A new and exciting initiative is forming in Vermont. Watersheds United Vermont, or WUV, is a state-wide network of local groups dedicated to the health of their home watershed. Their mission is to connect community-based watershed groups in Vermont with the knowledge, resources and partners needed to more effectively enhance and protect the health of Vermont water resources.
At a recent organizational meeting (“the Meeting of the Waters and Minds”), WUV members and partners got together to discuss the WUV strategic plan, organizational capacity, and priority issues facing watershed groups, such as agricultural runoff, stormwater runoff, riparian restoration / river corridor protection, water quality monitoring and assessment, and education.
Perry Thomas, member of the WUV Advisory Team and vice-president of the Memphremagog Watershed Association, opened up the networking session with an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together” – which set the tone of the underlying goal of the meeting, which was to enhance methods of collaboration and to share opportunities, challenges, and successes. Later in the day, member groups had an opportunity to share case studies of collaborative projects, including a site visit to the Woodstock Community River Park project.
WUV now has a program coordinator – Ann Ingerson – who is very excited about supporting community-based watershed groups around the state. WUV currently has 19 members and dozens of partners (including the Watershed Management Division) and is looking for additional watershed groups to join this network. Visit the website and contact Ann at:
…and that’s the power of WUV* (and I might as well face it, I’m addicted to WUV!*).
*(with apologies to Tina Turner, Huey Lewis, and Robert Palmer)