Since first hearing about WMG at a green fair in 2007 I have been a strong advocate for their mission and vision of creating healthy and sustainable communities and environments. While water is a focus of the organization overall sustainability starting at household and building up through neighborhoods to cities and regions is what they are all about. My first co-op workshop was in 2008, learning all about rainwater cistern installation in a neighbor's yard. In 2011 WMG transformed our backyard into an oasis of shade and flowers that works well into my DIY workspace and outdoor shower. As a board member I have watched the organization make new connections in new regions through grassroots advocacy and supporting local priorities. WMGs international work reflects this focus as well. Rather than going into a community and telling them what they need, WMG's international programs let the communities guide the process. WMG's staff learns about the context and needs of the community before suggesting best-practice solutions based not only on the community's needs and desires but also the community's abilities to utilize and maintain these solutions.
I have taken many of WMG's Classes and have found their combination of hands-on interactive learning to be both educational and fun. I have taken a multitude of classes from different groups, but love the structure and level of expertise and community building that WMG's classes offer. I highly recommend WMG as a leader in Green non-profit groups for 2012.
I started volunteering with WMG in 2011 and have already learned more than I thought I could in a few short months. All the leaders have been very friendly, knowledgable and dedicated to helping the community learn and adopt the concepts of water shed management and conservation.
I worked for a few years as a volunteer in WMG, earning co-op hours. I have always been impressed with the quality of personnel that lead the workshops and how much I learned about water harvesting, gray water harvesting, and sustainability. Eventually I incorporated earthworks and had two cisterns installed on my property. Then last year, my school received a school yard grant from WMG. WMG staff taught the second and fourth graders water conservation concepts in our Science Lab and also worked with parent and teacher volunteers to install a cistern that also helped mitigate flooding of our Science Lab. To illustrate how much the children valued their lessons on water conservation, one 2nd grader said, ""This is the best day ever!!!! The cistern came and we're having exploding cupcakes!" WMG also worked with volunteers and dug earthworks to slow and spread the huge quantity of run off from our parking lot so it is now being used by trees and plants rather than flowing down the street. The kids also enjoyed planting and caring for native plants in that area. One of the 2nd graders wrote to WMG after it rained and said, "The water harvesting worked fantasticly! And it even overflowed! The water harvesting river even had rapids in it. There was a waterfall at the Zuni Bowl. We made a lake and a river. The plants are so happy. It was wonderful."
Watershed Management Group has worked at the church I pastor in inner-city Phoenix twice, last October and February. They planted the right-of-ways along the streets, and a section closer to our buildings. These areas are blooming beautifully now and add so much color to our community! We are grateful for all of the volunteers who used waterharvesting techniques to plant and the wholesalers who donated the trees and bushes.
WMG has found a way to empower any person, from those with less means to those with generous means, to create their own water future. Their green infrastructure work helps a homeowner to cool their home, be shielded from urban heat islands, and be safe from temperature extremes, by using volunteer work and free rainwater to grow vegetation. In a complex water law arena, any person can influence their water portfolio without being a water manager or public official by participating in WMG efforts. They are a group of hardworking employees and have a very knowledgeable advisory board. They have worked well with municipalities to create change in design standards to help progress the region toward more low impact design. Great group!!
I heard about Watershed Management Group (WMG) when they were in the formative stages in 2004. I had been involved with a group of people who were concerned about the future of Tucson in regard to peak oil, climate destabilization, and potential economic collapse. We were focusing on the sustainability of Tucson, located in an increasingly arid desert region. When I learned what WMG was about--a non-profit organization, aiming to work at the very basic grass-roots level to improve Tucson's water future through rainwater and greywater harvesting and doing the work cooperatively through volunteers--I was very excited to become involved. I have contributed to some of the hands-on projects and some of the fundraising projects and continue to follow their work and contribute in whatever way I can. Their accomplishments over the few years of their existence have been phenomenal and I believe their model of direct, cooperative, hands-on learning while doing is an amazingly effective example of the way to make change.
I moved to Tucson in 2001 after having spent 37 years in Switzerland. From a wet weather to the desert, I realized I have to save water by all means. From having collected rainwater by hand and having conserved it in buckets for landscaping to meeting with WATERSHED MANAGEMENT GROUP, I am confident that all together we will make Tucson a green and better place to live. I have learned so much from WMG and am committed to work with WMG to preserve the environment and help the community to have a sustainable living.