by Julie Chamberlain
Executive Director of Muskegon River Watershed Assembly
Those of us who reside in Western Michigan enjoy abundant natural beauty throughout the year but for many the autumn season is the most spectacular. Fall colors in our state are legendary with breathtaking scenery around very bend in the road.
For my staff and I the falling leaves in October bring a reminder of the work to complete before winter arrives. This is definitely a busy time of year for us and especially so this year with two new restoration grants recently confirmed. Our focus will be on moving forward but I believe it is worthwhile to pause a moment to reflect upon the good things we have accomplished so far.
The work that defines us as an organization often goes without notice and I think it is important for you to understand what we do every day to protect and restore the Muskegon River. Therefore, in this issue of the River View, we will look back at some of the most significant activities of the year.
We will provide snapshots of successful projects throughout the watershed. And courtesy of Big Rapids Pioneer staff writer Adam Gac, we will also take a closer look at an enduring program that we have championed for over a decade.
Before we do that, we must reluctantly bid farewell to a colleague who recently announced his resignation from the board.
Greg Mund made it official at our annual meeting in September. He really has stepped down from his position as MRWA chair and has resigned his seat on the board. For all of his friends and colleagues who have come to know him over the years, this will take some getting used to.
In 1998, when a group of concerned citizens met to discuss the environmental challenges facing the Muskegon River watershed, Greg was in the room. He was there when the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly was formed to address those challenges and he has been a vital part of the organization ever since. He has been our leader and a valuable contributor through good times and bad. Greg we’re going to miss you.
In his final message as board chair, Greg remembers the individuals who had the greatest impact on the organization.
We’ll also hear from two current board members, finance committee chairman, Kurt Ray and board secretary, Nancy Burmeister.
I hope you enjoy the fall Riverview. As always, we welcome your questions or comments