Sherwood Trust
Founded by Donald & Virginia Sherwood
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Community Initiatives


Sherwood Trust seeks to support grassroots efforts at community problem solving and collective impact initiatives to address local challenges.  Recent community initiatives include:

2020 Census

The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and is required to take place every 10 years. Government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits use Census data for a wide range of activities, from allocating federal funding, to planning business development, to determining voting districts. Preparations for the count will be underway in 2019, including with local outreach efforts spearheaded by Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC).

Sherwood Trust has partnered with Blue Mountain Community Foundation (BMCF) to support a fair and accurate Census Count in our region in 2020. Sherwood Trust provided seed funding to start the Walla Walla County 2020 Census Fund to support outreach activities, particularly targeted at reaching hard to reach populations.

  • Learn more about the 2020 Census from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the count.

  • Review this Fact Sheet about what’s at stake for Washington State, including data about hard to count areas in the 2010 Census.

  • Explore this interactive Hard-to-Count Map to see results from the 2010 Census.

  • WA Counts 2020 created two one-page fact sheets with quick and easy information on why the census is important, in English and in Spanish.

  • Read this article about how Sherwood Trust and BMCF’s position opposing the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. As of July 2019, the federal administration agreed to comply with court rulings stating that the question could not be included in the 2020 survey.

Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship

Community members asked Sherwood Trust for deeper dive learning opportunities on diversity, and we are excited to offer this study group experience, our 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship. The program will explore topics that will expand participants’ understanding of the complexities of diversity and inclusion. Fellows will learn skills to advance these values and strengthen their ability to lead and be an ally in their personal and professional lives.

This program was facilitated by Rick Griffin of Jubilee Leadership Academy, regionally and nationally recognized for his work facilitating diversity learning experiences. The cohort is using the National Coalition Building Institutes’ workbook, Leading Diverse Communities, to help guide their conversations.

Congratulations to our 2019 cohort members: Amanda Perez, Angelica Can, David Walk, Deisy Haid, Elisha Pritchett, Everett Maroon, Guadalupe Perez, Jim Pearson, Kandice Kelly, Linda Herbert, Lindsay Engh, Luis Rosales, Marisol Becerra, Mary Campbell, Meagan Anderson-Pira, Megan Toliver, Merri Anne Huber, Punkey Adams, Rhonda Gould, Ruth Ladderud, Susan Prudente, Tami Paul, Teri Barila, Terri Silvis, Toni Alvarado-Jackson, Ursula Volwiler, and Wes Walker. We look forward to learning from and with you!

Community Indicators

Sherwood Trust has been part of a steering group with Community Council, Blue Mountain Community Foundation (BMCF), and Walla Walla County Health Department examining how to use data to better understand trends and opportunities in our region.

To help identify metrics that are meaningful indicators of our quality of life and that can be used and shared over time to measure progress in our community, we contracted with the Washington State Budget & Policy Center in 2015 to create a report for the Blue Mountain region – Walla Walla and Columbia counties and the Milton-Freewater area.  This work was based on the Washington State Budget & Policy Center’s Progress Index, with more than 100 separate measures of state-wide trends.  This report was a first step towards identifying a system to be used locally and updated on a regular basis.

We held “Data Walk” meetings with community members on December 17, 2015 and February 25, 2016 to solicit feedback on initial findings.  Read more about the process and the final report through Community Council.

Community Conversations

Learning more about regional data trends inspired a visioning project called Community Conversations, a partnership of Community Council, BMCF, United Way of Walla Walla County, Pomegranate Center, and Sherwood Trust. This process invited residents to a series of workshops in summer and fall of 2016 to learn together, identify shared values and priorities, and develop a vision of our region’s future. Sherwood Trust has committed to use the community priorities generated through this process to inform our future grantmaking. Nonprofits and government entities in the Walla Walla Valley are also incorporating this information and these ideas into their operations and plans.

The Community Conversations priorities are:

  1. Access to education: The region will be renowned for excellence in education for the entire population from birth through retirement.

  2. Strong and diverse economy: The region will have a strong economy that supports a large base of family-wage jobs in multiple sectors. The region will foster business creation and innovation and will provide more employment opportunities for teens and youth. New opportunities to connect food production to tourism will build on the existing rich agricultural base.

  3. Health and well-being: People of all ages will be able to access a full range of health services. Healthy lifestyles will be supported by access to healthy food, regional trail networks, and recreational facilities.

  4. Care for nature: The region’s abundant natural treasures and environmental resources will be sustainably managed, protected, and celebrated.

  5. Safety: Residents and law enforcement will work together to cultivate safe environments across the region.

We invite you to read the full report for more ideas on ways we can work together to create a bright future for the Walla Walla Valley.