WMG did an amazing job at my home. I did two workshops with them and I couldn't be happier with the results. I started really just thinking about wanting to save some money and water at my home and was pleasantly surprised to learn that what I do at home contibutes to larger goals of restoring Tucson's rivers. Thanks for all your hard work!
Review from Guidestar
If you are thinking of working with Watershed Management Group on a project, think again.
I'll try to make this brief, but give you an overview of what happened. I attended 2 workshops and 2 installations at WMG. My boyfriend Sam and I volunteered 16 hours to earn hours to host our own co-op installation workshop. In the workshops we were told that the Tucson Water Rebate may take care of the whole cost of installation, we were excited about this opportunity. Next step was a consultation that cost $285. Where the designer came out and came up with a rainwater harvesting design for $5,800. Even though I had explained to her my budget of $2-3,000. Hoping the $2,000. Rainwater rebate would cover most of it. I asked her to rework it to fit my budget and she said it would be $50/ hour to re-work my plan! I said no thanks but now I've spent $285 and don't want to spend more money to rework her plan, so I'm stuck. I wrote her to explain my dilemma and got ghosted for 3 months. Frustrated, I wrote the director and was not contacted at all for 1 month. So I went to the Watershed Management lab in person and spoke with someone and the director called me the next day, he didn't give a refund and recommended I get the planned reworked with a new designer. I decided to give it another try. I then got an email saying it was too costly to put me with a new designer and put me back with original designer. I wrote and said this wasn't ideal and no joke, this director called me 'hostile' in an email saying maybe they shouldn't work with me. Then called me and I asked him why he said I hostile in the email and he said my 'font size got larger' which I didn't see on my end at all! So I'm out $285 y'all and apparently I'm hostile! I never yelled, cussed or was rude during any interaction and I just don't get it. I told them my experience calmly and directly. Sigh, I really don't like confrontations but they are too disorganized, unprofessional and all over the place to give an affordable rainwater harvesting plan. Highly recommend you don't go with then for rainwater harvesting needs.
It has been my pleasure to volunteer with Watershed Management Group over the past year. WMG is a unique combination of community, advocacy, and education to deal with one of the most critical issues in the desert southwest: water. They are making a difference from the ground up and I have been lucky enough to make a small contribution to this grassroots effort to change the way we deal with water issues here in Arizona.
They hosted one of the best organized, most engaging scavenger hunts/educational events during a city-wide cycling/engagement event. I was impressed to watch children walking away from facility, excitedly telling their parents about how they can move a piece of clay and it redirects water from one part of the 'yard' to another. Amazing group of volunteers and staff there left all the visitors impressed with the scope and depth of effort the organization has to improve our water education and reduce our usage.
I am constantly in awe of the incredible work that the staff of Watershed Management Group is doing to restore our groundwater through rainwater harvesting and river restoration. This work is so important because Tucson has been in a drought for 17 years and relies on Colorado river water for nearly all of it's water needs. As more states suffer from drought, there will be more competition for that water. Meanwhile, tailings from abandoned mines are seeping into the Colorado river. In Phoenix, they are selling the CAP water that was stored for future use to Nestle to sell it back to us in plastic bottles. Watershed Management Group is giving individuals the ability to help restore our aquifers through education and a volunteer coop that installs rainwater harvesting features in peoples yards. Their work is vital for the future of Arizona. I think that rainwater harvesting is so important that I blog about it regularly. I am also producing a documentary on rainwater harvesting - so more people can learn about it and incorporate it into their own landscaping. Watershed Management Group is an indispensable resource.
I am so proud that my home is a Watershed Management Group site demonstration. Through their co-op program we learned how to turn the flooding hazard from stormwater into a resource. With their instruction to the co-op volunteers, earthworks were installed to slow, spread and sink stormwater throughout our landscape. WMG has also taught us how to reuse our water. Our washing machine and showers drain into the landscape. The desert community loves the shade and beauty that is spreading and feels safe that this is created through sustainable means.
WMG has led the way in water harvesting in Southern Arizona. They have helped the City of Tucson and Pima County to support water harvesting investment in their communities.
I attended a WMG water harvesting workshop given at the U of Az Agriculture Center. It was professional, If you had decided to go ahead with a project in Tucson, the City would give $2000 in credits for your water harvesting project.
WMG also had a "tour" of significant completed water harvesting projects through the City and County. It was a tour de force! Excellent projects, enthusiastic owners and much learning seeing these projects at completion.
WMG is critical for water independence . They work closely with Tucson Water. That "completes" the circle of water for our community and leads to water supply safety for Southern Arizona.
I had been interested in water conservation on a local and personal level for awhile when I noticed one of their trucks logo. Researching online, I found the City of Tucson rebate classes for water tanks and grey water installations. I saw a chance to volunteer at workshops helping to create more sustainable environments at people's homes. The barn-raising model appealed to my sense of community, self sufficiency and even survival, as we live in a desert. I signed up for the classes and the workshops. I couldn't have predicted how contagious their enthusiasm is or the quantity and quality of the knowledge I have gained. Everyone there has multiple expertise in this field and are eager ,willing and available to answer any questions I have had. I've been able now to share with neighbors and so many others about proper tree pruning, plant choices and their planting, landscape grading for water retention, drip system and grey water installations. I've discovered my love for building various types of rock walls and the purpose of each. I also learned valuable information from other volunteers at the workshops. WMG attracts inexperienced and seasoned persons who are all interested in helping our environment whether it's their own backyard or on a grander scale. I've attended over 20 workshops and l continue to learn something new at each one. It's amazing to see the transformation that a small group of people can accomplish in a small amount of time. That realization is forever carried with every volunteer. An important aspect of their work is their involvement with commercial installations, including the City Council offices. The more visible this type of work is, the more people become interested in it for themselves. So, I also volunteer to help maintain my Ward office. It was gratifying to see all the people who stopped by on the annual tour this year. But I've forgotten to emphasize how much fun we have! Young, old (I'm 65) , digging in the dirt, it's always a great experience. Thank you WMG!
Out of an ordinary desert home, Watershed Management Group has created a progressive, sustainable, and beautiful environment. Their ability to design and tastefully create an example of a supportable home, charmingly designated as a "Living Lab", is equally matched with their willingness to educate the community. I have learned about rainwater harvesting, desert soils and composting, native desert plants, greywater harvesting, green home infrastructure...the list just continues. Their group oriented spirit is empowering and only adds to their appeal.
As an intern at Watershed Management Group, I've had awesome opportunities to serve the greater public. For the past four months we have been learning about rainwater harvesting, local food, green infrastructure and more. It is great to see how passionate WMG members are about their mission, and I am excited to support it.
Watershed Management Group (WMG) is exceptional in Top Notch Leadership, not just in Tucson, but on this planet Earth. As we know, Water Is Life (quote from Standing Rock). No one associated with WMG takes water for granted, ever! When you are working with WMG, you will see the full cycle of the rainwater landing on a roof, landing on the soil, the street, wherever it lands and how it will be channeled to either a rain barrel, cistern, a basin, however it can be captured and used again and again. WMG thinks long term. WMG thinks globally, acts locally. WMG's amazing, competent staff provides opportunities on an ongoing basis so that you and your family lives sustainably in your home, as they are there from start to finish with their many programs, such as: I Labor With My Neighbor. So many incentives to get you started, and Excited about each drop of rainwater being harvested! The talented Executive Director, Lisa Shipek, educates us with the newsletter, A Watershed Moment, that has become a collector's library series of the most advanced sustainable ideas, again thinking long term. As WMG was laying their foundation about 12 or more years ago, I had the opportunity to see first hand, the integrity and professionalism of the staff. Later in 2009, I participated in the 9 day certification program. WOW, what a hands-on experience that is! (An intense "digging your heels" in the soil boot camp, learning Rain Water Harvesting from A-Z, lots of fun too, especially with Brad Lancaster involved in the training. Catlow Shipek, highly knowledgeable, is always seeking how to be more efficient, with WMG's skills in high demand. And when you take a tour of WMG's Living Lab and Learning Center, it'll just knock your socks off. But that's OK, cuz then you're ready for a Yoga session, offered in the late afternoon. Did I mention just how FUN ~ WMG staff are?
Thanks to Watershed Management Group, Earth Day may breathe easier. Each year since this dedicated non-profit began, I have witnessed how its mission to encourage, assist, teach, and -labor with their neighbor- in Tucson and globally has put in to practice Earthworks to capture precious drops of rainwater. Some of the basic permaculture concepts are observation, always begin small, as then it is easier to correct any mistakes, and SEE the possibilities of what you have at hand (your home/yard) and how it can be transformed by following simple Earthworks. It truly is a beautiful ART in every sense to see a dry barren area transformed into a breathtaking oasis by simply digging a basin, placing chosen rocks around this basin, like a natural frame, adding compost, a few native plants, mulch, then rainwater...how exciting to witness this miracle come to bloom. Next comes the native birds, butterflies, bees, a shelter for small animals, and shade. Yes, the work is old-fashioned, roll up your sleeves hard work and with these co-op workshops with WMG comes yummy satisfying food and drinks. Yes, the certification is intense, I know from experience, and on a high bar, so those who become certified are fully trained to teach in this field. Yes, WMG has attracted staff that do not take these water issues lightly, but are constantly refining their skills to offer the best practices available they know. Recently I asked Executive Director, Lisa Shipek, when WMG will hold the next certification completely in Spanish,. She responded, when WMG gets the funding. Last fall, WMG offered their first certification completely in Spanish, quite a successful accomplishment! Yes, WMG is about outreach locally, globally, continually! Their staff in India are folks that are not asking the people there to learn what works in the United States, but encouraging the people in India to use practices that work there in their villages. Check out the award-winning Tippy Taps ! It takes tremendous commitment to stay focused on one issue - Water, which is a basic human right for all. Thank you to WMG for doing your part!
After learning about water harvesting from Brad Lancaster (water harvester guru extraordinaire, world traveler. lecturer, on the Board of Watershed Management Group, who walks the talk, lives in Tucson, and is passionate about improving our water management here in the desert) I discovered I, too, am on fire about water harvesting and the many ways we can do it here (in this desert, where we get more annual rainfall than municipal water we use!!!) I found in WATERSHED MANAGEMENT GROUP an outlet and channel for my efforts. They are a wonderful group of dedicated people who have organized a multifaceted effort to save our water and use it wisely. They cover education, outreach, policies, active demonstration, and so so much more! I feel my monetary donations are going to expand this worthy effort (there is so much good being accomplished, and so much more room for growth), and my time and efforts on the co-op are fun, educational, (and at times-aerobic!) promote sense of community, and together, we can bust this city to sustainable and beyond! It doesn't really matter where in Tucson I put my effort, any water harvested and well used is more water in my pocket!...so to speak...
I began volunteering with Watershed Management Group (WMG) in Tucson, AZ over 10 years ago. Living in the Sonoran desert with our declining aquifers, I was drawn toward their mission and their grassroots, community-based approach to learning to live well (and thrive!) with only the 11 inches of rain Mother Nature gives us each year. I've participated in their hands-on co-op program learning easy-to-implement and inexpensive rainwater harvesting strategies that I am now using in my own yard. WMG is a fountain of knowledge for living well in our desert, from collecting rain to improving soils to understanding desert plants and animals. They teach people to work with nature to grow shade, food, and improve quality of life by "planting the water" first. WMG is truly a community group actively working with individuals, community groups, and government entities to help affect positive changes with low-tech, low-cost techniques accessible to anyone. I am now in their Docent training class and looking forward to spreading the simple, but important concepts to others. As more and more people and local government officials implement these strategies, we can make a difference to restore our aquifers and improve our urban environment for everyone. Plus, WMGers are a fun bunch! WMG's Living Lab is a great place, full of laughter, positive energy, and hope.
I love WMG! They are always effective with, and appreciative of their volunteers & donors. They have a clear mission and great outreach. Not to mention everyone there is super-friendly!
I am a volunteer and docent trainee with Watershed Management Group. Every volunteer opportunity has been an opportunity for hands on learning in conserving water - a valuable squandered resource in our water scare Tucson environment. The docent training has provided more in depth training in watershed management principles and specific knowledge about the implementation of strategies both in the WMG Living Lab and in the community. This is an excellent much needed nonprofit offering training and most importantly, implementation of good works in water conservation.
I originally contacted Watershed Management Group to learn about water harvesting at home. I was surprised to learn that WMG also has has expertise in using that water for gardening and landscaping and uses it in a way that benefits the environment by promoting conservation of the resource. The Staff and Volunteers are dedicated to their cause and really do Walk the Talk. They have made me feel welcome attending additional classes and I have learned a great deal. The work that WMG does benefits the entire community not just some small segment. I am hoping to continue my association with WMG as a volunteer.
I attended one of their water harvesting classes and it was amazing. So much great information shared and they were open to helping with questions, etc. Great group doing great things!
This group takes on visionary goals while keeping its action deeply rooted in community action. I'm excited to volunteer for cistern building projects and as a docent.
I have been working with Watershed Management Group for about four years as both a Board Member and now colleague. Watershed Management Group is an outstanding organization providing creative solutions to a desperate need: water conservation, reuse, sanitation and optimization in arid regions. The staff is involved, challenging, creative, full of life and dedicated. The leadership strives in every way to direct this enthusiasm in productive directions. The result is one of the most productive and important non-profits I know of and a model for conservation organizations world-wide. Great job, y'all! Keep up the great work!
An outstanding group devoted to solving many of the southwest's most pressing issues. Their technical expertise and community engagement skills truly set them apart.
Through this amazing organization, I have discovered my life's passion for watershed stewardship. It's focus on community appealed to my desire to connect with others through hands-on projects, while the high quality training offered met my expectations to learn practical, best practices for HOW to care for our land and water. I started as a volunteer, then became a co-op member, and now am a monthly donor. The more I engage with the organization, the more impressed I am at its focus, excellent use of funds, and impacts.
WMG is the most positive nonprofit I've ever been involved with! They are at the forefront of the water harvesting movement in the US and an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to use water more productively. WMG's board and staff members are constantly building tangible solutions to the water crisis in ways that bring people together. They empower neighborhoods to change abandoned lots into food forests and troublesome storm runoff into lush green corridors. The thrill of swales and basins working as designed during a rainstorm is absolutely addictive!
I knew Lisa and Catlow Shipek, as athletes(!), when WMG was still in its infancy, and found them to be two of the most dedicated, down-to-earth, hard working, and open individuals I ever knew. Lisa certainly has great long-view/big picture planning capabilities, yet WMG's work and M.O. are firmly hands on, community based, and local solutions oriented. All of their work regarding watershed management, from cistern installation, landscape projects, to educating the public and training individuals are top notch, level-headed, and laced with good humor. I am a catering chef who has donated time, foods, and discounted services for different WMG events. I feel great about doing do, and simply love the work they are doing in this and other communities.
~ Steven Gendel, Tucson
SEEDS COMMUNITY CENTER in Tucson has worked with Watershed Management Group on several projects at Peter Howell Elementary School in Tucson. The first big project was a rainwater collecting project in the courtyard of the school. We had a 1320 gallon tank crane lifted into the school courtyard and rain gutters installed to catch rain water runoff of the roof into the tank.
The second big project was this last spring. The install of catch basins for rain water running off the auditorium building roof and channeled to collect in basins on three sides of the building. We planted 8 native trees and 40 native plants and the time of the install. The students will learn how to use the scarce water of the desert to native plants benefit and creating a new cooler, greener environment around this building. They did an excellent job of planning these two projects for us and sent very competent people to help us make these projects a reality! Thank You Watershed Management Group!
Great nonprofit with a unique niche providing services that no other organization does. Influences policy and practice at the local, city and regional levels. Transparent, community-oriented, and fun. Makes water harvesting, composting, water conservation issues understandable and solvable. Should be replicated everywhere.
The Watershed Group is really stellar in it's comprehensive and professional approach to all that subscribe to it's efforts. I believe they are truly the best run non-profit in Tucson.
Liz Kinsworthy, RN, BSN, MC
This is a wonderful organization that I am a part of for the past year or so. It is dedicated to teach people about sustainable living, specifically through rainwater and gray water harvesting. Every workshop that I attend I learn new information about water harvesting, and as important, I have the chance to meet great people that share similar values and come from all over the Valley to help making our world more sustainable, one earthwork at a time. With all the current global environmental issues, it feels great to be a part of the solution!
Grateful for information provided on all aspects of rainwater conservation, greywater systems, matters important especially important to the desert community. Watershed Management Group keeps on top of innovation and continually provides community education through hands-on workshops, certification programs, and sponsors webinars. WMG is a valuable resource.
I joined the WMG labor co-op in March, bought a house in June, and my first workshop at my house is in November. Let's plant some water and then plant some SHADE! Woot!
WMG is smart and fun! Since 2003 I have enjoyed learning all they have been sharing thru the tours, seminars, co-ops, webinars and special events. I never would have guessed that one day I would prefer to use and have a composting toilet instead of the old standard one.
My first memory of the USA was as an eight-year-old girl coming from Ethiopia. I was surprised at the abundance of clean water and the lack of appreciation for this resource. Years ago it was a blessing to know the Watershed Management Group was getting established in Tucson. I enjoyed learning more and supporting them from afar. Obviously I was ecstatic when WMG began working in Phoenix.
I love to volunteer for the co-op events because it is beautiful to see people implementing newly learned solutions not just for themselves but for their neighborhoods and communities as well. WMG’s Co-op program is based on a barn-raising model where home and business owners transform their landscape to conserve water and energy, grow food, and promote wildlife while saving money.
As a homeowner I was welcome to attend special lectures during the Phoenix certification course this spring. Water harvesting earthworks and greywater systems including food-production were two valuable and useful lectures for me. The Water Harvesting Certification program provides the highest quality and greatest depth of training in integrative water harvesting offered in the nation.
WMG does it all. I have admired this group for a long time and am honored to be a part of the board. The organization has had tremendous success over the last year and I am looking forward to many more years of growth and amazing community impact. WMG is made up of a committed group of individuals who take on fantastic challenges and come out on top due to their conviction and knowledge of what is right for sustainable living. Our latest achievement was the creation and successful adoption of the Green Streets Policy for Tucson that was unanimously approved by City Council.
I have enjoyed every experience I've had with WMG as a board member, donor, volunteer, cooperative member and workshop recipient. Our yard went through an amazing transformation with an exciting earthworks co-op workshop that created shade, wildlife habitat and eliminated major flooding problems.
Every donor should be honored to know that every single cent they provide to the organization is carefully and efficiently allocated to our project work and organizational development. There is no waste to be found here! I recommend anyone interested in creating a restorative lifestyle, saving money and building a wonderful community to learn more about WMG.
Watershed Management Group has taught me so much about water harvesting, earthworks and greywater harvesting. I have volunteered for many groups and they are one of my top and most favorite groups in regards to organization, assistance and just overall genuine considerate and compassionate people.
WMG has been a fantastic partner in our efforts to educate Tucson neighborhoods about sustaining resources given to us by our creator. Communication, design, planning, coordination and implementation could not be better. They are terrific educators and some very fun people!
I volunteered with WMG for a couple of years, doing workshops on cisterns, grey water, passive earthworks, and plantings. They did a passive earthworks and a cistern installation at my house. WMG does great work with their educational seminars, job training in the field, and the many programs they have like green streets. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants hands on experience helping Tucson become water sustainable.
Watershed Management Group is a vital community asset. As I volunteer I enjoy working on sites, and giving educational information at events like the Peace Fair and Tucson Meet Yourself. Demonstrating the "Tippy Tap" is an awesome way to communicate with kids and get them interested both doing service work and the ecology. The "Tippy Tap" is a simple hand washing set up that saves water, and lives since it cuts down on dysentery cases. It's a terrific learning experience to listen to seasoned volunteers and staff members teach how to help make Tucson more sustainable. Meeting people from all over the city, and the country for that matter, who are actively involved in the environmental movement is fun! I have been privileged to work with their certified co-op workshop leaders at several different types of installations. The wonderful thing about water conservation is that there are so many ways to do it:. For a year and some I have helped with : installing a steel culvert and grey water /laundry system, the Green Neighborhood projects at the Ward 3 Office and Salpointe High School, passive earthworks at several homes, planting native plants and fruit trees, diverting flood water, and a Conserve- to -Enhance, subsidy funded, earthworks workshop at my own home.
I have been so impressed by WMG over the years as I have watched them grow (from afar). I am a donor and Facebook follower. Much of what they do helps to educate the community, who can then teach each other better water management practices and help each other with installations and ideas. Through education, consultations, and demonstrations, WMG helps to build a sense of community in the greater Tucson area and in the world!
WMG gets results! They don't just talk about doing things, they do them! And teach others to do them! It's great to see such a small organization get so much done, all while getting the community involved and giving them the knowledge to promote sustainable water use and management in the desert.
I'm a great admirer of Watershed Management Group! I've attended several of their events, including tours of homes that are utilizing the training and support offered by this group. They inspired me to take some "baby-steps" by installing rainwater harvesting in my yard. Great newsletter also!
Seeing second-hand (since my wife works for WMG) how this organization accomplishes an amazing amount of work with a small dedicated staff is simply inspiring. But it wasn't until we hosted a workshop through the Water Harvesting Certification course last year that I truly understood the impact WMG has on each and every person touched by their work. The passion and enthusiasm they inspire in their students is incredible. And the quality of the work accomplished in one day is mind-blowing. Every time I watch the laundry water flow into basins in my backyard (or each time I eat the juicy and potent chiltipines grown by that water) I feel deeply connected to something bigger.
And I also love to see how much my wife enjoys going to work each day (even when it seems there is more work to do than anyone could accomplish in a week)!
If you don't know about WMG you SHOULD. I want to capture rain water, passive, for my landscape and recently had a consultation. Within an hour of walking the site Joe had come up with a plan. Two days later I received the blue print of the design. Not only will the rain water be captured but he solved some flooding problems, will be planting native trees and shrubs and irrigating some of the trees with grey water. My landscape will be beautiful and conserve water.
WMG employs simple technologies to help conserve our natural resources. This is especially true of water harvesting and water conservation, extremely important tactics in the arid Sonoran Desert. Their Green Streets policy is an excellent step in implementing water harvesting in all new roads in the City of Tucson. Through the WMG Co-op program, I installed a plastic cistern, large water harvesting basins, and a graywater system from my washing machine. Through volunteer hours, this program allowed me to install water saving and water harvesting features at a fraction of the cost. Thank you WMG!
Seven years ago WMG founders Lisa and Catlow Shipek brought their skills and talent to the town my family is from in the south of Costa Rica. Watching them there and observing how they've grown WMG in subsequent years is to observe how "ripple up" local projects can translate into changing water policy. They make the difficult work of community organizing and environmental restoration seem easy--teaching from a place of joy; solving problems by way of presenting viable solutions at overlapping scales. They're offering a free education about how change in these complex times takes place to all lucky enough to have the chance to observe.
In a city and state that are divided about politics, faith, economics, and more, Watershed Management Group is serving a vital role that transcends the many WMG basins and cisterns visible around Tucson (and the state). It is creating clarity and consensus about both "trickle-up" restoration projects, and, even more difficult, what sound water policy should look like in Arizona and the Southwest. I've had the honor of collaborating with WMG Executive Director Lisa Shipek, and Program Manager, Catlow Shipek, for almost seven years, in Tucson and in Costa Rica, on basin restoration projects. I study their materials and strategies the way I would were I attending the most exacting college courses. Widely respected, and seemingly universally loved, WMG is setting a unique example about how to create community and conserve water in uncertain times.
The city of Tucson has partnered with Watershed Management multiple times, because they are such an excellent team of professionals. They are efficient, talented and hard working. They helped us craft new conservation policies for the City of Tucson and they recruited volunteers to install rainwater harvesting systems for our Ward 1 Council Office. They are the best.
- Diana Rhoades, Chief of Staff, Tucson City Councilor Regina Romero
I got involved with WMG after taking the rebate classes. Moving from Florida to Tucson I am forced to learn new technique to manage resources. By utilizing the concepts WMG incorporates into their workshops and hosting one or two of my own I will create my green space in the dessert that can be maintained with resources collected on site. The workshops are great and everyone involved is super friendly and fun to work with. It is up to each of us to do our part to conserve our resources and like many people I want to do it but it is overwhelming for one or a few to implement. WMG's group workshop structure make it so much less intimidating and it is truly amazing what gets done as a group in a matter of a few hours. Hope to meet you soon out and about at one of the workshops shovel in hand!
This a great non-profit that teaches sustainability practices through hands on experience, while making an on-the-ground difference. This is a no-frills organization with a great reputation with a large group of volunteers and supporters.
If you want to take your sustainability to the next level or help others to do the same, you should donate or volunteer with Watershed Management Group!
Review from Guidestar
I worked on a project to recapture rain water to use on landscaping. Also on check dams on a ranch to slow the flow of water and grow grass to sheep and cattle. , It was encouraging to watch thses young people doanat their time and efforts in this worth while project. Barbara Buono
I was on vacation in Arizona and went on a project to capture water and build a garden area that used water to great efficiently. I was very impressed with the insight and planning that went on prior to the project. Most of the volunteers were young, but a few of us old-timers were learning skills new to our generation. I fortunately live in an area in N.Y. where there is plenty of water, but this organization has made me very aware that nothing can be taken for granted. I am grateful for the efforts of this group and their dedication to this worth while cause.
I volunteered full time with WMG in India for six months last fall and winter. I established an ecological vegetable garden and managed the landscape of WMG India's partner organization, Grampari. As part of a diverse and talented team, I learned so much about water issues (watershed management, sanitation and hygiene issues) and their role in world problems; more importantly, I learned how to approach finding, sharing, and implementing solutions. My time with WMG was a transformative experience for me, professionally, and solidified my devotion to meeting real needs and addressing pressing environmental and social issues of today and tomorrow.
Last fall I interned with WMG's India Office for 6 weeks. During this time I conducted research on groundwater recharge, accompanied WMG on community visits, supported social media efforts, and conducted a pilot study for a soap making business venture for a women's self-help group. I was thoroughly impressed with Jared and Sowmya's commitment to their work and their close relationship with community partners.
The world is filled with people describing what needs to the done to green our cities (this writer is not an exception) but WMG are walking - or rather, digging - the talk. Their barn-raising model mobilises mainly volunteer groups to work house by house, and street by street. One begins to see how crowd-sourced sustainable urban infrastructure could become a reality.
I've been working with WMG since 2008 and I am continually impressed with this organization. My favorite thing about this organization is the approach they take to solving problems. They always involve the community in a meaningful way and they are always authentic. What other environmental organization have you seen that sets up a composting toilet at their fundraising events?This is an organization that truly lives its values and they have made an enormous difference here in Tucson by educating people about all sorts of sustainable living issues. They teach people about water harvesting, gardening, eating locally, raising chickens, and much more. I also have been constantly amazing by how much this organization does on a very small budget. There is not a penny being wasted. WMG's staff is creative and passionate and I am grateful for the time I have spent working with this great group of people.
i signed on as a volunteer with Watershed Management Group in 2011. I have worked on several conservation and water harvesting projects since then and found them all very instructive. At my own home I have implemented some of the water harvesting techniques I learned. In May a group of volunteers will conduct a water harvesting workshop at my home to install rain barrels to collect water during our upcoming monsoon season in Southern Arizona. I plan to continue my association with WMG and have recommended it to a number of friends and associates.
I participated in the Watershed Management Group's first apprenticeship program and was amazed with the results. I learned how to treat my home and public areas as a watershed and how to capture every drop of water in our Sonoran Desert. Tree planting, landscaping, soil, growing your own food, mulching, composting, installing a cistern... I've used these skills to benefit the community. And you can too! Join as a member and participate in volunteer workshops today.
I have worked professionally and on a volunteer basis with Watershed Management Group for five years. I am always impressed by the creativity and passion of the staff, the entrepreneurial spirit of the organization, and the group's overall commitment to community. Although I am a professional in this field, Watershed Management Group has certainly taken my training to the next level, and I can thank them for many new skills and a broader perspective on the global promise of these techniques.
Watershed Management Group is making a significant contribution to policies and practices that benefit people and the environment. My business, Stream Dynamics, Inc. does watershed restoration work, initially only in a wildland setting. I learned from WMG how we can employ practices such as water harvesting and greywater recycling to heal urban river systems as well. I have taken several classes from WMG and am now doing projects in urban settings to improve the water supply and water quality for people and the environment. WMG has demonstrated that their practical approach simultaneously helps both people and the environment. An important part of their work consists of teaching a series of short courses to resource professionals, policy makers, and homeowners. I have taken two courses from WMG To far: Water Harvesting Certification is a ten day course that goes over the theory and practice of modern permaculture based water harvesting. In this course we went on a tour of successful water harvesting projects in the neighborhoods of Tucson, learned water harvesting principles and design, and then built three different projects: a cistern installation, water harvesting earth basins, and a "Laundry to Landscape" greywater recycling installation. Each one of these projects benefited the landowner. The test at the end was quite rigorous. You need to get 90% to receive your water harvesting certificate. The next course I took was Advanced Cisterns. Like the first course, this was a mixture of site visits, classroom presentations from a wide variety of knowledgeable practitioners, and a hands on component, during which we actually built a ferrocement cistern! The knowledge and experience I have gained from these courses has helped me gain a greater understanding of the relationship between human needs and our water resources. I highly recommend taking a course from this outfit. Also - the people who work at WMG are very smart, dedicated and hardworking, but also fun to be around. They make learning fun. Next I plan to take the advanced greywater class.
WMG is unlike any organization I've seen in the West. A powerful force for change. I feel privileged to be part of the team.
WMG is the most spirited, organized, and effective non-profit I have ever known. It is no surprise that the organization is growing by leaps and bounds. Wherever WMG works, be it to install greywater harvesting systems in a Tucson backyard, inspire neighbors to re-landscape their streets with native plants in Santa Barbara, or reinforce degrading river systems with locals in Burkina Faso, they transform lives and attitudes. All this I know from first being an admiring community member, and since 2011, serving on the Board of Directors as Secretary, and on the Administrative, Events, and international Committees. WMG is successful because they empower communities to implement--and steward--their own on-the-ground change. Their vision and impact continues to grow because the organization is extraordinarily well managed. Executive Director Lisa Shipek's strategic and energetic leadership, along with that of her three fellow co-founders--two of which are based in India, tirelessly propelling WMG into the neediest edges of human ecology--and an outstanding staff inspire me with confidence and excitement for the future.
I took the $1,200.00 Water Harvesting 9 day intensive.Yes they said it would be intensive but the main teacher Catlow is not a teacher.This made it stressful as us 15 students tried to figure out what he meant. There were no smiles till leaving day.We stayed up late with homework,triying to get it all,fearful of the" all important" certification test coming. We drank coffee, etc to stay awake all day as Catlow spoke as he himself knew what he was saying. Guest teacher, visionary Brad Lancaster gave us a blissful retreve 1 day. I wish he would teach it all.Brad spoke with kindness. His passion comes through as he has figured out ways to explain his point for folks who did not already know about that.Sure WMG is onto something great. Seems these reviews aregiving easy credit for just the concept they claim.What about Phoenix? easy money, or here to understand the comming urgency? No rain(heat island)We need shade now.
I have been a WMG Board of Directors member for the last 3 years and have become increasingly optimistic about our mission as well as our ability to realize it. The founders and most staff are a bunch of 30 somethings (many with advanced technical degrees) who decided that instead of entering the corporate work force they would use their skills and abilities to develop hands on programs to educate and implement various resource conservation strategies both locally and worldwide. They are not afraid of hard work and although they are young and inexperienced in many ways, show that they are willing to learn and to not let ego stand in way of success. In a word I would describe this organization as “sustainable”. They are very fiscally responsible and always on the lookout to create new ways to economize and to obtain more bang for their buck in the services they provide. These are exciting times for WMG and the future looks very bright indeed.
I became involved with WMG in 2009 because I was drawn to their work promoting rainwater harvesting. Over the last 3 years they have grown into much more than a rainwater harvesting organization - they are now a regional presence, providing grass-roots advocacy and education for sustainable living practices. Their geographic scope has expanded even more than their scope of activities - they now do work throughout Arizona, in California, Mexico, Indian, and Africa. All while maintaining a culture of regular people doing extraordinary things through a steadfast commitment to a simple idea: we can all live more sustainably by learning and taking simple steps in our communities to reduce the amount of water we use, the amount of waste we produce, and all the small choices we make in our daily lives. The organization has grown by leaps and bounds while never losing sight of that idea and applying it through community workshops that educate and empower people to become better stewards of our endowment of natural resources.
When I first volunteered with WMG I was an undeclared student in community college taking basic math and chemistry classes. After a few workshops, I began to see the importance of the work, and then declared my major at the U of A in Natural Resources - Ecohydrology and Watershed Management. If I hadn't been exposed to WMG, I would never be on the path that I am now!
WMG is the best kind of non-profit--it brings people together to build community through increased understanding of the local watershed and how we can protect it. I've volunteered many times through the co-op, helping to build rainwater harvesting earthworks at public and private locations, diverting street run-off to water trees to beautify neighborhoods, and even helping to build a ferro-cement rainwater cistern. WMG spreads information, connects communities, harvests precious rainwater and run-off resources, restores the watershed, beautifies our communities--and the people are fun. Wow. Love this organization!
WMG is a great cooperative with whom I've been involved for several years. I started out volunteering in Tucson, then moved around AZ and landed in Phoenix where, thankfully, WMG had expanded to. Not only do they do good work with water harvesting, but the projects are SO wonderful for community building!! I hope to be involved with WMG for years to come.