Positive Energy from Gold Country

Eric Rubenstahl, River Monitoring Coordintaor; South Yuba River Citizens League

I am pleased to deliver a sweet message from Nevada City that all is good here on the home front and stream banks. The term “settling in” has been thrown around quite a bit for the nine of us here in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area. It has been a great couple of weeks filled with working hard, collaborating, and bringing the funk to the social scene. I feel that our AmeriCorps posse has shaken up Nevada City with fresh blood. We have been accepted with open arms by our respective non-profit groups and the other organizations that we partner with. This year is shaping up to not only be an excellent experience but a leap forward in research and program development. eric1

Positive things are happening here at South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL). My days have been filled with prepping for what should be a successful and fun 2012 River Monitoring season. I have been fortunate enough to head out into the field for some site assessment projects. It is awesome to be surrounded by such a gorgeous landscape. For a watershed that is speckled with over 3,000 mining sites and arguably the most re-routed watershed in California, it sure holds big beauty.

In addition to serving at SYRCL, it is great to be part of the AmeriCorps energy. I was so excited to start serving and providing time to such a wonderful community here in California. As the days go by I continue to get my hands dirty, communicate with people, and learn a fresh set of skills. This area of California is rich in history and there are people such as John Muir and John Olmstead that did fantastic things. I am lucky to have their legacy have such presence here in the Sierra foothills. The rest of this year should be full of exciting service and connecting people with their surrounding community and natural landscape.

Between coordinating with volunteers and organizing my river monitoring supplies, I have been able to get outside and explore. We are so fortunate to have motivated, driven, outdoor enthusiasts here in Nevada City that are always up for an adventure. Hiking along the South Yuba is always a great time with its jagged walls, giant granite boulders and rowdy rapids. Last week a couple of us hiked into Castle Peak on the Sierra Crest and lapped the ridge line a couple times on our skis and snowboards. Long views, bright sunshine, and big laughs led to a fantastic experience up in the high country.eric2

I look forward to the rest of this year and know great memories are going to be made. Hard work is sure to ensue, but it will be balanced out with socializing, hiking, boating and anything else we can dream of. I am stoked to have the option to attend so many events and activities here in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area. I can’t wait to let our friendships evolve and build even more connections with people. It’s time to stretch out, go big, and find that perfect mesh between working hard and playing hard.


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