An initiative to build community-based leadership that will help define a Milwaukee water future grounded in stewardship, equity, and community-wide involvement.
2020 COVID UPDATE: Water School Goes Virtual!
A big piece of Water School has always been gathering by the water at each of our four full-day summer sessions because we know water stewardship and leadership begin with positive water experiences.
Since gathering in groups was not possible in 2020 due to COVID-19, we created a virtual Water School experience with program alumni. 26 participants from 13 different organizations joined us for 6 virtual sessions, October through November. To learn more, check out our November email newsletter and be sure to subscribe to learn more about our 2020 Water School participant projects.
Water School, one of our flagship programs, engages community members in a year-long commitment to the watersheds of Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River Basin. We explore how water moves through our communities and how our individual actions impact the health of our waters. Each year, the program collaborates with neighborhood leaders (ages 16 through adult) from five partner sites. We take part in a process that includes water education, cross-community relationship building, art-making and team project development.
The five Water School teams (each comprised of 5 team members) then receive a mini-grant to develop and implement a neighborhood-based water stewardship project that brings new knowledge home to others in their communities and addresses a particular water challenge to promote community health, equity, economic development and justice.
By partnering directly with neighborhood organizations, we cultivate water leadership throughout the city and help cement the value of water stewardship in all our participants and the work they do. We assist each individual project site by providing education, support and financial resources so emerging water leaders can work toward positive solutions to locally identified problems.