Building Natural Bridges: The Ethical Work of the River Steward

Sometimes, when we ask people to talk about the ethics of their work and the pathways they have taken to be where they are, they offer up their best linear moves and memories. Many of our listeners are interested in learning the point-a-to-b directions people follow as well as the google maps they rely on along the way. 

In talking with Jason Frenzel, we found out that he prefers the career that winds and bends, not unlike the streams he helps to protect in his stewardship coordinator position with the well-respected and innovative Huron River Watershed Council, where among other initiatives he is responsible for the popular Adopt-A-Stream program. And indeed, where some people see points and lines, Jason sees ways to connect them. We sensed this ability, based on the many and varied community roles he fills--from his outreach work with the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation program to his planning responsibilities with Slow Food Huron Valley and the HomeGrown Festival.

So it should not surprise us, that what we remember and admire most about Jason is his belief that his best ethical work is when he can build shared interests between groups using the river and other natural resources, who have already decided they have nothing in common. In creating these new natural bridges, we believe he encourages everyone to become stewards for common ends.