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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

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Feeling the need contribute to the well being of others I researched and followed several organizations until I found TREES WATER PEOPLE. I am not very wealthy so I needed to feel my small offerings were getting a bang for the buck. Combining technology and local communities dedicated to improving peoples lives this non-profit is rocking it. In the central highlands of Honduras clean cook stoves improve lives by producing a lot less smoke in homes and reducing the tedious labor of gathering wood. Water cisterns made by a simple, and extremely durable design ease families through the dry months. The appreciation and gratitude the village people showered on us was very touching. I will be with TWP for a long time.Tamara Winter Nelson, Boulder, Colorado

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of working with Trees Water and People in a project on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. My coworkers and I have twice traveled to South Dakota to help furnish the Solar Earth Lodge. Trees Water and People is facilitating the production and training of renewable energy for native americans. The Lakota people are trained to build and install solar heaters greatly reducing heating bills. The native americans we worked with were truly working to improve their lives and to protect their planet in partnership with Trees Water and People. The is a grass roots organization that partners with people with great needs and great dignity

Jill68

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The representatives from this organization are hardworking and passionate. TWP's noble cause to help both the environment and the needs of a community benefit us all around the globe. My volunteer experience with TWP was so much fun. Great mission, great people, and educational as well. I hope to participate again in the near future!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Trees, Water & People is truly an amazing, hardworking and inspiring organization. This group of dedicated and genuine individuals continuously strive to make positive impacts on people and the environment. As an intern for National Development I am having an extremely beneficial experience learning about the interworkings of a nonprofit and getting the opportunity to be a part of the incredible work TWP is doing nationally. The balance of a human based approach that coexists with the environment is a rare and beautiful thing. I will absolutely continue to stay involved with this organization and support thier endlessly positive impacts.

Fran L

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Trees, Water, and People is.a unique organization. They are small enough To have personal contact with The projects they sponsor and large enough to make a real impact through careful planning and collaboration with local groups. I'm excited about the new garden initiative on t he Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I have seen in person how these projects can raise self esteem AND conserve energy on the part of the people receiving help from TWP. I participated in an Ecotour to the reservation sponsored by TWP.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen Trees, Water, People's work first hand on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This organization works WITH the Lakota people, empowering them to help themselves. Henry Red Cloud operates a renewable energy center with the help of TWP. He trains Lakota men and women to construct and install solar heaters. Hundreds of reservation families are now warmer while honoring the Earth by reducing their dependence on fossil fuel.

Trees, Water, People also has projects in Central America and Haiti. These help to address the loss of forested land by replacing inefficient and unhealthful cooking stoves with ones requiring 70% less wood, while producing less smoke. Local women are consultants to assure that the type of stove matches the style of cooking in the area. Local entrepreneurs are encouraged to set up factories using local materials. TWP stove owners are delighted with the lower cost of cooking and cleaner air. In Haiti especially the ability to boil water to combat disease is critical.

I highly recommend this organization.

Review from Guidestar

Sherry16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Trees, Water & People is an amazing and inspiring non-profit organization, which is why I am an intern for grant researching and writing. They help communities help themselves by teaching them how to continue the work that TWP has helped them begin. By teaching local community members how to improve their home environment (with cleaner burning stoves), how to save energy and utilize what Mother Nature offers (with solar heating), how to grow their own community gardens with healthier and heirloom produce (within a shelter to lengthen the growing season), how to grow and plant trees (to help recover after a natural disaster), and how to reduce their environmental impact footprints, among others, TWP promotes and passes on knowledge and skills to help create a healthier environment for everyone, as we are all connected. There is no better way for a community to help themselves than with using their own hands-on work and experience, and then to continue passing it on to future generations, or even other communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been included in the Trees, Water & People family for almost a year now as a National Program Intern. I cannot find the right words to describe the amount of gratitude and appreciation I feel for the excellent staff. They are people who truly care, truly want to make the difference, and who will truly go beyond all expectations to achieve positive change. I have witnessed so many community driven activities that help everyone involved to grow, learn, and open their eyes. I believe in the programs TWP has created and look forward to seeing them continue to succeed.

Betsy12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a currently development intern at TWP, I am continuously impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff. It has a been an incredible experience to learn more about the non-profit sector and the necessary resources and hard work for executing high-impact projects. Trees, Water & People are endlessly dedicated to community driven projects that improve the quality of life for individuals. As a student of engineering, I have been very impressed by their ability to connect innovate technology with culturally appropriate solutions. I hope to continue to be involved with TWP and watch their ever growing impact.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the International Development Intern during Fall 2011, I had wonderful experience with TWP. The staff, and everyone involved for that matter, is dedicated to fulfilling the mission and bettering the local and global communities we live in. I enjoyed the positive energy in the office and the welcoming atmosphere that created a thoughtful and forward thinking work environment.

Holly D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had such a pleasant experience this summer as an international development intern for TWP. The staff was exceedingly welcoming and full of passion for what they do. Each one of TWP's programs is so detailed and well-organized, even though I read up on the organization before the start of my internship, I found myself learning something new about it every day. The knowledge and experience I gained about the meeting point of humanitarian work, grant-writing, and environmental conservation is invaluable.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer on and off for the last few years at TWP and have absolutely loved it! The staff, board and other volunteers are wonderful. Their approach to non-intrusively introducing sustainable, health-improving projects is thorough and deeply rooted in a belief to change communities through their own means and labor!