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What You Do Matters: Join Our Steward In Place Effort!

What each of us does in our yard and neighborhood impacts our local creek, river, lake, or ocean as well as our soil, plant, and animal communities. We can use that power for good to enhance our watersheds together and develop an intimate partnership with nature. When you support WMG with a donation, you are ensuring we can continue to offer free and affordable virtual events and adapt to meet pressing needs while cultivating these important relationships.

Our goal this summer is to raise $85,000, and we already have $40,000 in matching funds from several major donors, so when you donate, your gift will be doubled!

This is the basis for our Steward In Place effort, which started as a rapid response in April to offer our in-person classes and workshops in a virtual format. Between April and July, WMG offered 33 virtual events with a whopping 1,182 participants! We’re thrilled to be able to adapt many of our programs to a virtual format and continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve with opportunities to learn, make changes at home, and care for our watershed. Our dispersed events help community members get out in their neighborhood to pick up trash and pull invasive plants, as well as building their own backyard basins and rain gardens.

We’re quickly adapting our fundamental programs, too. Our Flow365 community science program is continuing to grow (now at 63 participants!) thanks to our socially distant monitors, the Co-op has implemented mini-workshops to increase hands-on, personalized learning experiences, and we are adapting our work with schools to virtual formats as well. We are also very excited to offer a new, by appointment only, audio tour of the Living Lab to ensure the space can continue to be a safe and educational model to benefit the community. 

Tippy Taps Provide Affordable Hand Washing Options
Our international sanitation work with tippy taps, low-tech hand washing stations, has become critical to address local needs. WMG has constructed and installed 60 tippy taps throughout the city to improve sanitation at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and many K-12 schools. Brian Flagg at Casa Maria Soup Kitchen notes that “the homeless people that eat at the soup kitchen don’t have places to wash their hands, and now they have a place to do so... they enhance the quality of life for people at the bottom.”

New Summer Internship
After hearing about the cancellation of so many summer internships, we launched a new, nine-week summer internship program. Our cohort of seven diverse, virtual interns helped with a mix of projects, from designing virtual family activities, to drafting a zero waste plan for WMG’s programs, to assisting with green infrastructure projects with limited income neighborhoods, to watershed planning efforts with the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative.

Monsoon Film Festival
Celebrating all things water and nature, join the WMG community at our virtual Monsoon Film Festival on September 24th! From the comfort of your own couch, enjoy the screening of our favorite short videos submitted by our audience and the award-winning documentary, The Beaver Believers. Get your tickets!

Please support our Steward In Place effort and other life-changing programs by donating to our summer fundraising campaign. When you make a gift, your donation will be doubled! This is a crucial moment to ensure we can continue our Steward In Place effort as well as adapt all our programs to the social distancing needs of today to ensure we can build healthy watersheds for tomorrow.


Lisa Shipek
Executive Director