Here at River Source, building community relationships that span generations, races, and socio-economic situations may be the most important educational work we can do. River Source is committed to our communities. Having reliable neighbors may be the key to our survival as the climate changes. Our pedagogy is rooted in community organizing, and discovering the innovators in each community for sustaining long-term resilience.
Since beginning in 1995 we began developing the first community-based watershed plans with high school students in the Santa Fe Indian School’s Community-based Education Program (CBE). That experience grounded us in several principles such as reaching out to elders in the community for guidance in advance to inform the learning goals of the green teams we build across the landscape.
Above all, we support community scientists developing long-term study designs, and knowledge. Getting them outdoors to collect quality-assured data, and thus turning that data into information for good decision-making. Also, we aim to never tell folks what to think, but rather listen to them with their needs and concerns. Once that is done, we can approach our work with communities with the interest, respect, and humility. Our staff and interns learn from the people we serve just as much as they may learn from us.
Our goal is ultimately building capacity and then reducing dependence on our services so that landscape-scale regeneration work happens on its own.
Our operating philosophy rests on the three pillars of Education, Research, and Community. Each of these integrates with and supports the others, so that learning and research are part of the community.