The YBEEP Board recently accepted, with great reluctance, the resignations of Bill and Julie Bradley.  No two people have made more contributions to the formation and continued success of YBEEP than Bill and Julie.  The basic concept of offering classroom and field presentations to students in the Yakima Basin that focus on natural resources was put forth by Julie over 20 years ago, while several others sat around a table at a local restaurant, unsure of just how to meet the need for increased awareness of such issues as salmon restoration, water quality, and riparian habitat.  In just a few minutes, Julie sketched out the basic operating framework for YBEEP that has been the basis for its success and growth ever since.

But that was only the beginning of Julie’s contributions to YBEEP.   Unlike so many of the rest of us who may come up with a good idea and then expect somebody else to make it reality, Julie left her classroom teaching job and served as YBEEP’s Director for nine years.  Her leadership, professionalism, and high standards during those nine years were the foundation for YBEEP’s continued success.  Her commitment to serve the teachers and students and provide superior educational opportunities helped establish YBEEP as a source of quality classroom presentations and field experiences.

Bill was present that evening YBEEP was born, and has supported YBEEP in many ways through the years.  In his capacity as Manager of the Yakama Nation’s Wildlife Program, Bill encouraged his staff to participate in YBEEP classroom and field presentations.    Bill and Julie were gracious enough to host many social events that contributed to YBEEP’s growth and success.  We who were fortunate to be there will always remember those wonderful evenings on their patio and the good food, with the full moon rising over the hills around Selah.

Bill and Julie did not hesitate when asked to serve on the inaugural YBEEP Board.  Their support and wise counsel during the formative stages of YBEEP as a 501(c)3 non-profit were invaluable.  The successful effort to obtain non-profit status for YBEEP was due in no small part to their insights and steady leadership.  All of us owe a huge debt of gratitude and appreciation to Bill and Julie.

All the teachers and students that were touched by YBEEP over the more-than 20 years of its existence, and there are several tens-of-thousands, wish the best for Bill and Julie as they enjoy the sunsets over the Baja beach.  Thank you.

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