Local Groups Assistance
Studies continue to make the link between good water quality, a healthy tourism industry and strong property values. River and watershed protection is essential to the long-term health of a community. Ensuring healthy waters is far more likely when citizens play an active role.
The River Alliance of Wisconsin is committed to building the effectiveness of Wisconsin’s river community for long-term river protection. Organized people are essential to resource protection:
- Citizens apply the lessons of their community’s past and provide a vision for its future.
- They participate in watershed management decisions and provide a voice for local waters.
- Citizens can bring together different interests for a common purpose.
- An organized group can make a bigger difference than individuals acting alone.
What are local groups?
Today there are more than 150 citizen-based river groups around Wisconsin that vary widely in their mission, membership and level of organization. Some have staff, others are all-volunteer. Some educate communities about their local rivers, some watchdog polluters for compliance, while others advocate for protective zoning ordinances. Some groups organize river restoration and habitat improvement projects.
How we help
The Local Groups Program helps Wisconsin’s river groups organize in their communities, and provides them the tools and training to be effective. We offer workshops, technical trainings and one-on-one consultation on technical (stormwater) and organizational (fundraising) topics across Wisconsin.
Assessing Citizen and Local Group Needs for Protecting Wisconsin's Rivers
In 2007 River Alliance looked at the needs of local river and watershed groups in Wisconsin by asking the very people who populate those groups what we can do to add value to their work.
To learn more about the comments we received and the themes we heard during the listening sessions read the report, Assessing Citizen and Local River Group Needs for Protecting Wisconsin’s Rivers [PDF1.2MB].
Local Group Resources
- Trainings, including Making Your Board Effective, Mapping Your Future, Raising Funds to Reach Your Goals, and Sustaining Your People Power.
- Watershed Advocate Toolkit
- The TRIB Wisconsin River Groups e-newsletter and Word on the Stream, the River Alliance electronic newsletter
- An online directory of citizen-based river and watershed organizations
- River Links, interlibrary loan resources for building successful conservation organizations
- Technical assistance in preparing DNR River Protection Grant proposals
- Sample documents (e.g. bylaws, grant proposals, etc.)
- Dale Druckrey Advocacy Grant Program
Our extensive local groups toolkit provides quick guides to a number of issues important to watershed groups and nonprofits in general.
Watershed Advocate Toolkit >>