At the close of 2017, we created a remake of the Latino pop-music sensation, “Despacito,” sharing our message of restoring our desert rivers, pasito a pasito, bit by bit. We hope this message resonates with you, because we can’t accomplish this goal overnight, but we can make real change if each of us does our part over time.
We launched our We Are One Watershed campaign in January 2017 as a lens to focus our work in this divisive political climate. Through this campaign, we committed to: doubling our services for low-income communities, empowering women, increasing diversity within our organization, and building bridges across political divides to restore our rivers. Just like our river restoration work, this work is accomplished pasito a pasito, step by step. So while we’re celebrating what we’ve accomplished in the last year, by no means are we done with our campaign.
We’ve implemented a grant and loan program to enable limited-income families to install rain gardens and rain tanks thanks to a partnership with Tucson Water. Our new Women’s Build series provides special tool trainings and Co-op workshops exclusively for women participants. Our Living Lab is now a bilingual campus, featuring interpretive signs in English and Spanish along with adding Spanish-language classes and tours. We’ve also established Latino Engagement interns as an annual position to expand our community outreach.
Of special note is our partnership with the New Hope/Nueva Esperanza Church, in southern Tucson, where we partnered with Sonoran Institute to completely transform their property with rain gardens and green infrastructure. This church is in a dangerous flooding zone, but is now accepting rainwater to create a beautiful campus and build an environmental ethic among the congregation (see page 12).
Thank you for supporting WMG as we build on all the great progress of 2017!