Urban Waters Learning Network

The Urban Waters Learning Network is a peer-to-peer network for sharing practical on-the-ground experiences in order to improve urban waterways and revitalize the neighborhoods around them.

Groundwork USA and River Network staff coordinate the Learning Network, providing support and opportunities for members to share successes, challenges, and technical resources.

The Urban Waters Learning Network is funded by the US EPA Office of Water.

Why Join the Urban Waters Learning Network?
  • Be inspired by Impact Stories–peers doing great work around the country
  • Opportunities to network with peers on specific project topics through conference calls, online forums and in-person meetings. Topic areas of broad common interest include: Environmental Justice; Greenways, Blueways and Streambank Restoration; Education & Outreach; Stormwater & Green Infrastructure; and Water Quality
  • Webinars from peers & experts on technical and organization development topics
  • Tool Box of Resources on a variety of topics developed by peers, US EPA and other agencies and organizations
  • Mentoring-Coaching recommendations
There are two ways to join us, to match your needs

UWLN e-News & Updates

Receive the Urban Waters Learning Network (UWLN) quarterly e-newsletter and periodic updates to keep you current on what’s happening in urban waters communities, including training and funding opportunities, blog posts, new resources, and other items posted on the UWLN website.

UWLN Online Peer Communications

Share information with, and ask for help from, on-the-ground practitioners, past and present EPA Urban Waters Small Grant recipients, and those whose primary focus is operations and management of urban waters projects (Includes UWLN e-Newsletter & Updates).

Urban Waters Learning Network Impact Stories

Action on the Middle Blue River
Blue River Watershed Association, Kansas City, MO

Learn More

Parts of the Blue River cover a 17-mile stretch through Kansas City. This stretch is highly urbanized, running through residential, commercial, and industrial areas.

In 2014, the Blue River Watershed Association received $59,940 from EPA’s Urban Waters Program to work with its partner agencies to engage urban middle school students in water quality monitoring studies, data collection, and community presentations.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

Close

Citizen-led Monitoring of Urban Wetland Restoration
Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, New Orleans, LA

Learn More

The Citizen-led Monitoring of Urban Wetland Restoration in New Orleans creates active wetland advocates by placing technology into community members’ hands, especially in those of low-income Lake Pontchartrain residents.

Public Lab provides training, education and support, focusing on locally-relevant outcomes that emphasize human capacity and understanding.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website
Close

A River for All—Fighting for Environmental Justice & Health Equity
Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group, Seattle, WA

Learn More

The Duwamish River is a 5.5 mile long Superfund site that flows through Seattle’s Duwamish Valley—a highly developed urban and industrial center south of downtown.

Most affected by the contamination are Seattle’s most marginalized and impoverished communities – low-income, homeless residents, immigrants and tribal fishing families.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

Close

Restoring Balance in an Urban Creek through Green Infrastructure
Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Durham, NC

Learn More

In 2012, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association received a $60,000 EPA Urban Waters Small Grant to demonstrate that integrating green infrastructure into the urban landscape can begin to restore a hydrologic balance within Durham’s Ellerbe Creek. The project has helped quantify the extent to which green infrastructure can reduce excessive amounts of water and remove pollutants, while helping the City of Durham comply with regulations to clean up Falls Lake Reservoir.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

Close

Addressing Baltimore’s Vacant Land Problem
Baltimore Urban Waters Partnership

Learn More

Baltimore, Maryland, home to over 30,000 vacant and abandoned lots and numerous economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, is also home to some of the most innovative job creation strategies and vacant lot reclamation projects in the nation.

Through the Baltimore Urban Waters Partnership, waterways are being cleaned up, communities are reconnecting with their urban waters, and abandoned lots are being transformed for community benefit.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

Close

River Ambassadors—Future of the L.A. River
Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Los Angeles, CA

Learn More

Youth from different areas in Los Angeles are creating positive change along the LA River through the River Ambassador program, a youth leadership and education program of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

The program is designed to connect underserved youth with their river and to involve the teachers at each of the high schools participating in the program.

Read the full story on the Urban Waters Learning Network website

Close

Featured Resources
Downloadable report

Success Stories: 25 Lessons from 25 Years, River Network
Celebrating River Network’s 25th Anniversary with a compilation of 25 stories from River Network partners detailing successes and lessons learned.


Webinar recording

Creative Partnerships in Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring
Explores partnering strategies in volunteer water quality and habitat monitoring efforts and presents national survey results and case studies of different types of volunteer monitoring partnerships


Downloadable report

Urban River Parkways–An Essential Tool for Public Health
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health reviews the health benefits of restoring urban rivers

View all resources on the Urban Waters Learning Network website