05 Sep Twinning Update: Willamette River Basin, USA & Rio Laja, Mexico
2012 Thiess International Riverprize winner, Willamette Basin in Oregon, USA, has an active Twinning Project with the Laja, Basin, located in Central Mexico since 2015. The Partnership unites youth, teachers, river restoration practitioners, and the birding community for deep cultural connections and sustained conservation of their shared North American migratory bird species and their habitats. Twinning partners gathered in June for their third large exchange since 2016.
Willamette visitors to the Laja included four elementary teachers from Spanish-English language immersion schools in the Willamette, their Twinning program instructor, and two Willamette restoration practitioners. The team met with five partner elementary schools in the Laja basin, held strategic planning sessions, and toured landscape-scale watershed restoration efforts implemented by Laja conservation groups and the State of Guanajuato. The exchange resulted in a 3-year partnership strategic plan and recruitment of five Laja primary schools to engage in their shared migratory bird education program. The Willamette-Laja Twinning Project is now supported by several private donors and foundations, and local schools. Visit a photo album from the exchange and learn more about this IRF Twinning Project at the Willamette-Laja webpage.