Western Waters

A Deep Arterial Map to Restore the Future

Overview: From the Colorado River to the Rio Grande; from the hottest river in the hemisphere to alpine streams; to desert oases, seeps, and springs – Ecoculture has 50+ projects with over one million riparian trees restored.

Springs and rivers in southwestern US are oases for biodiversity, important for human health, and cultural hubs involving many tribal origination stories. They are also profound places of reflection and connection to nature. In these waters are stories of cultural metamorphosis; human values changing over time and magnified in the way water is managed. From our stories, our interactions in nature, and lessons learned in restoring degraded waterways, we can visualize a better path forward.

There is massive opportunity for community participation in restoration efforts in these systems. Millions of people depend on western waters and are ready to participate in sustained action to protect this resource rather than wait for distant bureaucratic efforts. We seek to improve water quality and biodiversity associated with these systems by facilitating stewardship of these waters and our cultural ties to them.

Logistical

We have planted over two million trees in the western United States, resulting in the natural regeneration of millions more. We have also removed over 1,000 acres of exotic species during these efforts. These efforts have been conducted in partnership with tribal agencies, US agencies, community groups, and schools. Our goal is to increase workforce capacity, nursery capacity, and overall restoration capacity by developing a network of grassroots hubs throughout the region and training restoration innovators through education and our Restoration Certificate program for tribal youth.

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Ecological

We work in rivers, streams, and springs across the western United States and into Mexico. We work to develop a multi-species conservation approach rather than the more bureaucratic single species approach and educate the public about the importance of biodiversity and how to monitor it.

Economic

We have raised over 10 million dollars to restore riparian ecosystems. Our current goal is to work with NGOs in the region to explore new ideas for revenue generation, job development, and enhanced conservation capacity.

Scientific

In the arid western US, it is key to develop plant materials that are suited to climates of tomorrow and that support communities of future climates. Our research focus is on better adapted plants, creative planting techniques, and maximizing carbon, biodiversity, and water benefits through restoration.

Social

Our Educational programs such as EcoKids, GreenDrone, and Restoration Certificate Field School are all operating on western waters. We teach K-12, University, and Community College courses to tribal youth and rural community youth. A cornerstone of many projects is to work with schools and NGOs to co-develop projects and implement them together.

Interactional

A key thesis of our group is that cross-cultural networking enhances the overall creativity of our team. We bring together tribal groups, rural communities, urban youth, from diverse cultural backgrounds. We share results and stories from across our network to inspire action and to stimulate new solutions for conservation and green-job promotion.

CULTURAL

The expression of our values of nature is the theme of our art. This is reflected in our restoration projects through incorporation of concepts illustrated in Earth Art, trail design, narratives, and videography. Expression of our values in nature and the process of acting on these values is a core component of our educational programs and community participatory process.

News & Info

EcoCulture News and Information

Salt River Watershed

Among the Largest in Arizona

See Project

Little Colorado River

A Synergy to Stewarding Nature

See Project

SALT RIVER RESTORATION VIDEO

Interactive Map

Coming soon…

Our Project Portfolio

Please have a look at selected projects below to learn more about our work on western waters.