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My name is Sarah Marty-Schlipf, and I am delighted to join the The Watershed Foundation as the new Donor Relations Specialist. I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself and my role here, and I’m eager to get to know you, too.
I’m a native of Kosciusko County, raised in North Webster and Syracuse, and like many kids here, I grew up camping and swimming, canoeing and creek-stomping, making memories (and occasionally mischief) in and around our beautiful woods, lakes, and streams. If you couldn’t find me outdoors, then you could probably find me reading a book, sometimes outdoors. My love of good stories took me to Ball State, where I studied literature, and to Antioch University, where I earned a Master’s degree in writing. My passion for community-focused work led me to a career in libraries and education, where I spent over a decade. In my free time, you can still find me outdoors, sometimes reading, but more often gardening, trail-running, hiking, camping, and river-romping with my husband, Ben, and our three dogs.
After eleven years in Illinois, we moved back to this area in late March, in the midst of a pandemic. While I don’t advise relocating during a public health crisis, it has made me aware, daily, of how lucky we are to have access to wide-open green spaces, fresh air, and clean water, and of how essential these shared resources are, not just to our collective health and wellbeing, but to our spirits. Through the Indiana Master Naturalist program, I’ve had the opportunity to gain a more nuanced understanding of our landscape, and to connect with a remarkable network of people and organizations, including The Watershed Foundation, who love where we live, care deeply about good stewardship, and are committed to the work of protecting our natural resources. If you are reading this letter, then you are part of that work.
You make the work possible.
As the Donor Relations Specialist at The Watershed Foundation, my focus is on our relationships with supporters and stakeholders. I’ll work with the team behind the scenes, managing donor records, preparing reports and communications, and putting together events and educational opportunities, from cocktail parties to project tours. You’ll also see me out in the community, connecting with our supporters, sitting down with you to listen and learn more about how and why you are invested in this effort. Maybe you’re a lifelong lake resident, or maybe your family has farmed nearby for generations. Maybe you kayak down the Tippecanoe River every summer with your kids. Maybe you, like me, grew up camping and creek-stomping all over this part of the state.
What do you love about living here? Why do you care deeply about protecting our lakes and streams? What do you value about The Watershed Foundation?
I can’t wait to meet you and hear your stories. Meanwhile, I’m honored to join you in the work.