Building community relationships that span generations, races, and socio-economic situations may be the most important work we can do. Staff at River Source are committed to our communities because we know that when things start to unravel, having reliable neighbors may be the key to our survival. Our pedagogy is rooted in community organizing and discovering the innovators in each community who may be key to sustaining long-term resilience work.
Beginning in 1995 we began developing the first community-based watershed plans with high school students in the Santa Indian School’s Community-based Education Program (CBE). That experience grounded us in several principles including 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. We support community scientists developing long-term study designs, getting outdoors and collecting quality-assured data, and then getting that data turned into information for good decision-making. We also aim to never tell folks what to think while emphasizing how to ask the right questions and figuring out how to think about something on their own. We approach our work with communities with the interest, respect and humility to 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.
Check out one our community service projects with the City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Watershed Association, and the May School
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.