Michael Byrd

As Executive Director, my duties vary on a day to day basis from advancing the organization’s mission by working with community stakeholders, building strong programs, and presenting to school classes and civic organizations, to transplanting Schoenoplectus acutus in local wetlands, catching lizards, photographing wildflowers, and digging up previously planted cottonwoods to assess root development. The variety of experiences and the diversity of people I encounter are treats for me. The learning curve stays steep and I like that – usually. Because of my work at Prescott Creeks, I often find myself looking for the rivers and streams in other communities that I visit.

When asked why I am involved with the creeks, the challenge is to pick a single reason. There are many. I grew up in the Midwestern suburbia and the nearest creek was a little trickle that emerged from a pipe in the local park. That muddy little excuse of a stream (I now know is called Turkey Run) captivated my attention in ways that I still can’t explain. Water, bugs, toads, box turtles, and box-elders pulled me in like no other place. In my work, I’ve had the opportunity to personally experience, and observe this sense of wonder in kids, and college students, adults and even in seniors. My involvement with Prescott Creeks is about making our community a better place for those of us who are here now, those who will visit soon, and for those who will follow behind us. And, secretly, selfishly, I get paid to splash around in the creeks.

I’ve consciously not picked one creek as a favorite. Each of the creeks in our watershed and neighboring watersheds are individual friends that I’ve been getting to know over the years. Look closely and you’ll see that they have personalities. I’ve made an effort to visit each of the creeks on a regular basis and see what their mood is at the time. Sometimes they are jubilant in a summer downpour, which is often in contrast to their contemplativeness after a winter snow. I’ve seen them dance in the sunshine and wither in the heat of summer. Our creeks are alive and diverse and dynamic. I love to see how they change over time.

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