My name is Michelle Williams, and I’m the Executive Director of Arts Council Santa Cruz County, and a monthly donor to the Coastal Watershed Council. I also am mom to two little boys. My husband and I moved to Santa Cruz seven years ago and immediately fell in love with this community. We were lucky enough to land in Seabright, a neighborhood bordered by the beach, the boardwalk, and the San Lorenzo River. In 2013, the Arts Council moved its office to the Tannery Arts Center, and suddenly, the Santa Cruz Riverwalk that runs alongside the river became the quickest – and most beautiful – route between my home and work. It’s where my oldest son learned to ride a bike, and where my younger son still pedals along with his training wheels. Every time we’re on the Riverwalk, I’m stunned by the beauty, the critters, and the immediate connection to nature, even when we are wheeling around so close to downtown.
With two kids in daycare and after-care, we aren’t capable of significant giving. But giving what we can is a family value, and the Coastal Watershed Council is one the organizations at the top of our list. We give because we love Santa Cruz, and we know how important the river is to this community. We give because we love the time we spend on the Riverwalk. And we give because we know the staff at the CWC is the best of the best. We know they are committed to the health and vibrancy of the San Lorenzo River and our greater community. We’re committed to that, too.
There are many extraordinary organizations doing great work in Santa Cruz County. The Coastal Watershed Council is one of them. If you care about nature, about outdoor recreation, about good science and great leadership, about the intersections of nature, civic spaces, wildlife, and community, and about how water defines and supports this wonderful place we call home, look no further than the CWC. I’m a fan, and if you get involved, you will be, too.