About IRIS - Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship

About IRIS

Our Mission -- fostering 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 Strategic Plan 2014-16 (PDF)

Map Success Summit to 2020 (PDF)

Board Membership

  • Darrell Dickeson
  • Marcia Henkle
  • Erin Mundinger
  • Kim Richardson
  • Mike Rickel
  • George Thornton
  • Bonnie Waude
  • Darold Wax
  • Allison Williams
  • Michael Yale

IRIS Staff

 

Activities

IRIS Executive Summary

IRIS supports vibrant, healthy, sustainable rural communities in North Central Washington by building knowledge, confidence, and positive community dialogue. Our successful programs foster cooperative solutions to complex issues by connecting people, place and possibility:

  • Workshops and Forums, such as the annual North Central Washington Community Success Summit, showcase community successes and fuel collaboration around shared goals.
  • Place-Based Educational Programs actively engage people in gathering and sharing success stories about the lands, life and culture of the region. Participants gather oral histories, track seasonal patterns on the land, and use photo-monitoring to assess landscape change.
  • Topical Assessments information to be used to clarify priorities, strengthen collaboration, and spur action. The NCW Regional Food Coalition and the Healthy Lands Roundtable are examples of this approach.

Current IRIS Programs

The Nature of Place in North Central Washington

  • Connecting with Nature - Focuses on the encounters between people and nature across habitat types and seasons
  • Gathering Our Voice - Creates inspired stories for the future by developing a strong network of story gatherers and storytellers throughout the region
  • Witnessing Change - Engages people in using photography to see lands through the eyes of a landowner or manager working to improve the health of the land

Regional Food Systems

  • Habitat Farming Enterprise Program; developing economic remuneration model for orchards in the Entiat River watershed
  • Organizing Stewardship Success workshops and fieldtrips that highlight positive outcomes and provide training in innovative land stewardship practices

Healthy Lands

  • Working with the Washington Biodiversity Council to implement recommendations from the Healthy Lands Initiative, e.g., NCW Biodiversity Council, NCW Stewardship Cooperative
  • Facilitating protection of critical farm and timberlands by sharing and distributing information on incentive programs
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