Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Amy Boal (she/her) now lives and works in Boulder County, Colorado, on Arapaho, Ute, and Cheyenne lands.
Amy joined River Network in 2019. Working closely with the entire River Network team as Brand & Communications Director, she steers the organization’s brand identity, leads its storytelling, promotes and expands the reach of River Network’s work and mission, and helps to build a more inclusive and diverse movement for water.
Amy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Oregon. She also worked with the local community, writing and developing community action guides with Oregon Toxics Alliance (now Beyond Toxics) on a range of environmental issues. Amy spent the decade before joining River Network producing nonprofit fundraising events and wearing just about every hat in digital media. Outside of work, Amy is raising a toddler, slowly replacing three acres of lawn and pasture with pollinator gardens and vegetable beds, and spends time supporting and volunteering with organizations like Emergency Family Assistance Association, the Boulder Public Library, and Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
Which River Network value most speaks to you?
This answer has changed a few times since I joined River Network, but lately it’s been growth. We don’t always do this as well as we’d like to, but I see the organization making continued improvement on pausing to ask why we do things a certain way, whether it’s really serving both our team and the broader network, and how we can learn and change. This is also the first job I’ve had that offered a professional development budget to spend how I please. It’s been really rewarding to expand my skills with graphic design courses, the Center for Diversity in the Environment’s E24 program, and even just buying books (highly recommend The Checklist Manifesto and The Intersectional Environmentalist).
What motivates you to go to work everyday?
There’s an internal and external aspect to this for me. Internally, it’s the support of my colleagues. In early 2021, I delivered my baby five weeks early. The entire River Network team rallied around me and my family, stepping up to cover my responsibilities while the contract support we had brought on got up to speed, and even bringing meals to my house. Externally, it’s knowing that our work exists in the real world and helps folks access clean water and healthy rivers. I left my previous job in digital media because the work didn’t really “exist.” If one day the internet disappeared, nothing I’d done there would have lived on. At River Network, our work is tangible, lasting, and reaches across the entire country, which keeps me going, even on the tough days.
Why is equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) important in your work?
I grew up with access to clean and safe water in my home, in my schools, and in the natural areas of my community. This was a privilege I didn’t fully grasp as a child or even as a teenager. I found incredible solace, comfort, and inspiration around the water growing up and want to make sure all kids (and folks of any age!) have that access in their own experiences.
How do you recharge outside of work?
During the spring, summer, and fall, I am most recharged by gardening. My husband and I moved to our current home in 2019 and the 3-acre property is basically all grass. We’ve been working at revitalizing the space with water-wise gardens, planting trees, and putting in a vegetable garden, and it is so exciting to see the little landscape start to change. We had monarch butterflies this year for the first time! Caring for this piece of land we’ve been entrusted with, and getting a workout while doing it, helps my brain quiet. During Colorado winters, I’m usually reading or knitting by the fire, or skiing blues very slowly.