New Executive Director Has Big Plans for Friends of Deckers
The State Journal
22 May 2014
By Cynthia McCloud
As a hiker, kayaker and wilderness camper, the new executive
director of Friends of Deckers Creek has appreciated the
organization’s work since long before she applied for the job.
“My husband and I live in the watershed so the rail-trail is close
to our house,” Suzanne Moore said. “I can bike to work, which is
Moore was raised in North Carolina and has lived in West Virginia
for nearly 10 years.
Her enthusiasm for the outdoors coupled with her resume of
managing nonprofit organizations made Moore the best candidate for
the executive director job, according to a FODC spokesperson.
“This deep-rooted love of outdoor recreations instills a
conservationist mentality that most lovers of nature could relate
to,” FODC said in a press release announcing Moore’s appointment.
“This conservationist mentality is vital to the mission of FODC
and makes her an excellent fit with our organization.
“In addition, Suzanne has performed a management role for an
outdoor recreation company as well as a director role for the
Alzheimer’s Association, West Virginia Chapter.”
Moore started work April 22. In the six years since she left the
Alzheimer’s Association, Moore was raising her children, a
6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.
“I was ready to get back into the workforce and I wanted to find
something I could be really passionate about and something I
really wanted to do,” Moore said. “When this opportunity came up
it fit my lifestyle perfectly.”
Moore said she’s brainstorming projects she’d like to start while
learning about other FODC initiatives that she’ll continue.
“There are several really big projects that are sort of in the
works. They’re so new I can’t speak about them right now,” she
said. “There are a lot of ongoing projects I’d love to keep
One of those is the Citizen Scientist Monitoring project. Thirty
people from the community volunteer to collect bi-weekly water
quality measurements at 38 sites throughout the watershed,
providing important pre-gas drilling baseline data. Moore will
work to get the $5,500 grant that funds the program renewed.
She’ll also work on a 10K that’s coming up in October called the
Education is also really important to Moore.
“Getting out into the school system and educating youth about what
they can do to help preserve the watershed is one of my most
important things to make sure stays alive and grows,” she said.
Two ways that happens is with the Youth Advisory Board and the
outdoor learning park.
FODC Youth Advisory Board members are people age 18 and younger
interested in clean water and helping the community. Their mission
is get more youth involved in helping clean up the Deckers Creek
watershed for conservation, preservation and recreation through
youth-led projects and research. They do hands-on activities
including stream monitoring, litter pick-ups, fund-raising and
educating younger children. YAB members come up with service
project ideas and write grants to fund them.
In 2009, FODC developed the Sabraton Outdoor Learning Park. It
includes an outdoor classroom pavilion, community mosaic mural,
walking trails, seating, native gardens and plants, public art
created by local youth, interpretive signs, and is located on a
“The Youth Advisory Board likes to go out there and meet,” Moore
said. “It’s open for the public too. It has some great information
about some of the aquatic life in the creek. That’s a really nice
area. It’s still new and we’re still working to expand and improve
FODC is also working on its water remediation efforts.
“One of our biggest concerns is the Richard Mine area,” Moore
said. “It’s an old abandoned mine that’s pretty much the main
source of pollutant in the creek. Our water remediation director
deals with things like that. The biggest threat to the watershed
is acid mine drainage in that location. We need to get something
going to help clean that area because right now it’s hard to
concentrate on things in the upper watershed when we have that
source down here that’s really a major problem. In the future
we’ll be working to remedy that.”
FODC is always seeking help, especially with summer coming, she
said. “We always have things for volunteers to do.”