The sport of fly fishing is a lifestyle beyond catching just fish – after all, catching fish is just the by-product of what is waiting for you on every journey, upon every river bend,and around every trail. The reward is the pursuit of your happiness found while sharing the water with fellow anglers. Anglers are constantly seeking the ultimate measure of personal endurance, aligned with nature in order to create an awakening. The awakening comes at the point when the physical, mental, and spiritual senses sync with the angler’s level of skill. An angler is rewarded by nature’s grace on the water combined with the practiced art and craftsmanship.
One never stops learning about his or herself. For anglers, the learning only reaches new heights. Eventually, the inner predator becomes more prevalent, reaching toward the keen sense of sight and sounds, leaning them toward a deeper conscience realizing they are not in control as they journey deep into the wilderness. Humbleness toward Mother Nature awakens the soul bit-by-bit in every cast made and every water served in order to seize the next epic opportunity. Being an angler does not mean youcare how big the water is, nor how cold the air feels when it hits your lungs and you wade waist deep in 30-degree water – your breath comes out white like the fog laying on top of the water in the early morning hours. You are in the zone! Friendship shared becomes your warmth of brotherhood. This river you serve has been here since the beginning of time filled with resources that have helped sustain life. You can only respect the greatness of what this river has to offer to anyone who seeks out this path, giving it an opportunity to reveal the native resident you find in the water is not a mistake, but rather a treasure.
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “CJ, Jack Mitchell, Michael Davidchik”
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Chad Brown, Jack Mitchell”
Last week, I had the opportunity to journey and explore a river in the Pacific Northwest with fellow anglers. Nights at the lodge were short and full of humorous conversation along with realizations that the learning never ceases. Discussions laced with humor, fishing stories, and personal life trials with a brotherhood that is respected on a common ground in nature creates a bond amongst fellow anglers whoembark alongside you into new beginnings, exploring new water and resources. I was honored to have had the chance to spend time on the water with Jack Mitchell, owner of The Evening Hatch Outfitters. At one point, Jack mentioned the concept that if you do all the right things and present the fly in the right way, you will be rewarded. Aside from this, I heard other wise advice from Jack and new techniques fromfellow anglers during this short time shared on the water. Myth turned to reality as I was rewarded by abeautiful native species. This massive, native trout came to my fly to greet me which lasted only a short moment, yet felt like admiration for a lifetime. There is no medicine on Earth that can heal the inner soulthe way a native fish does when you let yourself become one in nature’s sanctuary, guided by true friendship on the water.
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Evening Hatch Lodge”
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Northern Columbia River”
If you are ever in the Pacific Northwest and you want to experience some of the best fly fishing, reach out to The Evening Hatch and tell them you want to go fish up north with Jack or any of the other expert guides! Aside from tapping into some of the best instructors, The Evening Hatch also has awonderful lodge nestled deep in the northern wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
Many thanks to The Evening Hatch, and thank you, Jack! Fish on and keep exploring the outdoors!
The Evening Hatch Fly Shop 1.866.527.8866
Email at Jack@TheEveningHatch.com
Online at www.theeveninghatch.com
Jack’s direct cell 509.859.2280
I was recently invited to speak at the Urban Academy hosted at National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I was honored to represent Tualatin River Valley National Wildlife Refuge by way of Kim Strasburg, the Visitor Service Manager in Sherwood, Oregon. Most of my speaking opportunities revolved around my latest film Conservation Consciousness Runs Deep. The audience was full of many key influencers and national leaders from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Wildlife Refuge, and the U.S. Department of Interior. The conference was four days packed full of high-level conversations about social and environmental change, in attempts to pursue direct demographics for the most direct impact and influence. There was a lot of discussion around deciphering the code of cultural barriers in hopes to understand and reach out to inner city communities, analyzing opportunities for getting youth outdoors, inspiring and educating all communities and social groups, and determining why our wildlife refuge is critical for the future of our society.
Investing in our young people will dictate how our environment will be taken care of in the future. It is critical that we spend time connecting with influencers or leaders of our communities in order to ultimately prioritize the future generations. Inner city culture is a massive, growing demographic mixed with so many challenges and attributes including diverse professions, educational accomplishments, and lifestyle. Much of inner city culture lacks the connectivity to what the outdoors has to offer. In order to impact the future generations within the inner city, we must inspire and lead them into the outdoors. This guidance must come from traditional and non-tradition sources such as community leaders, parents, mentors, educators, ambassadors, and influencers of the outdoors. The outdoors brings out the inner-child in all of us. It also brings out the inner-scientist that has been waiting to step into opportunities of exploring nature. For children, the outdoors gives the gift of purposeful exploration as it is a tool to embark on adventure. For the veteran, the outdoors provides a chance to receive a life that has been holding its breath, anxiously awaiting to exhale. This is precisely what fly fishing has done for me. Fly fishing is a sport but yet has become a lifestyle of health, mental stimulation, and ongoing exploration of the natural world of rivers, species, and love.
Second showing of short narrative film Conservation Consciousness Runs Deep
How do we break the barriers of race, economics and social complexities that most communities face? We know there is a disconnect to the outdoors, so how do we connect with the right community influencers to help gain trust in order to ultimately impact a child and the family? What does one need to do to gain trust of the community? There is a rich blanket of history smeared with blood, hate, ignorance, discrimination, and misuse of authority that should not be ignored. The history of where communities have come from should be respected and acknowledged as a first step before one attempts to understand the culture. Only then can we embrace what was and now what is and rather than teaching the community, learn from the community. Communities are powerful and can inspire and influence all of us. Communities know survival and a lifestyle that has influenced their daily rituals and supported their ability to adapt to their environment. Within a community is a culture that includes even smaller entities called cell groups. An example of a cell group would be the homosexual community amongst Asian Americans. Asian Americans are already categorized as a diverse population, but the next layer of diversity (being homosexual) categorizes the group even more specifically. Cell groups live amongst a culture protected by leaders and influencers who all desire for change.
So what is the code of cultural barriers? We simply just want to connect a child to the outdoors, but there are many layers that must be pierced through in order to actually accomplish this. It is inspiring for me to see our government in the midst of making an effort for change. Our government does see a need for getting future generations into the outdoors and it is so paramount to make this happen. The urban community populations are growing each day and while the growth spurt continues, there is a prominent disconnect, especially with single-parent-family and lower-income households. In order to connect youth from these communities into the outdoors, it is critical that we connect with parents and families.
This really means that we must work with all generations of the family unit. I coin this term as Generation Shellback, meaning older generations influence younger generations by unknowingly imposing their beliefs, mistrusts, or assumptions onto the younger generations. Originally, the term “generation shellback” comes from the past when a soldier had been exposed to intense trauma of war that conclusively impacted their mental state. When a soldier returned home, attempting to move forward in life, the mental trauma would actually hinder and haunt that soldier. I see this with parents and grandparents mainly amongst African American and Hispanic cultures. What they have personally faced has actually traumatized and imprinted their memories making it hard to erase or forget. If grandma was afraid of the woods because of historical violations and discrimination, as well as what the woods is associated with, she may never take her children or grandchildren to the woods.
As we move forward into the future, the lines of cultures become prominent and strong but the desire to come together even within our government still faces the obvious – that we all still have a lot of work to do in bringing together our veterans and youth together into the outdoors. This is especially true of diverse, urban youth communities, supporting a reconnection to what nature has to provide for healing wounded soul. New generations coming up face new challenges, as well as our veterans coming back facing the trials of fitting back in to daily civilian life. It is apparent that even within our government walls the awareness of including inner-city youth is slightly forgotten, yet there is an obvious desire to welcome and include this demographic. There is an urgency to make more than just an effort but to actually execute a change. The success of change will roll itself into future leaders and ambassadors of nature. It will prompt options of jobs and develop conscious caretakers of our natural environment. We can support our veterans to achieve the same goal by partnering them with the Wildlife Refuge as a volunteer, or simply just connecting them to nature knowing that it can heal deep wounds of prior trauma.
Attending the Urban Academy at the National Conservation Training Center was an amazing trip and an awesome experience! Meeting various government leaders and having the opportunity to collaborate and partner with these key influencers was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is clear that we all have high hopes and are working toward a common goal. My hope is that the future generations resemble that of a quilt, consisting of partnerships, including images of thriving races and communities, respecting the outdoors. What feeds my soul is seeing young generations on the water with a fly rod in their hand, exploring our rivers as scientists, biologists, ichthyologists and ultimately being ambassadors of Mother Nature.