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  • Impact Austin

Community Partner Spotlight - Checking in with Austin Youth River Watch

Impact Austin awarded five $100,000 grants to worthy nonprofit organizations in June, and this fall, we are checking in with our 2014 Community Partners to hear about the programs we funded and their thoughts about the impact of our grants.

Here’s what Austin Youth River Watch had to say:

"Impact Austin is helping River Watch launch a new program that gives our at-risk teens the chance to do week-long, service-learning projects."

Our students have been monitoring water quality in Austin's streams for years, and now, finally, they'll have a chance to actually improve the water quality, too." – R. Brent Lyles, Executive Director

Austin Youth River Watch combines environmental education with drop-out prevention, providing a safe place for teenagers to grow and gain confidence, while learning to be active stewards of our planet.  In the current program, approximately 120 at-risk students from nine Austin Independent School District high schools learn to collect, analyze, and publish water-quality data from 25 freshwater sites along Austin-area streams and the Colorado River.

The new program funded by Impact Austin will engage these students in hands-on stream restoration projects, such as bank stabilization, vegetation management, and trail building.  These week-long service-learning projects will include a weekend “work day” with community volunteers led by the students. The new program will benefit Austin-area streams and the ecosystems they support through at least 10 restoration projects each year; enhance students’ knowledge of aquatic science and improve their leadership skills; and involve at least 100 new community volunteers.

For more information visit

Stay tuned for future posts checking in with our other 2014 Community Partners, and visit the See Our Impact page to learn about all the wonderful work we’ve supported over the years. 


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