Urban Stream Restoration Training

WMG's Urban Stream Restoration Technical Training provides you with the knowledge and skills to assess, protect, and repair urban streams and washes.
Course description

Through WMG's course in Urban Stream Restoration, you will gain an understanding of how to read and assess landscape forms and processes, as well as to design small-scale restoration features. The course also includes hands-on implementation of those features, with an emphasis on urban wash restoration approaches and practices from backyard to larger scale drainages.

You will gain the skills needed to read the urban landscape from a water flow perspective and begin to identify a variety of techniques for altering existing infrastructure to restore natural processes. Impervious surfaces, such as roofs, parking lots, and streets increase surface runoff in the urban built environment. By studying site details, natural processes and water-harvesting principles, we can restore balance to our urbanized streams, creating multiple benefits for people and the environment. This course will teach you how streams function and how cities can cheaply and easily reconfigure water flow paths to turn nuisance stormwater runoff into an abundant resource.

Course curriculum

Introduction to Stream and Wash Restoration

  • Urbanization & Benefits of Urban Water Harvesting
  • Stream Restoration in Urban and Rural Settings
  • Restoration Techniques & Features

​Application and Implementation

  • Project Design & Layout
  • Reading the Landscape On-Site
  • Hands-on Restoration Workshops, including:
    • Assessment of recent history of a watercourse
    • Identification of problems and solutions
    • Construction of watershed restoration practices
Expert instructor

Van Clothier has been restoring the waters in Arizona and New Mexico for more than a decade. His firm, Stream Dynamics, Inc., specializes in turning runoff and erosion problems into water-harvesting opportunities, using earthworks, urban stormwater retrofits, and riparian and wetland restoration in both urban and wildland settings. Van has worked on a variety of water resources projects with regional stream restoration and water harvesting experts including Bill Zeedyk and Brad Lancaster. He has a degree in physics, and has completed the River Restoration and Natural Channel Design stream restoration course schedule taught by Dr. Dave Rosgen. He is the co-author with Bill Zeedyk of a book called Let the Water Do the Work: Induced Meandering, an Evolving Method for Restoring Incised Channels, which will serve as an optional textbook for this class.


Fee information varies by training and will be included in event listings.

  • The cost includes gourmet snacks and lunch made with locally sourced produce and a Certificate of Completion for full course attendance (upon request).
  • Alumni of the WMG's Water Harvesting Certification or other Technical Trainings receive a discount on the registration costs.
  • Registration discounts are available to AzASLA members and CFMs.

For more information about this course or other Technical Trainings, please email us or call 520-396-3266.

Sponsor. Arizona Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (AzASLA) is a sponsor of this course.

This training is a part of WMG's Watershed Technical Trainings program, which provides advanced trainings in green infrastructure, water harvesting, eco-sanitation, and watershed restoration. WMG's goal is to transfer this advanced technical knowledge to residents, professionals, educators, and community activists who will integrate these practices into their work and teach others.