The front of his white and blueT-shirt had the Watershed Management Group (WMG) logo on it and in a font that looked like it had been stamped diagonally across read the words “CO-OP”. When he turned around to grab a pick axe, other wise known as an Arizona Shovel, the back of the shirt said “I Do My Labor with My Neighbor!”.
-This catchy little phrase does more than just rhyme. It tells of an opportunity for community, a way to reach an otherwise high costing goal. A chance to not only change your own personal landscape, but eventually heal a neighborhood and enjoy a little bit more of a responsible feeling as you look out at your land.
-The WMG has created, and successfully run, this CO-OP program down in Tucson and I have been lucky enough to not only participate in some of the workshops, but I have also been able to meet some amazing and interesting people who share like views on how we should be friendly to the desert……….
……….. -While the clock neared the end of the workshop…who am I kidding, it was actually an hour past end time, the clouds could no longer hold back their hydro-soaked insides and it began to RAIN!! Like I said, the workshop was officially over, but there was still almost every single volunteer still there. This was a passion and a need to see this through. A belief that this was important and an opportunity to grow a property AND grow the knowledge inside. So we hit another gear, put the final pieces into place, and actually started catching that SkyGold into one of the pur-tiest metal tanks in the neighborhood.
-My brain, my clothes and my passion left soaked that early evening as I drove off…back to the Valley of the Sun. -Hopefully in the very near future, I too can wear a white shirt with a blue logo that PROUDLY states:
“I Do My Labor, With My Neighbor!”
Read Full story HERE http://rainwaterjunkie.com/2010/08/03/labor-with-your-neighbor.aspx.
Here’s what I’m excited about these days: we just held a volunteer workshop to totally makeover a Tucson family’s front yard. 15 volunteers transformed it from a sterile, black-plastic and rock-laden heat island into a runoff-capturing garden of native plants, organic mulch, and (soon) living soil. This workshop, which was followed by blessed afternoon monsoon rain showers, was just the second in some 24 public workshops that WMG is co-hosting with six different Tucson neighborhoods over the next year. Through these projects we will de-pave a closed alley to turn it into a pocket park, install rainwater-fed trees along the entrance of a school, and create rain gardens in the middle of a parking lot, among other things. We will do all of this alongside volunteers from each neighborhood. 20 of these volunteers recently completed a 5-month training with WMG to assess, design, build, and advocate for these kinds of green infrastructure in their communities.