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Stop and Smell the Leaves

Northwest Outdoor Writers Association
~Notes from the Desk of the Executive Director~

With the changing of the leaves comes one of the most beautiful seasons in the Pacific Northwest. It is my sincere hope that you take time to enjoy the harvest season with those closest to you.

Isn’t it ironic that, as outdoor journalists who tread dearly and closely to the land, we so often find ourselves indoors, buried under mounds of paperwork and stacks of unfinished business on The Checklist?

As professional communicators, we’re always cataloging our outdoor experiences, collecting up the perfect strands, and knitting them together to create a tapestry to share with others...be it in words, designs, images, or broadcasts.

So, while you’re busy running the business of being a journalist, please don’t forget to stop and smell the leaves along the way.

Full Disclosure: I’m penning this indoors, while the sun is shining on one of those spectacular autumn days, with bright blue skies and colors of red, gold, orange and yellow exploding all over the landscape.(Sigh.) There is work to be done...

...including some very exciting projects, which I want to share with you. (And because I know you’re busy, I’m going to put this in tidy, palatable bites, so you can GET OUTSIDE ASAP.)

On the NOWA docket:

  • Outside In (working title): Develop a new educational program for at-risk and inner city children, including a Field Guide (curriculum of field trips) as well as a media/PR outreach campaign
  • Website Overhaul: Create an interactive hub of shared information and ideas, to better serve NOWA members in their outreach efforts
  • Digital Newsletter: Take all the great newsletter content out of the PDF “silos” and make it accessible online
  • Foundation Grants: Procure grants and sponsorships to build our outreach campaigns and “Outside In” program for children

Your input is important to me, so please give me a call or ping me with an email and let me know what you’re thinking. In the absence of your in put, I’ll assume that all my hair-brained ideas are brilliant, and will happily run wild with them.

Speaking of running wild, it’s time for me (you, too?) to go outside. I want to just “be” outdoors for a while, for the unmatchable feeling of crisp autumn air and the crunch of leaves underfoot.

Soon enough, we all have to write, file, sort, color-correct, produce or otherwise create a story...

...to distill our outdoor experiences into tidy, palatable bites.

It’s what we do.

Best always,

Kyla Merwin
Executive Director
Northwest Outdoor Writers Association