To view our 2014 annual report in a word document please click the “Annual Report 2014″ link above to download the document. You may also view our 2014 annual report below, however, there are some formatting issues.
Mission: Provide educational opportunities with an emphasis on stewardship and a sense of wonder in the natural systems of the Columbia River Gorge. Recognizing the unique biologic, cultural, and geologic nature of the region we use a place-based approach to engage participants through innovative and experiential programming in an effort to cultivate the long-term sustainability, conservation, and vitality of the Columbia Gorge communities.
Vision: Create an ecologically literate citizenry. Values: Passion, Service, Wellness, and Community.
A Message From Our Director
My favorite place to be outside is on a river. As an avid whitewater kayaker I particularly appreciate being either at the top or at the bottom of a challenging rapid.
At the top of a rapid there’s so much excitement and anxiety. Once at the bottom of a rapid I typically feel joy and admiration while soaking in the natural beauty. After my first full fiscal year as the Director of the Ecology Institute I find myself with the same feelings I get when sitting at the bottom of a challenging rapid and I am truly inspired by what we’ve accomplished in the past year. Though we’ve certainly confronted challenges we have been able to increase our numbers served due to increased financial support and most importantly our programs have been at the forefront of our priorities, as they should be. The energy and excitement that students in our programs exhibit provides me with so much motivation to continue expanding meaningful opportunities to as many students as possible. It was also incredibly rewarding to receive
feedback from teachers last year about the academic success of their students that they attribute to our programs, or better yet all of the thank you notes from students! However, I’m also faced with the same anxiety and excitement that I get when sitting at the top of a rapid. There is plenty of adversity and uncertainty in what lies ahead but we will continue to face those challenges and implement plans for success. I’m fired up to be leading the Ecology Institute as we make our way down through the next set of complex rapids. In December of 2014 I was blessed with a gift from my wife to go to Peru and spend a week on the Grand Canyon of the Amazon River, followed by a visit to Macchu Picchu. The photo shown of me was taken by my wife during our week-long adventure on the river. It’s unbelievable to see so much natural beauty while at the same time being surrounded by litter and pollution. I believe that a large part of the environmental illiteracy in some areas of developing countries, as well as in the United States, is the lack of education and awareness. I’m thrilled to be part of the solution here in the Columbia Gorge to make sure citizens are aware of these natural systems by stimulating their sense of wonder and inspiring stewardship for ecosystems. Of course none of this would be possible without the help from all of our donors; you all are truly the support crew that allows us to continue downstream.
Drew L. Eastman
Students in core programs – 965
SECRETS - 556 4th and 5th grade students
Science in Action – 365 6th and 7th grade students
Gorge Explorers – 34 3rd 9th, 10th and 11th graders
OWLs – 10 1st 2nd and 3rd grade students
Participants in other programs – 690
Conboy Days – 50
Water Jam – 280
Salmon Days – 90
Other – 270
Total Constituents Directly Served – 1,777
Teachers – 27
Volunteers – 78
School Districts – 4
Partners – 17
Counties – 4
States – 2
Restoration – 316 hours
In 2014 we began achieving our three main goals set forth in our strategic plan, which will lead our direction until 2018. Our three main focus areas are:
•Increase financial stability through more public support, special events, and board involvement.
•Create network of regular and reliable volunteers through trainings and incentive programs.
•Build capacity to increase meaninful opportunities that will serve more constituents annually.
We nearly doubled the number of supporters from 2013 to 2014, going from about 30 donors in 2013 to more than 50 donors in 2014. We also celebrated eighteen years of our flagship SECRETS program during a spring equinox party as well as a fall costume ball, both of which raised over $1,000 each. We were privileged to have a full-time volunteer in the fall to help with program delivery, fundraising, and administrative tasks. We provided two training opportunities for volunteers with our SECRETS program and rewarded regular volunteers with an appreciation cookout and provided a free t-shirt. Additionally, we increased the number of students served from around 800 students in 2013 to 965 students in 2014. One last way that we measure success continues to be through student, teacher, and volunteer feedback all of which has remained positive while we internally search for ways to improve through self-evaluation.
Lastly, we’ve continued providing our three core programs (SECRETS, Science in Action, Gorge Explorers) in 2014 while also developing a new program named Outdoor Wild Learners (OWLs), which is an out-of-school program designed for early elementary-aged students.
Operational Checking Account: December 31st, 2014 = $5,529.99
Restricted Checking Account : December 31st, 2014 = $15,744.74
Executive Compensation : Our highest paid position was that of our Executive Director receiving a base salary of $30,866.40 for 1,926 hours of paid time in addition to $518.22 for paid time off, which creates a total of $31,384.62.
2014 Income $86,935.33
Public Support $13,806.34 . . . . . . . . . . . . 16%
Grants $50,213.16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58%
Services $18,638.19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21%
Other $4,277.64 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5%
2014 Expense $82,708.56
Admin $10,145.08 . . . . . . . . . . . . 12%
(printing, fees, postage, supplies)
Program $63,506.88 . . . . . . . . . . . 78%
Fundraising $5,315.34 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
Other $3,741.26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4%
Being a member of the Ecology Institute Board of Directors is a volunteer position that commits to a minimum of: 1) attending no less than 75% of the regularly scheduled meetings, 2) promoting, attending, and gaining support for programs as well as events when possible, and 3) making an annual financial contribution. In December of 2014 the CGEI Board of Directors included Bill Weiler – Lyle, WA (President), Dan Harkenrider - Underwood, WA (Treasurer), Beth Flake – Hood River, OR (Secretary), Scott MacDonald – Klickitat, WA, Joanne Gallagher – White Salmon, WA, Dan Richardson – The Dalles, OR, Kelly Beard – Hood River, OR, and Jessica Gehrig – Hood River, OR.
Wonder Stewards – gifts of $1,000 or more
Doris Castanares Dan Harkenrider
Lee Christie Bill Weiler
Gorge Explorers – gifts between $500 – $999
Kate Mills Sue and Dave Eastman
SECRETS Keepers – gifts between $100 – $499
Margie Byrne Nancy Helget Paul Woolery
Diana and Art Carroll Barbara Moore The Eastburn
Anthony Castanares John Nelson Trew Gear
Jana Castanares Erika Rench Riverside Community Church
Colleen Coleman Dan Richardson Oil Can Henry’s
Douglas Crow Lynda Sacamano
Allison Eastman Charity Sembalerus
Drew Eastman Jay Sherrerd
Beth Flake Stephanie Wagner
Citizen Scientists – gifts of $99 or less
Heather Beam Robin Dobson Thomas Penchoen
Jennifer Bergemann M. Harvey Charles Richards
Linda Burgel Nigel Heinemann Barbara Robinson
Tina Castanares Jo Kemper Gary Tichenor
Steve Chance Barbara Manildi Barbara Weiss
Daniel Dancer Judy Maule Rose Thomas-Wiley
Jana Shuler Pat Monoghan Casas Inc.
U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Charlotte Martin Foundation
Google Data Center Community Grants
Over the River and Through the Woods Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
Donor Advised Funds of the Oregon Community Foundation