Photo: San Joaquin River near Ledger Island, courtesy San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust
In this episode, we hear from Sharon Weaver, executive director of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust. Sharon’s story gets started with writing a term paper for an environmental politics class at U.C. Davis and evolves into her career leading an organization that is the catalyst for creating a regional treasure of protected lands, education programs, and recreational trails on the San Joaquin River near Fresno.
Discovering the San Joaquin River Parkway includes learning about the river and citizens’ efforts in the San Joaquin Valley to unite around protecting its floodplain, restoring wildlife habitat, and creating access and programs for people to live, learn and play on its banks. Sharon takes us on a tour of the programs her land trust offers to the community and we’ll get to plant trees, go on a school field trip, paddle the river and have big fun at River Camp.
Sharon also helps us discover the Coke Hallowell Center for River Studies, an 1890‘s ranch complex restored and repurposed to an interpretive landscape. There, visitors can step into the river’s rich history and experience what the San Joaquin River Parkway has to offer.
The San Joaquin River Parkway is located in the Valley’s Fresno-Madera metropolitan area. The City of Fresno, with more than half a million people, is one of the most racially diverse cities in the United States. We’ll hear from Sharon how her team is serving the community and steps her board of directors has taken toward creating leadership representative of the people they serve.
One of the programs Sharon is most passionate about is her team’s role in ecological restoration of the river system and we hear about wildlife she sees returning to the area.
We’re excited to bring Sharon’s story to you and discover the San Joaquin River Parkway. To learn more about her work, River Center, and organization, check out the River Parkway Trust.
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All rivers have stories that ripple.
I’m Dave Koehler. Be well, and do good work.