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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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



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.



Rating: 5

Trees, Water & People's mission is to improve people's lives by helping folks protect, conserve, and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends. I think that this approach is the right one as they then can live with nature in a better way and get some real autonomy. The team of Trees, Water & people is just remarkable in efficiency and positivity! People should invest in them...



Rating: 5

Trees, Water, People has been providing tools and support to developing nations and native american communities stateside for many years. Because they operate in a well establish international network, they are able to make a huge impact to so many people's lives.

We have the luxury of seemingly unlimited resources in the community where we live. But in the communities where TWP operates, resources are scarce and therefore so very important. By focusing on social impact and sustainability, the results are self-perpetuating. Give a woman a fish, fish for a day. Teach a woman to fish, fish for a lifetime.

I am proud to be associated with such an extraordinary organization.



Rating: 5

I am the National Director of Trees, Water & People....and I am humbled by so many friends and associates speaking up on behalf of our work. Thank you for this. You inspire me to be a better man and to try new approaches to difficult problems in hard places.


Rating: 5

I have closely observed the operations of the organization as an outside auditor and am always humbled by the true dedication and hard work of the staff. The mission of the organizatioin is always in the forefront whether it is a local activity, activities on an Indian Reservation or work in Latin America. I have been able to watach the organization grow from it's humble beginning to a great organization that is really making a difference in the world and is being recognized for it's accomplishments.

Review from Guidestar