RiverWatch February: The Transition...
A Note From Our Board Chair
Dear Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy Community: Successful nonprofit organizations quickly learn to embrace and skillfully navigate periods of change and transition to be in the best position to sustainably achieve their mission. The same is true at Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy.
Yet, it is with mixed emotions that I announce that after over 20 years of dedicated service to the Conservancy, Robin Rierdan, our Executive Director, has stepped away from the day-to-day management of the organization as of February 1, 2023. Stepped away, but not gone from the Conservancy, as Robin will continue working on the things she enjoys doing most such as grant writing and project development. We are and will always be grateful for Robin’s hard work and dedication over the past two decades. The Conservancy would not be what it is today without her tireless pursuit of our mission to preserve and restore the biological integrity and beauty of the San Diego River while integrating recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities for our East San Diego County community.
At the same time, we are quite pleased to announce that Julie Turko, our past Assistant Executive Director, has as of February 1, 2023, embarked on the leadership role at the Conservancy as our new Executive Director. We can never, and Julie is neither expected nor intended to, fill Robin’s shoes. Julie has her own unique set of skills we regard as invaluable to the Conservancy and she will express her own character of leadership consistent with a unified and forward thinking organization and with our mission. Julie also has proven to be a tireless worker holding the sustainability and success of the Conservancy at the forefront of her goals and objectives. We have every confidence Julie will build upon the successes of our past while inspiring fresh foresight upon which the future success of the Conservancy can be achieved. Welcome Julie. We hope that our members, visitors, and the community will make an opportunity to meet and get to know Julie. We think you will be glad you did. James Dodson, Chair Board of Directors Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy
In January it was our pleasure to gather together for the first LRPC Volunteer Appreciation breakfast since 2019. It was truly wonderful to see so many friends of the river park in person! And it was a fantastic reminder of the many long-time friendships and volunteer hours that have kept the wheels turning all these years: keeping the trails clean, the river bed safe, and contributing to our community projects. Many thanks again to everyone involved and special thanks to Victor Tongco and Lakeside's Boll Weevil for hosting!
During our recent "atmospheric river" rains, the river park provided an important channel and catch-basin for rainwater. In addition to providing habitat, the wetland areas were designed to capture runoff, filter and improve water quality, recharge the local water table and provide flood protection to Lakeside. Our resident ducks approve.
Julie Turko, Executive Director
Robin Rierdan, Grants & Special Projects
Robert Doty, Field Superintendent
Karen Beshirs, Office Manager