Laying the Groundwork for Environmental Justice Literacy: Learners to Leaders Curriculum

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As a network of grassroots organizations, Groundwork USA is deeply involved in environmental justice, both at the community and national levels. As an environmental organization that centers people and the places where they live, work, and play, we are continuing to develop educational tools and resources to aid other organizations in advancing their environmental justice work.

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Mayah's Lot cover photo

An Overview of River Rally 2018: What to Expect

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Every year, people from around the country and from every sector—academics, inventors and innovators, advocates, public servants, and general enthusiasts—attend River Network’s conference, called River Rally. Aside from being fun—with abundant nosh, beverages, outdoor field trips, and live entertainment—it is a veritable professional development powerhouse, with lots of opportunities to network with peers, learn about new tools and approaches, and connect with mentors.

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Un-conference: Public Lab’s Annual Barnraising

In the spirit of bringing a community together to collectively raise a structure such as a barn, Barnraising participants come together to test environmental monitoring tools in the field, brainstorm new research projects, share about environmental concerns, and develop strategies to address them. The event is hosted in an “unconference style.” This means that people collectively set the agenda, and join to participate and collaborate rather than just present, talk, and listen…

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Grants and Funding: National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Grant Program

The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places – achieving these community goals through strategies that incorporate arts, culture, and/or design. Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners deliberately integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work – placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. This funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create or preserve a distinct sense of place.

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Water as a Human Right: Public Health Research and Advocacy in Detroit

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As a community-based grassroots organization, We The People of Detroit (WPD) aims to inform, educate, and empower Detroit residents on imperative issues surrounding civil rights, land, water, education, and the democratic process. WPD has worked tenaciously with its network of volunteers to provide water to Detroit residents and advocate for a sustainable water future.

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Learn a River’s Name Before It’s Gone by Akiko Busch

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Once, on a road trip with friends from New York to California, I kept a list of every river and stream we crossed, starting with the Hudson.

After the Delaware and the Susquehanna, we found ourselves crossing the Cowpasture River and Salt Sulphur Springs, Clinch River and Bog Swan Creek, Poor Hollow, Rio Puerco, Cottonwood Wash and Moore Gulch. Though I probably dozed off and missed a few, and many remained unidentified by signs, by the end of the trip there were 113 on my list.

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Rain Barrels: DIY Green Infrastructure for Your Home or Business

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You may have heard the terms point and nonpoint source pollution. To demystify these terms a bit, a point source is a known source of pollutants, such as a factory or a sewer treatment plant. Nonpoint sources are everything else: lawns, roofs, construction sites, driveways, and roads. Pollution from these sources can take a variety of forms, including mud, bacteria, fertilizers, and toxic waste like oil and paint. Stormwater collects these pollutants from multiple sources, then introduces them directly into our streams, rivers, and lakes.

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A Community-Driven Cleanup: Restoring the Duwamish River by Hannah Kett

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DRCC/TAG takes the time and energy to build relationships, listen to the communities’ interests and needs, and collaborate with them to develop action plans that focus on empowering their voices and actions. This, in part, has enabled DRCC/TAG to leverage a $60,000 EPA Urban Waters Small Grant into close to $1.5 million invested in Duwamish Valley community priorities.

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It really was a “Watershed Awakening!” by Gail Heffner

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It really was a “Watershed Awakening”…the growing awareness and eventual decision made by Calvin College to turn its attention to Plaster Creek, the impaired creek that drains the watershed in which the college is situated in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Back in 2002, Calvin College began involving students in service-learning activities that evolved into today’s Plaster Creek Stewards, a highly successful collaboration of college faculty and students, urban residents, local churches and schools, and community partners working to restore the health and beauty of our 58 square mile watershed.

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