Water Educator Network Member Feature – June 2019
Name and Position: Tammy Rusch
Organization: Central Colorado Water Conservancy District (CCWCD)
Became a WEN Member: June 2019
Watershed: South Platte Basin
Favorite River in CO: Cache la Poudre River
Favorite Water-Based Activity: Allowing a child to experience a river for the first time.
Our Favorite Quote from Tammy:
“I am proud to say that I played a part in building the Poudre Learning Center into what it is today. I am proud of the community engagement that we do at CCWCD. And I am super excited to continue the work that others have started on the Children’s Water Festival, the Well Watch Program and teacher workshops that we are involved in.”
Interview with Tammy:
Where are you from? Home – Kersey, CO. Office – Greeley, CO
What are the primary duties of your current job? Website management, social media, education coordinator, and office manager.
What are your main areas of expertise? I have worked with educators since the late 1990’s. During that time, I gained experience in training teachers, community members and students of all ages. Six years of that time was spent at a local outdoor education center where we introduced students to the great outdoors. I also hold certificates in graphic design and web design which has been a valuable tool for website management and designing material for teacher and student workshops, and community engagement.
Describe the coolest project that you’re currently working on. I have several “cool” projects throughout the year that I am honored to be a part of. It is our goal to inform students, teachers and community members about groundwater, irrigation and augmentation plans.
We partner with the Poudre Learning Center on the Well Watch program geared towards 4th through 12th grade students. Students learn about groundwater from classroom visits and monitoring groundwater from wells located near their schools. We also collaborate with the Poudre Learning Center and the City of Greeley on the Confluence Institute for K-12 teachers. This week-long workshop is geared towards PROJECT WET activities that teachers can bring into their classrooms. The annual Children’s Water Festival, in its 29th year, is also an exciting project to work on. In April, we hosted the one-day event for 1,200 students from 50 different classrooms from three counties.
Community engagement is always a lot of fun and a change of pace. We offer bus tours and Colorado Law workshops for our community members and constituents of our augmentation plans. It is amazing what I have learned from the incredible people I have meet and worked with on these projects.
How long have you been a WEN member? I am not sure how long CCWCD has been a member, but I have personally been involved the last two years.
What made you want to become involved in the Water Educator Network? I like the direction that WEN is taking to help develop and encourage educational activities throughout the state.
What does being a Water Educator Network member mean to you? The support I have received has been invaluable. Meeting others that share the same challenges is so helpful. I hope to offer my experiences to help others build their programs in the future.
What is your favorite Water Education Colorado workshop or event that you’ve attended? The Water Festival Coordinator workshop, who knew there was so much to learn. I have also enjoyed the bus tours where I have learned about different areas of our state.
Describe your proudest water-related accomplishment? Wow, that’s a tough one. I am proud to say that I played a part in building the Poudre Learning Center into what it is today. I am proud of the community engagement that we do at CCWCD. And I am super excited to continue the work that others have started on the Children’s Water Festival, the Well Watch Program and teacher workshops that we are involved in.
What is your favorite river in Colorado? I have fond memories of the South Platte River when my children were young, but I guess I would have to say the Cache la Poudre River.
What is your favorite water-based activity? This is another hard question. I would have to say, allowing a child to experience a river for the first time. The look on their face is priceless. I also enjoy teaching kiddos about groundwater and the importance being a good steward to our environment.
What else do you do in your free time?
I am a crafter, I enjoy any and all crafts. I enjoy walks with my dog, Daisy, and the wildlife that we come across. Jet skis on the lake, and just spending time with my family.
What is your biggest goal for the next year, professional or otherwise? My biggest goal is to continue to improve the programs we have in place, and to expand our community engagement.