OUR STORY

At Willamette Partnership, we believe that when nature thrives, so do people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy environments are a cornerstone of thriving communities.

 

That’s why Willamette Partnership is helping cities and organizations throughout the American West change how they build infrastructure, protect water sources and critical habitat, and manage farms and forests as a way to strengthen community resilience.

A BRIEF HISTORY

Leaders search for long-term solutions to economic development that result in a healthy ecosystem and more resilient communities. That search often requires tough choices.

Willamette Partnership Staff

In Oregon, people agree that the environment makes the state a great place to live and work. Businesses, farms, environmental groups, and government officials of the Willamette River Basin had tough choices to face in 1996. The community wanted to see the river restored back to health for clean water and wildlife habitat, but in a way that protected people’s livelihoods.

Those leaders came together to tackle this conservation challenge and formed what became Willamette Partnership. We built the Willamette Restoration Strategy with realistic goals, recommended policies, and tools to achieve results that were good for nature and good for people. As a result, millions have been spent in restoring floodplains and habitat in partnership with farmers and cities using innovative strategies driven by science. Today, the Willamette River is getting better. We can swim in it again and the bald eagles are back.

Since that moment in the Willamette, we have continued throwing our shoulders behind ecosystem services and market-based conservation — incentives that encourage people to value nature — throughout the American West.

In 2009, we developed Counting on the Environment, a package of measurement tools, accounting protocols, and agency agreements that allow people across the western United States to invest in the good things nature provides: clean water, wildlife habitat, and natural places to play. Counting on the Environment was also the time when we started working with communities across the West facing similar, complex conservation challenges.

With more than 20 years of experience convening partners and developing market-based conservation solutions, Willamette Partnership continues to help others create incentives for investing in conservation and restoration throughout the West. We believe it is increasingly important to do this work in a way that cares for people — making communities more resilient by solving environmental problems that improve health, social, and economic outcomes.

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon. 

 

Mission

Willamette Partnership is working to increase the pace, scope, and effectiveness of restoration and conservation to create benefits for both natural and human communities.

 

Vision

Willamette Partnership envisions a world in which people create resilient ecosystems, healthy communities, and vibrant economies by investing in nature. We are building a future in which people understand and value the benefits nature provides.

 

Values

INTEGRITY is our inner compass, directing us to do what is right even when it is not easy. No matter where our work takes us, we stay on course by being honest, trustworthy, consistent, and fair.

LEADERSHIP means making the possible a reality. We use tenacity, creativity, and hopes for the future to carve out a pragmatic path forward.

COLLABORATION is the foundation we build on. Only when we listen, include others, and learn from diverse perspectives do we create lasting solutions to complex challenges.

PASSION is the color of our work. Our purpose is vivid and our optimism vibrant, fueling our drive for progress.

BALANCE is the key to sustainability, both in nature and at work. We strive to harmonize social and economic needs with those of the environment. We also sustain our passion and effectiveness by nurturing our individual needs.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

At Willamette Partnership, we are committed to creating an equitable future. 

Our aim is to build an organization that fosters inclusivity, creates space for diverse perspectives, and invests in work with more equitable outcomes. To us, this means including everyone’s voice and perspective in our work regardless of their differences in backgrounds, ideas, thought, values, beliefs, or identities, including race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, migratory status, disability/abilities, geographic identity, political affiliation, and socioeconomic background. 

As a conservation nonprofit, Willamette Partnership understands that equitable change cannot happen without the perspectives of our communities. We acknowledge the systemic injustices and inequities in our society and feel we have a moral imperative to keep this at the forefront of how we approach our work. Being an organization that lives its EDI principles makes us, the communities we serve, and the solutions we seek to deliver, better. 

We know we have been slow to elevate equity as a core organizational value and have played a role in perpetuating inequity in the past, but it is our responsibility to do better. We will always use an EDI lens when doing our work, engaging with partners, and developing new opportunities. We are committed to being transparent about our EDI work and choices, and why they are important to us. This work is never done. As individuals and as an organization, we commit to being life-long learners and will continue to educate ourselves to better our work. 

OUR COMMITMENTS:

Aligning Our Intent. Our responsibility is to align our intent with the impact we are making in the communities we work in.

Contributing to Systems Change. Using our access to policy and funding worlds, we commit to addressing the need for systems change.

Creating Space. We commit to bringing diverse voices to the table, to amplify and hold space for them to be heard. 

Investing Equitably. We will seek to understand who benefits and who is burdened by our actions and to work with partners to ensure resources are used and distributed in a more equitable way. 

Creating an Inclusive Workplace. We will nurture an inclusive and welcoming culture that values the contributions of everyone and commit to reaching out to those who may not be represented to ensure we are including all perspectives in our work. 

Training to be Allies. We are committed to training and educating ourselves to be the best allies we can be. We recognize that we will mess up from time to time but promise to take responsibility for our mistakes, learn from them, and continue to grow.

Continuing to Learn. We understand that this work is never finished and it is our responsibility to continue to educate ourselves, learn from each other, and have honest conversations about our work and its impact. By revisiting and revising this statement regularly, we will hold ourselves and others accountable for this work.

Find out how we’re making conservation happen faster, better, and on larger scales throughout West.

OUR WORK