Trees, Water & People

Rating: 4.93 stars   88 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 633 Remington Street Fort Collins CO 80524 USA

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, Tribal Renewable Energy Program
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 84-1462044
(970) 484-3678
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

When I heard about Trees Water People several years ago I knew this was an organization that I wanted to support. TWP not only plants trees but also has created stoves that need little wood and burn cleanly and efficiently. They are bringing simple and affordable solar to families with no electricity. This power changes their lives and does away with candles and non recyclable batteries. Now that I am a board member I am grateful to be more involved in bringing these huge changes to people around the world, which at the same time protect the environment for all.

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Rating: 5 stars  

TWP is a quality organization making meaningful contributions to both people in need and to the environment.

I am excited by the contribution TWP makes with its partners on tribal lands and in communities throughout Central America and Haiti. Over the years, it has expanded efforts to include clean cookstoves to reduce deforestation, and solar energy to provide alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Providing such sustainable solutions also has a positive impact on the lives of the people in the communities TWP serves.

TWP provides the opportunity to get directly involved with projects and people. Over the past two summers, I’ve participated in several volunteer trips to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I’ve contributed to, and learned from, efforts in green building, green business development, and renewable energy. I’ve gotten to know several members of the local community, learning a lot about the Lakota people and the challenges they face today.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Imagine you could plant trees in Central America.
Imagine those trees improving the atmosphere while feeding and shading the family who lives under them.
Imagine a clean burning cookstove can save some of those trees for the future while providing clean air indoors for the family that uses it.
Imagine the children in that family have more time to go to school since they aren't collecting so much firewood.
Imagine that a solar light could allow them to read books after dark.
Imagine that they can charge up cellphones with solar power to connect to the rest of the world.
TWP and its partners is doing all that and more!
Imagine you could help.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Trees, Water & People works with a network of partners in the U.S. and abroad to deliver enterprise based resource solutions to under served communities. Critical issues such as energy for heating and cooking, reforestation, and solar lighting and charging are addressed via creation of local businesses and jobs that provide much needed market development as well as life changing services. I have been thrilled and honored to serve as a Board member for almost a decade, and have had the uplifting opportunity to witness our programs at work in places like Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras as well as the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in the Northern Plains. Meeting and working with our partners such as AHDESA and Prolena in Central America and Lakota Solar Enterprises at Pine Ridge has helped me realize the phenomenal impact appropriate and green technologies can have in developing world settings. And visiting the people we serve in their villages and homes, and seeing first hand the way lives are changed and improved gives me real hope for the future of all of us.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Trees, Water & People does remarkable, impactful, on the ground work to help some of the poorest of the poor in our world improve their lives through shifting resource use. In ways we can barely imagine living in the developed world, TWP helps deliver health, economic, and environmental benefits via strategic partnerships that promote local ownership and sustainability. For 14 years the organization has helped to lead the cutting edge of development strategies to enable people and communities to lift themselves up from the survival level of poverty to become productive, contributing members of societies with hopeful futures. A contribution to Trees, Water & People is a social investment that pays dividends many times over.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from Guidestar
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Trees, Water & People for 7 years as a Board member. I was attracted to them by the wonderful practicality of their appropriate technology work. We live in a complicated world, where it's easy to fill separated and inconsequential. TWP employs straightforward and meaningful approaches to make real differences in the lives of individuals, families, and communities, in cost effective, sustainable, and environmentally intelligent ways. They're at the vanguard of the new movement that's redefining international development and poverty alleviation via enterprise collaborations.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

solar heating projects on tribal homelands in the American West. This program creates jobs in system manufacturing and field installation, while delivering clean, low cost heat to at need Tribal members.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

seek to obtain additional support and funding so programs could expand.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a donor to Trees, Water and People since its founding in 1998 and a Board member for the past nine years. In 2002 I volunteered to spend a month in Honduras building improved cookstoves in very poor, rural parts of the country. It was amazing to me the impact these simple stoves, mostly constructed with local materials, made in peoples' lives - eliminating harmful smoke from kitchens, saving time and/or money collecting or buying firewood. Good for the environment too! I have also worked on cookstove programs in Guatemala and Mexico and last year travelled to Uganda where a new pilot project has been started. This is a great organization with a dedicated and professional staff making full use of the resources it has available.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Trees, Water People since 1998. I was their outside accountant/auditor and, at that time, I knew them as an environmental organization, but not much more. Over time, as I got to know the principals and volunteers that make up the organization, I became more & more impressed at how such a small group of people can make such a large impact on the world. I am now a board member and the organization's treasurer. I have been on many boards in my career and I can truly say that I have never seen an orgaization that "Walks the Walk" like TWP. In many countries (Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, etc.) as well as on the Indian Reservations in the United States, what TWP does is truly life-changing. When I first got involved in the organization I focused on the "Trees" in the organization's name but as I became more involved I realized it is clearly about the people. I am truly proud to be a small part of such a great organization.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I continue to support Trees Water and People and serve on the board because I have seen first-hand the work that they do in collaboration with its partners in Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras . Several independent organizations have recognized TWP for their outstanding work with either cash awards, honors or both. These include the Ashden award from England, the Rio Tinto Environmental award and a UN environmental award. But aside from all the recognition and measurable success, the relationships that continue to grow, the empowerment of local communities that happens as the result of our collaboration with them, and the ensuing improvement to the lives of our partners has gained my undying respect and admiration.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Most recently, in the fall of 2010 I visited the Pine Ridge reservation as a guest of Henry Red Cloud, who has partnered with TWP on his solar power projects. Seeing those solar panels at work in one of the poorest communities in the United States reinforced my belief in the importance of the work TWP does.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work toward creating a larger endowment fund in order to ensure the longevity of our ongoing relationships with host country partnerships.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

It has been an honor to be involved with TWP for the past 11 years. Starting out as a volunteer and recently joining the Board of Directors, I have seen TWP grow as an organization. At the same time, it has been remarkable to watch as TWP's impact in both the United States and in Latin America expanded. TWP's impact has grown due to strong, insightful leadership from program directors that have been able to adapt to continuously evolving environmental and social issues. TWP was on the cutting-edge of the improved cookstove movement as pioneers of implementing the Rocket elbow technology. Likewise, TWP's innovative program on Native Lands in the western US has made them a leader in micro-enterprise development.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

TWP's tree nursery and improved cookstove programs in Latin America. I lived in El Salvador for over two years working on these two programs for TWP. I saw firsthand how much these programs impact the lives of rural farmers and their families.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

building great friendships and working with other dedicated people to improve people's lives while also protecting the environment.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

develop innovative, self-sufficient programs effectively contributing to the betterment of communities around the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I was a donor for several years before I joined the Board, and joined the Board because I believe in the difference TWP makes. What drew me first was the tree planting program in Central America, as well as the healthier cook stoves. As Treasurer and then as Personnel Committee chair, I have seen 1) how focused staff is on making a difference 2) the core mission of working with the local residents and 3)how efficient TWP is and how carefully donations are used. Donations were being collected for Haiti within a day after the earthquake and TWP staff have already been to Haiti to expand the fuel-efficient cook stove and tree planting programs there.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do more of what it does so well in Central America & Haiti, which is help more local people install more cook stoves and plant more trees. And assist Native Americans to install more solar heaters on tribal homes. More local people with more jobs.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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