Meet the Team: Clean Water Director Erika Hollis

April 14th, 2022

It's time to meet the team! Each month, we introduce you to a member of the Upstate Forever staff through a few rapid fire questions. This month, get to know Clean Water Director Erika Hollis.

Erika and Dave Hollis planting trees during a recent volunteer eventWhat do you enjoy most about working for Upstate Forever? 
The people. During my time at Upstate Forever I have had the pleasure of working with great people both within and outside of the organization. I’m encouraged to know there are so many talented, passionate, and motivated people working to protect the Upstate’s natural resources. 

What does a typical work day for the Clean Water Director look like?
I am responsible for overseeing and coordinating the Clean Water team’s progress on our various projects across the Upstate. I stay connected with grantors and project partners and keep them updated about our progress. I also prepare presentations and other outreach materials that we use to educate the landowners and the general public about what local water issues and what they can do to help protect water quality.  

What brought you to the Upstate?
My family has lived in Greenville for 13+ years. We moved to Greenville in 2008 when my husband took a position with Furman University. Shortly after moving here, I was hired at Upstate Forever as an Urban Waters Project Associate and have been working here ever since. 

What do you love most about the Upstate? 
I love having access to such a wide range of recreational opportunities. My family enjoys exploring local trails and waterways. So many amazing things to see within a short drive from home. 

Erika and pup Miya in their backyard oasisWhere’s your ‘happy place?’ 
My happy place is my backyard. Over the years we have transformed our half-acre lot into our private sanctuary full of native plants and animals. My family has spent many days playing in the small stream behind our house searching for critters, including my favorites, tadpoles, and snakes.

Who do you look up to? 
My mother, who instilled in me many valuable life lessons including: 1) be kind, 2) do my part, and 3) spend at least an hour outside every day.

More about Erika

Erika Hollis joined Upstate Forever in 2008. Since that time she has been working on projects related to stormwater management and low-impact development techniques. Her responsibilities also include educating municipal governments, the development community, and the general public on the impacts of non-point source pollution on water quality in our communities. Erika also led Upstate Forever’s efforts to involve citizens in water quality monitoring through the Adopt-A-Stream program.

Erika holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Her previous experience includes work as a Watershed Manager in central Pennsylvania, studying bacterial contamination in the Great Lakes, and as an AmeriCorps volunteer on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. She enjoys using her skills and experience to help protect water and air quality in Upstate South Carolina.

Erika lives in Greenville with her husband, daughter, dog, and two cats.

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