Welcome to IRIS

IRIS fosters sustainable rural communities in North Central Washington by gathering and sharing success stories that enhance a sense of belonging, inspire action, and build community. We believe that thriving communities in a healthy environment create success.

IRIS:  North Central Washington Local Food Systems IRIS:  Nature of North Central Washington IRIS:  North Central Washington Healthy Lands

Restoring Food to Salmon People

Photos courtesy Colville Confederated Tribes.

The Colville Confederated Tribes’ began several projects to restore Chinook salmon populations in the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers. These projects will provide increased numbers of salmon for tribal ceremonies and subsistence needs for tribal members. The Chief Joseph Hatchery (CJH), which was completed in May 2013, was designed to do just that.

At the Colville Tribe’s Fish & Wildlife (CTFW) Selective Harvest Program, fish jump up the short ladder leading to the hatchery. On this day, some staff members worked to process fish, while others toured the facility to learn about the state-of-the-art equipment, ... Read more

Success Summit

Poster for 2013 NCW Community Success Summit - Okanogan

Art by Nate Downey

IRIS is proud to acknowledge the following partners and sponsors for the 2013 NCW Community Success Summit in Okanogan, November 20, 2013:

  • City of Okanogan
  • Okanogan School District
  • Wenatchee Valley College
  • Okanogan Conservation District
  • Okanogan Land Trust
  • The Wenatchee World
  • North Cascades Broadcasting
  • Omak Chronicle
  • Okanogan Economic Alliance
  • Okanogan Highlands Alliance
  • The Nature Conservancy of Washington
  • Port of Douglas County
  • Washington Tractor
  • Spyhop Institute for Teachers
  • NCW RSVP
  • NCW Business Loan Fund
  • City of Bridgeport
  • Slow Food Okanogan
  • Wenatchee Valley College Omak Foundation
  • Fish & Wildlife Department of the Colville Confederated Tribes
  • Okanogan Kiwanis Club
  • Okanogan Chamber of Commerce
  • Foster Creek Farm
  • IRIS Board of Directors

Listening Post Icon
To hear a success story preview, visit the
Listening Post for the 2013 NCW Community Success Summit

News

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April 14, 2014

Impact Report 2014 - Your Contribution Made a Difference

Follow this link to the 2014 IRIS Impact Report. (PDF file will open in a new window.)

March 18, 2014

Updated IRIS Strategic Plan - Connecting People, Place, and Possibility

Visit the About page to read the IRIS strategic plan for 2014 to 2016 and see the map of proposed Success Summit sites to 2020. Follow this link for the Success Story Summary from 2009 through 2013. (PDF file will open in a new window.)

February 4, 2014

UPDATE Okanogan--Small Town, Strong Community
2013 NCW Community Success Summit

The following videos were produced by members of Doug Woodward's middle school class who launched the "Lock It In" project during a roundtable discussion at the Summit.

Jillyan Taylor

Leithan Gillespie

Laila Kent

Chantz Popelier

Maddie Serles

January 30, 2014

UPDATE Okanogan--Small Town, Strong Community
2013 NCW Community Success Summit

Enjoy the video produced by Doug Woodward's middle school yearbook class as seen at the 2013 NCW Community Success Summit.

January 18, 2014

2013 NCW Community Success Summit Supplement

Follow this link 2013 NCW Success Summit Supplement to read the success stories in the 2013 Supplement. (PDF file will open in a new window.) Follow this link to Listening Post for the 2013 NCW Community Success Summit.

December 15, 2013

2013 NCW Community Success Summit
Okanogan-Small Town, Strong Community

Follow this link Wenatchee World Common Ground 11/16/2013 to see an interview Rufus Woods did with Nancy Warner about the 2013 NCW Community Success Summit in Okanogan.
Follow these links Douglas County Empire Press 12/4/2013 and Omak Chronicle 11/24/2013 to read follow-up stories about the Summit.

October 28, 2013

UPDATE Okanogan-Small Town, Strong Community
NCW Community Success Summit - November 20, 2013

Follow this link to download the agenda for the upcoming Summit. Follow this link to download the Success Summit Story List 2009-20012. To register, download the registration form. Press release.
(PDF files will open in a new window.)

September 30, 2013

Okanogan-Small Town, Strong Community
NCW Community Success Summit - November 20, 2013

How are we increasing the connectivity of our lands and water? How are we using cross-generational relations to grow jobs? How are we embracing art, technology, and meeting places to bridge cultural and political divides? Please join us at Okanogan Middle School on Nov. 20 from 9am to 3pm to explore how we can combine our energy into actions that help our communities thrive.
For more information, download the press release.
To register, download the registration form.
(PDF files will open in a new window.)

March 26, 2012

Mark Your Calendar for the 2013 NCW Community Success Summit

We are pleased to announce that we will be working with the City of Okanogan, the Okanogan School District and other partners to host the NCW Community Success Summit this year at the Okanogan Middle School on Wednesday, November 20. Please mark that date and plan to join us for this annual celebration of success in our region!

March 25, 2012

Updated IRIS Strategic Plan - Connecting People, Place, and Possibility

Visit the About page to read the one-page strategic plan and learn where IRIS wants to be in three years and why.

Oct 2, 2012

Entiat Rocks! NCW Community Success Summit

Bring your energy, ideas, and success stories to share with others on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 9am to 3pm in Entiat. Follow these links for more information - news release and agenda. Download the Field Trip Flyer here. Download the registration form here (PDF files will open in a new window.)

May 24, 2012

Listening Post Network to help tell story of our region

Listening Post logoYou can use them to take photos, check the stock market and send text messages. Starting this summer you will also be able to use your cell phone to go back in time through the Listening Post Network, a new project IRIS is launching with museums and other partners across North Central Washington. Visitors will be able to access stories about the history of sites across the region through a variety of digital media including cell phones, smart phones, and the Listening Post pages on the IRIS Gathering Our Voice website - gatheringourvoice.org/listening-post. More information about the Listening Post Network: 5/23/12 news release. ( PDF will open in a new window)

May 16, 2012

The music of Foodways & Byways now available on CD

Foodways & Byways CD cover The CD features 13 full-length tunes, most original compositions, performed and arranged by 16 musicians from around the region who contributed their time and talents to create the Foodways & Byways music ensemble. To obtain a copy by donation contact the IRIS office at irisncw@gmail.com. Follow this link for more about members of the ensemble. (PDF will open in a new window)

March 22, 2012

Award-winning documentary showing benefits IRIS

IRIS is one of five local non-profit organizations that will benefit from the proceeds of The Vox Docs Film Festival in Leavenworth March 23-24. One hundred percent of ticket sales proceeds to Buck which is screening at 7pm on Saturday, March 24 will go to IRIS. Please visit icicle.org for information about the five award-winning documentaries that will be presented during the Festival and to purchase tickets.

February 27, 2012

"Foodways & Byways" showing in Leavenworth this Friday

Please join your neighbors and friends at Barn Beach Reserve in Leavenworth on Friday, March 2, 2012 to see the Gathering Our Voice video Foodways & Byways The Story of Food in North Central Washington at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Nancy Warner, Gathering Our Voice Project Director, 881-1812, nwarner@applecapital.net, or Gail Roberts, Barn Beach Reserve Naturalist, 548-7584, groberts@wenatcheeriverinstitute.org

January 17, 2012

"Foodways & Byways" DVD in The Wenatchee World Online

See Rufus Woods talk with Nancy Warner about the "Foodways & Byways" DVD at The Wenatchee World online www.wenatcheeworld.com/videos/2012/jan/17/415/. Visit gatheringourvoice.org for a list of public showings of "Foodways & Byways - The Story of Food in North Central Washington."

December 12, 2011

Gathering Our Voice 2011 Community Studio Project DVD Released

Now available for sale as a DVD and to view in six video segments at gatheringourvoice.org -- "Foodways & Byways - The Story of Food in North Central Washington." The half-hour video in which people of Latin, Tribal and European descent share stories of past and present food harvest, processing and distribution practices explores what we can learn from the past that can help us build a strong local food system today. Companion materials also available at gatheringourvoice.org are designed to help stimulate conversation about how we can increase our self-reliance.

October 11, 2011

2011 NCW Community Success Summit - November 16, 2011

Bring your energy, ideas, and success stories to share with others on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 9am to 3pm in Bridgeport. Follow these links for more information - news release and agenda. (PDF files will open in a new window.)

September 12, 2011

Statewide Food Coalition effort and Crown S Ranch CSA - discussion topics for upcoming NCW Regional Food Coalition Meeting

Washington Water Project of Trout Unlimited and Precision Slaughter will host the next NCW Regional Food Coalition meeting at The Riverbank, 206 Glover Street, Twisp, on September 22, 2011 from 9 to 11 am. For more information, contact Laura Clark, lclark@okanogancd.org

July 5, 2011

Join the Network of Naturalists

Help create a nature journal for North Central Washington via the newly expanded Connecting With Nature website, www.connectingwithnature.org. With support from the Connecting People With Nature program of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, IRIS created a website where you can record your observations and post photos of plants, animals, and other natural phenomena that mark the seasonal rhythms of our region.

May 17, 2011

Salmon-Safe Certification - discussion topic for upcoming NCW Regional Food Coalition Meeting

USDA-NRCS will host the next NCW Regional Food Coalition meeting at Forest Service headquarters, 215 Melody Lane, on June 16, 2011 from 9 to 11 am. For more information, contact Amy Hendershot, amy.hendershot@wa.usda.gov

January 17, 2011

Making Winter fun at Squilchuck, before Mission Ridge

See the January 13, 2011 Gathering Our Voice column in the Wenatchee World. The column features excerpts of a 2008 interview with Bud Weeks about the Squilchuck ski area. For the full transcript of the interview, visit the Transcripts page at www.gatheringourvoice.org

January 5, 2011

Connecting with Nature in North Central Washington

Read the latest posts about birding and tracking nature in North Central Washington. Share your own entries to create a naturalist's journal for the region at connectingwithnature.org.

December 13, 2010

2010 NCW Community Success Summit

Over 55 Summit particpants shared examples of innovative stewardship and previewed the 2010 - 2011 Gathering Our Voice Foodways & Byways audio slide show at the Lake Chelan Winery on November 17. To see photos and hear excerpts from the slide show visit the the Foodways & Byways page on the Gathering Our Voice website.

2010 Success Summit at Lake Chelan Winery 2010 Success Summit at Lake Chelan Winery 2010 Success Summit at Lake Chelan Winery

Enjoy a recap of the Summit by visiting the following links:
November 19, 2010 Wenatchee World Column by Rufus Woods
• NCW Community Success Summit Supplement (divided into segments to keep PDF file sizes manageable) Pages 1 - 5; Pages 6 -11; Pages 12 - 15; Pages 16 - 19; Pages 20 - 24
Contact us for a printed copy.
Notes taken at the Summit (PDF)
"Updates and More Successes" contributions made at the Summit (PDF)

November 1, 2010

Your Help is Needed

We have been presented with a unique opportunity to supercharge the work of our program.
The Icicle Fund has graciously given us a $10,000 challenge grant to use in seeking community
support for the Gathering Our Voice project.
We have until December 31 to complete our effort to match the dollars.
We hope that you will generously support this effort by making a contribution to IRIS to be matched dollar for dollar. Thats a great way to leverage your contribution.
Follow this link for more information (PDF will open in new window)

October 14, 2010

2010 NCW Community Success Summit

November 17 from 9am to 4pm in Chelan. Download Agenda and
Registration form. RSVP by Friday, November 12. (PDFs will open in new window)

October 13, 2010

Foodways & Byways Photo Drive Launched

Do you have historic food system photos? Help tell our community's story.
Follow this link to our photo drive flyer. (PDF will open in new window)

October 4, 2010

Connecting with Nature in North Central Washington

Read and hear about keeping an eye on nature in NCW. Share your own nature observations at connectingwithnature.org.

October 4, 2010

Welcome Kristi!

Kristi RobertsIRIS is fortunate to be hosting our first AmeriCorps volunteer, Kristi Roberts who arrived last month from her home in South Carolina. A recent graduate of Clemson University with a degree in history and anthropology, Kristi will be serving as the Outreach Specialist supporting volunteers and partner staff working on the project of the Gathering Our Voice program. Thanks to Kristi, IRIS is now on Facebook.

September 21, 2010

Visit IRIS on Facebook

Facebook logo

July 5, 2010

Connecting with Nature in North Central Washington

Read and hear about mudpies, forts, frogs, and other childhood connections with nature. Share your own early connection with nature at connectingwithnature.org.

May 26, 2010

Updated NCW Regional Food Systems Directory

The updated NCW Regional Food Systems Directory (PDF opens in new window) is now available. The complete Regional Food System Assessment Baseline Report and Appendices are available as PDF files at the Regional Food Systems page.

April 28, 2010

2010-2011 Gathering Our Voice Project Underway

Read the project framework to learn more about it. Foodways & Byways 2010 - 2011 (PDF opens in new window)

April 5, 2010

Connecting with Nature in North Central Washington

Read about chipmunks, fire, and forests. Share stories of your experiences in nature at connectingwithnature.org.

March 1, 2010

2009 Gathering Our Voice Signature Story video now available

Watch the 2009 Signature Story video at gatheringourvoice.org.

December 8, 2009

2009 NCW Community Success Summit

Nearly 50 Summit particpants shared examples of innovative stewardship and previewed the 2009 Gathering Our Voice Signature Story DVD on November 18 at the DOCFD#15 station in Pateros.

Signature Story Workshop, September 16, 2009 Summit Lunch November 18, 2009 Summit Discussion November 18, 2009

Enjoy a recap of the Summit by visiting the following links:
November 10, 2009 Wenatchee World Column by Rufus Woods
NCW Community Summit Supplement with Column by Nancy Warner & 25 Success Stories (PDF) Contact us for a printed copy.
Notes taken at the Summit (PDF)
"Success in a Nutshell" contributions made at the Summit (PDF)
November 20, 2009 Wenatchee World Column by Rufus Woods
To order Signature Story DVDs and learn more about Gathering Our Voice, visit www.gatheringourvoice.org