Trees, Water and People is working on a research project with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to document success stories and lessons learned from the Colorado’s Income Tax Check-Off Program, now caled the Healthy Rivers Fund.
It is a great program that deserves your support. Here is one example of what is being done in the field. If it sounds interesting, you should consider volunteering for your local stream team! Here is a quote from a Stream Team participant for you to consider.
Being a member of a Stream Team really gives you the feeling of being part of a team and making a difference for the environment. The team works together to learn more about water quality and to become more efficient at sampling. The volunteer work helps you care about the stream and take ownership of the stream in your area. It makes you feel good about yourself for doing something positive.
Being at the top of the watershed in Eldora/Nederland gives a good baseline of the various measurements of water quality (nitrates, phosphates, pH, conductivity and Dissolved Oxygen). It will be interesting to compare our values to the ones downstream from Boulder or further east. We‘ve had passer-bys stop and ask what we are doing. People are curious about why all these people are standing or wading in the creek and setting up test equipment on the back of a truck. It is a good educational opportunity to tell people what we’re doing and why we’re doing the stream analysis.
The fun part is wading in the creek to take samples and to check the width, depth and flow. Our first training session was early spring when there was still plenty of snow on the ground. We had to use one team member’s cabin/living room to do the analyses since it was too cold to do it outside. Our trainer’s (Paul’s) boot leaked and the water temperature was about 40 degrees F! He never said a word until he poured out his boot and changed socks. The Stream Team also gives you a chance to meet your neighbors and to establish friendships. It’s a great way to become part of the neighborhood. If you like to be outdoors and care about the environment, join a Stream Team today and “Keep it Clean, ‘Cause we’re all Downstream”!
Eldora/Nederland Stream Team
TWP is partnering with a number of dynamic, grassroots watershed groups in the Headwaters region. The Flathead Lakers, TWP’s partner in Montana, celebrated their 50th anniversary on July 16th. Congratulations are in order for the Lakers, one of the nation’s leading watershed organizations. If you have ever visited Flathead Lake and been lucky enough to enjoy its remarkable beauty, you owe a big “thank you” to the Lakers. If you are interested in what the group is doing visit their website (www.flatheadlakers.org). If you want to help them out, buy a raffle ticket to win a new Prius!
The Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center will be adding two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen this summer to accommodate visitors coming from other tribes to learn about solar heating and other renewable energy applications. The Center is managed by Henry Red Cloud who is also the owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises and TWP’s main partner on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It currently includes our main facility, as well as a small strawbale office, greenhouse and garden area, a sweat lodge and several buffalo from the Red Cloud herd.
The new addition to the Center will be in the form of a loft built into our main work and solar heating assembly area. It will be built with volunteers from our friends at Re-Member, a non-profit organization headquartered on Pine Ridge that provides bunk beds, weatherization and other home assistance to Lakota families there.
The materials will be paid for through generous gifts provided by our supporters… who work with us to develop new ways to honor the old ways.
Our Tribal Lands Renewable Energy Program works primarily on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, but also on nine other reservations across the Great Plains and beyond.
We are most delighted to announce that the Body Shop Foundation has awarded TWP a $10,000 grant to support our forest-saving stoves project in Honduras.
The Body Shop Foundation supports innovative global projects working in the areas of human and civil rights and environmental and animal protection. To date, The Body Shop Foundation has donated over $20 million in grants, and also regularly give gift-in-kind support to projects and organizations. We’re happy that our stoves project — which combines environmental protection and women’s health — has joined the long list of other causes this Foundation has supported over the years.
TWP provides assistance to watershed groups and their leaders. We help build the capacity of these groups so they can be more effective in protecting their local watershed. Why are we working to build grassroots organizational capacity? Hundreds of watershed groups have formed in recent years. In order to be successful, they need to have strengths in a wide array of areas–fundraising, public outreach, planning, project implementation, board development and volunteer managment just to name a few. TWP helps groups in those areas where they identify a need. We help groups become more effective and efficient so water resources receive the best possible protection.
Are you interested in water? Are you concerned about the health of your rivers and lakes? Are water quality, water-related recreation, wildlife and aquatic habitat, or water supply important issues to you?
If the answer is “yes” to these questions, I encourage you to join your local watershed organization. There are thousands of grassroots watershed groups around the country comprised of people like you. While the mission and activities of each group varies, they are built on the idea of bringing people together and involving them in watershed management and protection.
Why would I encourage you to join a watershed group—wherever you may live? My work at Trees, Water and People is guided by two core beliefs:
o That natural resources are best protected when local people play an active role in their care and management; and
o preserving local trees, wetlands, and watersheds is essential for the ongoing social, economic, and environmental health of communities everywhere.
The more people involved in the watershed movement, the better off we all will be. If you have any difficulty in finding your local group, let me know. I would be happy to help.
TWP’s Director of Watershed Protection
As I work on the SunMobile’s renewable energy and energy efficiency curriculum, I have found many great opportunities to learn more from leading experts in the field. Most recently, I attended the annual Colorado Renewable Energy Conference which was in held Pueblo, Colorado June 6-8 and put on by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. I went to many break-out sessions that ranged from the latest in wind and solar energy to how such systems are financed and how vehicle technology is keeping up with the current fuel efficiency needs (or not!). I also attended two all day workshops — the first focused on teaching about energy, and the second dealt with emerging renewable energy technologies. The entire weekend was really a great way to touch bases with the many people I have worked with in the past and for meeting new people who share similar interests and goals for renewable energy, and letting them know about our environmental education programs.