Are you looking to install green practices at your home, but need assistance? Watershed Management Group’s Green-Living Co-op can help you transform your landscape to conserve water and energy, grow food, promote wildlife, and much more, all while saving money.
The Co-op is based on a barn-raising model where members learn practical skills by helping implement projects at people’s homes. Members of the Co-op have access to:
- Experienced, certified instructors
- Our community of active volunteers
- Discounts on services
- Special project subsidies
Membership in a WMG Co-op and participation in workshops are free. To learn about or join a WMG Co-op in the following communities, please click on a link below:
Once signed up, you will receive a weekly bulletin announcing upcoming Co-op volunteer opportunities to earn hours, special events, and other member benefits such as subsidies and discounts.
Anyone may participate in the Co-op. Co-op members are given priority to sign up for workshops. We encourage participation regardless of race, religion, gender, ability, nationality, age, sexual orientation, ethnic background, or prior experience. Youth of any age may participate in projects, though they must be a minimum of 14 years old to earn hours. Renters may host workshops contingent upon the landlord’s permission.
Members must contribute positively to the overall progress of the workshop to be credited with hours. Members are credited with 1 Co-op hour for every hour worked. Workshops are generally 4 to 5 hours in duration. Members may donate or exchange their hours to others in the community as they please.
Members, including those who cannot contribute physically at a workshop, may also earn credit hours by helping with special events. Please talk to us about ways you think you may be able to contribute. WMG also offers free community workshops with neighborhood and other community site partners. While these workshops offer a similar educational experience, sweat-equity hours can not be credited for time spent volunteering at these workshops
Homeowners can host a workshop or hire us to produce an integrated design for their home landscape regardless of whether they have accumulated Co-op hours. However, in order to qualify for the sweat-equity discount on the workshop instructors time the client must have accumulated 16 Co-op hours for one 4–5-hour workshop, or 4 hours for a 2-hour consultation. Steel culvert cisterns require 2 workshops, and therefore 32 hours are required. Hosts that meet the hours requirement within 6 months of the workshop date can be reimbursed the difference in the rates.
To apply to host a workshop contact your Co-op coordinator.
► Cost. We strive to make our workshops as accessible and affordable as possible. The actual costs of hosting a workshop is based on the type of workshop, materials needed, and includes the workshop leader's time for the site visit, planning, designing, preparation and workshop instruction. Projects typically require 16 to 30 hours of the instructor's time. We offer an additional discount for the workshop leader's time to low-income Co-op members. Occasionally additional financial subsidies are available to Co-op members for project implementation. These are announced in our Co-op bulletin. Anyone interested in sponsoring workshops for low-income members should contact their Co-op coordinator.
Workshop hosts are also required to provide sufficient snacks and drinks for workshop volunteers.
► Difference Between Co-op Workshops and Public Workshops. Co-op workshops are residential workshops where success is based on the input of volunteer labor to complete projects and reduce the cost of workshops. Participants in these workshops will be awarded Co-op hours; however, anyone may attend.
WMG also offers a variety of public workshops, outside of the Co-op program. These include workshops developed with community groups, local businesses, and neighborhood associations, and are not considered Co-op workshops. These workshops often have different educational goals and funding sources, and they will generally not result in Co-op hours.
Get to know the WMG Co-op—watch this short video