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Prineville, OR 97754

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Crooked River Wetlands Recognized Among Nation’s Top Municipal Projects

The City of Prineville is once again in the national spotlight. This time, for its environmental stewardship.

Two national organizations have recognized Prineville’s recently completed Crooked River Wetlands project as an outstanding contribution to environmental protection and clean water.

In November, the project was one of only five nationwide to be named “Exceptional” by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program (CWSRF), which honors excellence and innovation in clean water infrastructure projects.

Also last month, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognized the Crooked River Wetlands with its National Environmental Achievement Award. The honor was especially significant given that the nomination came from City of Vancouver staff, who felt the project deserved national attention.

“NACWA’s National Environmental Achievement Awards are a reflection of the incredible work that goes on 24/7 at our nation’s clean water agencies.  This year’s honorees reflect the outstanding contributions to environmental protection and the clean water community that our Members continually strive to achieve,” said Adam Krantz, NACWA Chief Executive Officer.

In 2005, Prineville was tasked with upgrading its wastewater treatment facilities. Rather than build a $62 million mechanical plant that would consume a large amount of electricity and chemicals, city leaders opted for a more cost-effective and environmentally sensitive approach.

Completed in 2017, the Crooked River Wetlands is an innovative natural wastewater treatment system that established a 120-acre wetlands complex along the Crooked River. While the complex incorporates effective wastewater treatment, it also serves as an interactive community asset with hiking trails, wildlife-watching, and educational kiosks.

The city explored alternatives to costly conventional wastewater treatment process expansions but determined that pursuing a wetlands was the most cost-effective. The project avoided a three-fold increase in System Development Charges and a doubling of customer sewer rates. Approximately half of the $7.7 million project investment was sourced from grants and partner funding.

“The Clean Water State Revolving Fund’s PISCES program recognizes community projects that utilize innovative techniques that improve the environment, public health, and the local economy,” said Dr. Andrew Sawyers, Director of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management. “The economic and creative aspects of this project provide many benefits for Prineville supporting the selection of the Crooked River Wetlands Complex as an Exceptional Project in this year’s PISCES Recognition Program.”

Features of the Crooked River Wetlands project include:

  • Recreational Opportunities – Amenities include 5.4 miles of new walking, running and hiking trails, 3.25 miles of which are paved for use year-round.  A covered pavilion and restrooms provide a gathering place prior to birdwatching, recreational hiking tour, and community events.
  • Educational – What could have been a standard public works project instead was designed as a hands-on educational asset that serves both school children and civic organizations. Local schools are incorporating the wetlands as part of their curriculum, including the design of thirteen kiosks, on topics ranging from the Crooked River Watershed to macroinvertebrates.
  • Environmental Benefits – More than two miles of riparian improvements to the Crooked River have been implemented, as well as the construction of over 120 acres of wetlands, benefitting many species of fish and wildlife, including lower river temperatures.

“The Crooked River Wetlands project cements Prineville’s reputation as a leader in sensible, cost-effective and future-focused planning,” said Frank Dick, Engineering Supervisor for the City of Vancouver, Wash. “We were impressed with how the effort managed to both stabilize the City’s wastewater capacity and stabilize rates, and improve riparian and water conditions in the Crooked River. Plus, the benefits to Oregonians and visitors enjoying the whole river system is something for which the citizens of Prineville can be proud.”

About the City of Prineville
Located east of the Cascade mountains in Oregon’s high desert, the City of Prineville is a resurgent rural community that has preserved its small-town, ranching roots and Western lifestyle while embracing smart growth in a business-friendly environment. With a population nearing 10,000 residents, the county seat of Crook County attracts a diversity of business and lifestyle interests, including tech giants Facebook and Apple, recreational enthusiasts, and a thriving agricultural industry. Incorporated in 1880, City of Prineville operates the oldest continuously running municipal short line railway in the U.S., as well as a public golf course, and airport. Prineville boasts numerous recreational assets, including the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River, and remains a popular destination for anglers and hunters. For more information on City services and programs visit cityofprineville.com.

NANCY
NENNIG

Board Member

Meet NANCY.

Prineville Lions Club

My husband and I have lived in Prineville for 17 years. I retired from the Banking Industry after 18 years, most recently working for Oregonians Credit Union. I enjoy the trails and camping in the Crook County
area.

In addition to that, I have volunteered for the Crooked River roundup for 15 years, am the current President of the Prineville Lions, a member of the Prineville Elks and a Member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

I was an active member of the Chamber Ambassador Committee for 15 years and supported all the Prineville-Crook County Chamber events and projects.

The Prineville Chamber represents all of Crook County and its individuals, organizations and business and I feel with my volunteering and networking I am able to support the Vision and Mission of the
organization.

Duane Porter

President

Meet Duane.

Financial Advisor, DFP Financial and Consulting

I grew up on a small cattle ranch in rural Southern Oregon which taught me the values of hard work, family, and a rural way of life.  I made the move to Central Oregon in 1993 for all of its beauty and activities.  Over the last 3 decades in Central Oregon, I have seen and experienced the incredible growth and expansion of this wonderful area.  In 2018 my wife and I decided to return to a rural lifestyle in Crook County.  With its diverse community, wide variety, and ever-expanding industry, the area has maintained a small-town rural feel and culture.


In 2019 after 25 years in Insurance and Investments, my wife and I decided to open DFP Financial & Consulting, a Private Wealth Management, Planning, and Consulting Firm.   We completely enjoy the people, community and all Crook County has to offer.  Being part of the Prineville Chamber is an important focus for us to give back to and help the business of the community.


In our spare time we enjoy our family and grandchildren; camping, riding horses and doing all that Central Oregon and Crook County offers, and fly fishing the Crooked River as often as possible.

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Andrea weaver

Secretary

Meet Andrea.

Recreation Coordinator, Crook County Parks & Recreation

I grew up on the North Oregon Coast in a small tight knit community. About 18 years ago my husband and I started traveling to Central Oregon a few times a year to escape the rain. We always talked about wanting to move to the Prineville area. We enjoyed the small town feel as well as the ranching lifestyle the area offers. In the fall of 2020 we made the move with our  three teenage daughters and we are so glad we did!

In the spring of 2021 I started with Crook County Parks & Recreation. A few months after that I took the Recreation Coordinator position. I love  working with Parks & Rec. I have met so many wonderful people in Prineville which has helped with adjusting to a new environment.

I got involved with the Chamber to learn more about the community and to grow relationships.

In my spare time I love working with my family on our ranch as well as watching my girls play sports and show livestock.

Casie Allen

board member

Meet Casie.

Owner - Bayberry Lane

My family has called Prineville home for several generations. Being born and raised in this amazing community, I have always felt so incredibly blessed. I strive to be an active part of the community and volunteer regularly. I am deeply involved in 4H, several youth sports programs, and have served on many other local boards and committees. 

My mom and I own a small downtown boutique called Bayberry Lane. Our motto is local people supporting local people. We enjoy being able to give back and strive to love the people of Prineville well. 

Being on the Chamber Board has allowed me to not only serve and express my opinions as a business owner, but also as a local who wants to foster a community that is able to adapt to change while holding on to their core values.

SHEENA
YORK

Treasurer

Meet SHEENA.

Signet Realty

I am the Owner & Lead Coordinator at Firefly Events and I have been planning and coordinating events for over a decade.   I also recently took on a role as a local real estate broker here in Crook County. 

I grew up around southern Oregon. I made a road trip to Prineville with a cousin, on that trip I was introduced to a handsome young Prineville man that later became my husband. I love Prineville and although I wasn’t raised here over the last 16 years it truly has come to feel like my hometown.

I was working for a business that was a Chamber member and I was looking for opportunities to get involved in the community. After several years of attending Chamber functions I was encouraged to join the Ambassador team and then the Board. It has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun to be part of the Chamber both as a member and on the Board.

I love the weather in Prineville. After growing up in the valley with so many days of rain, I truly appreciated having (mostly) defined seasons. Summertime in Prineville is definitely my all-time favorite! We enjoy paddle boarding at Ochoco reservoir, swimming at the Prineville reservoir, floating the refreshing Crooked River, hiking the Barnes Butte or Chimney Rock trails and riding our ATV’s on the many OHV trails.

Alexandra Greenberg

Vice President

Meet Alexandra

Chiropractor, Slater Chiropractic

I was born and raised in Prineville where I graduated from Crook County High School in 2009.  After that, I moved to Portland where I attended both Pacific University and the University of Western States for Chiropractic School. 

After ten years, I returned to Prineville and am now an Associate Chiropractor at Slater Chiropractic.

Since moving back, I have enjoyed how close this community is and realized how much I missed all that Crook County has to offer compared to the big city.  I started attending Chamber events to become more involved in our community and am excited to continue working with the Chamber as Vice President of the board.

I love spending my free time with friends and family, and enjoy getting out to explore all of Central Oregon.  I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, camping, kayaking and many other outdoor activities available in this beautiful area I get to call home.