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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Pollution Abatement & Control

Mission: Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to improve people's lives by helping communities to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends.

Results: Nationally, TWP is actively involved with helping to improve the lives of Native American families living on the reservations of the Great Plains. There, where the winters are extremely long and harsh, Native Americans commonly spend more than half of their income on their exorbitant utility bills. Together with our reservation-based partner, we have built 850 economic solar heating systems, saving tribal families 20-30% on their annual heating bills, and trained more than 175 tribal members in residential and facility-scale renewable energy applications. We have also planted trees and shrubs around the home sites for more than 160 additional families, further lowering heating costs and associated emissions by acting as an important wind blocks during the frigid winter and providing much-needed shade during the sweltering summer. Internationally, TWP works extensively in Central America and Haiti. Together, with our country-based partners, we support 8 community tree nurseries that produce over 650,000 trees annually to aid in reforestation efforts, planting over 4.3 million trees to date. We have built 47,800 clean cookstoves. Each cookstove decreases a family’s need for firewood by 50-70%, as compared to standard open fire cooking, and reduces carbon emissions by at least 1.5 tons per year. When vented to the outside of the home, these improved cookstoves also decrease indoor air pollution, which is responsible for the death of 1.9 million women and children globally every year.

Target demographics: low-income, rural and peri-urban communities in Central America, Haiti and on Native American Reservations in the U.S.

Geographic areas served: Latin America and U.S. Native American Reservations

Programs: Clean Cookstoves Program, Reforestation Program, Solar Energy Program, Tribal Renewable Energy Program

Community Stories

108 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sally77

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to do a volunteer placement with Trees, Water & People while on an extended visit to Colorado from Australia. The staff are incredibly supportive and committed, and the work they are doing is truly amazing. While I was there they were working on a campaign to get 500 clean cookstoves installed in Guatemala, which has huge benefits for human health and the local economy as well as slowing deforestation and climate change. They also work with the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and Lakota Solar Enterprises on Pine Ridge and have recently helped a Lakota family to build a compressed earth house, complete with solar panels and a solar air heater. The solar air heating systems are manufactured at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, which provides jobs local people, and also trains people from other First Nations to take the technology back to their own communities.

Former staff

Rating: 5

TWP is an organization that has found an intersection where renewable energy, sustainable building technology, and food sovereignty can empower and improve impoverished communities. Their work explores vital new frontiers in the fight to eradicate poverty in places such as the Pine Ridge Reservation, and the employees are driven people who are passionate about the work they do.

Zachary7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with TWP this summer, and I feel that while doing so I gained a great wealth of knowledge and experience in the non-profit industry. It is amazing to work with people that care so much for the work that they do, and it has inspired me to do the same as I develop my future career upon graduation this spring. I have been very lucky to intern with TWP and learn from their very knowledgeable and caring staff. Top notch organization with a top notch cause!

FC Public Media

Client Served

Rating: 5

Molly and everyone we have worked with at Trees, Water & People are personable, professional and passionate about making a difference. Their hard work has changed how communities across the globe look at energy, health and sustainability. As an organization, we are always eager to work with them and share stories, knowledge and insights. Keep up the great work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the amazing opportunity to intern at TWP and I could not be more pleased. The staff was incredibly helpful and they really strive for helping their interns advance in their professional career. The experience I got while interning with TWP has helped me land jobs. I am very grateful to have been a part of that.

1 VeganDancer

Former staff

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with the dedicated staff, board members, interns, and volunteers of Trees, Water & People (TWP) for several years. This small but mighty Colorado-based nonprofit partners with local communities here in the US and throughout Latin America to accomplish great things! We cannot save the planet without helping the people - this is where TWP shines.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an intern at TWP currently. I have rarely felt so inspired by the work that I am involved in, and so supported and encouraged by the people I work with as I do here at TWP. I have learned so much about nonprofits in general and about TWP's amazing programs throughout both the U.S. and the world. I have also been given opportunities to explore many different aspects of what TWP does, even getting the chance to visit Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This entire experience has helped me grow professionally and personally a ton already.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great place doing wonderful things! So happy to have been a part of such a life-changing organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Trees, Water, & People several times through their Tribal Program on the Pineridge Reservation in South Dakota. Every volunteer experience has been inspiring, grounding, and fulfilling. Trees, Water, & People is an organization that is addressing one of the longest contentious issues in America; Native America Oppression. It is doing so with "boots on the ground" practices, like planting trees, building gardens and homes, and donating food and supplies to Lakota locals.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a International Development intern at Trees, Water & People, and I cannot express how wonderful the TWP staff is, as well as the work that they do in the U.S. and abroad. TWP is uses a rare approach to sustainable development in that they work BOTH in the U.S. and abroad, and the emphasize the health and well-being of BOTH humans and the environment. Their holistic approach also targets their work in some of the most marginalized communities around the world to work WITH them lead better lives as opposed to traditional forms of development which can have a top-down approach. TWP is quite the opposite, and always works directly with local non-profits and community leaders who know their communities best, and what they need - they are always working from the bottom-up.

As an intern, I gained practical grant-writing skills, and I was able to apply the knowledge from my Master's program to assist in their data analysis efforts and even help them build new partners. The staff is flexible with each intern and allows them to make the best of their experience! I felt taken care of, valued, and I made 10 new friends in the process of getting to know the entire staff. Keep up the great work!!