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Call for Nominations: Urban Waters Learning Network Awards

February 11

Please follow the instructions below, submit your nomination by Tues, Feb 11, 2020, and join our mailing list to receive updates on the Urban Waters Learning Network Awards!

The Urban Waters Learning Network (UWLN) Awards, sponsored by the U.S. EPA, celebrate Learning Network members making significant achievements toward improving their urban waterways and revitalizing the neighborhoods around them. These members embody the spirit and value of the UWLN and exemplify the UWLN’s goal of providing peer-to-peer support, solving challenges through collaboration, and sharing. Award recipients are chosen by a selection committee chaired by River Network and Groundwork USA, the UWLN Coordinators. EPA may provide technical clarity on the award categories, but will not be on the selection panel. 


Individuals or organizations must be members of the UWLN’s online Basecamp community, be past or current Urban Waters Small Grants recipients, affiliated with an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location, or past participants in an Urban Waters Learning Forum, the Urban Waters Delegation, or other UWLN training opportunity. Individuals and organizations that received an award in 2019 are not eligible for nomination. Federal employees and agencies are not eligible to win but may submit a nomination. Award winners are required to attend the award ceremony in San Antonio, TX, on the afternoon of Fri, May 15, 2020.

How to Enter

Submit a Nomination Form with a Nomination Support Letter via the Web Entry Form, or via email to dtoledo@rivernetwork.org and maria@groundworkusa.org by Tues, Feb 11, 2020.  Indicate whether your nomination is for a Signature Award or an Expert Award (descriptions below). Self-nominations are accepted.

Award Descriptions

  1. Learning Network Signature Award (one award/year, limited to individuals) – Made to an individual who contributes to the overall success of the Urban Waters Learning Network (UWLN) and its members by giving of their time to listen and respond to peers seeking their expertise and experience. This individual is approachable, connects peers working on similar projects, mentors others, models inclusion of many viewpoints, and inspires their peers to learn and grow together as experts.
  2. Learning Network Expert Award (up to 3 awards/year, awarded to individuals and organizations) – Made to an individual or organization who pursues innovative, effective, impactful, and inclusive strategies to achieve results that benefit their local urban waterways and the communities that surround them. In the nomination form, please indicate the category/categories under which you are submitting the nomination.

If nominating an individual organization for the Expert Award, please choose from one of the following categories (nominations may be submitted under more than one category):

• Green Infrastructure & Stormwater – Nominee demonstrates innovative and effective use of green infrastructure and other approaches to stormwater management – through planning, education, advocacy and/or installation – that yield positive environmental impacts and provide other quality-of-life benefits to the local community.

  • Youth Leadership – Nominee demonstrates a highly successful youth leadership program that opens up avenues for youth in underserved communities. Program shows track record of providing access to youth, a rigorous training in environmental concepts, community context for youth work, and/or support for their path forward as adults in the field.
  • Environmental Justice, Equity & Inclusion  – Nominee demonstrates a commitment to and implementation of environmental justice principles toward the goals of obtaining protection from environmental health hazards, creating a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work, and gaining equitable access to the decision-making process.
  • Job Training – Nominee demonstrates commitment to creating meaningful career paths in fields that help restore urban waters by providing workforce training services, helping to develop markets, and connecting trainees with job opportunities.
  • Environmental Education – Nominee demonstrates creative ways of educating youth and/or communities in environmental science in order to promote civic engagement and outcomes that protect the environment.
  • Water Quality & Monitoring – Nominee demonstrates a compelling vision and an innovative approach to protecting and restoring their local urban water resources by implementing approaches that directly address important threats to water quality and/or support members of their communities in conducting citizen science to help inform water management activities.

Selection Process

Award recipients are selected by a committee chaired by the UWLN Coordinators – River Network and Groundwork USA. EPA staff may provide technical clarity on the topic areas when necessary and appropriate, but are not members of the selection committee.

Awards and Prizes

Each winner of a 2020 Urban Waters Learning Network Award will receive:

  • Financial support for one individual to travel to the Urban Waters Learning Forum on Fri, May 15, 2020, where they present their work and accept the award.
  • Scholarship for one individual to attend the 2020 River Rally in San Antonio, TX, May 15-18. Scholarship includes event registration, lodging, and meals.
  • Professional support for capacity-building, communications, and/or design services or programs in the amount of $6,000 awarded to the awardee’s organization.

Important Dates

  • Tues, Feb 11, 2020 – EXTENDED Deadline to submit nomination
  • Week of Feb 17 – Winners notified (allows 10 days to register for Rally and, for those not selected, to apply for scholarships)
  • Fri, Feb 28 – Scholarship applications due to attend River Rally 2020
  • May 15-18 – River Rally 2020 in San Antonio, TX

Contact Us

Have questions? Please email dtoledo@rivernetwork.org or maria@groundworkusa.org.


February 11