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Thriving Communities Conference 2016: Water and Community

March 17, 2016 - March 19, 2016


The Salish Sea is our water home in the Northwest. Water is the most precious resource on our planet.
What are the conversations your community is having about this endangered resource? Your voices need to be included at our gathering in March!

Join us Thursday, March 17, 4 pm—Saturday, March 19, 4 pm.

We’ll be joined by Tim Vendlinski, whose work in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a shining example of finding common ground around the precious resource of water. Tim most recently served as EPA’s Bay Delta Program Manager. From 1989 to 1995, he worked under the auspices of the San Francisco Estuary Project to establish the scientific basis for the ‘X2’ salinity standards that underpinned the Bay Delta Accord, a precedent-setting, cooperative cross-sectoral agreement which has been the foundation of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta restoration. 

Additionally, on Wednesday evening before the conference, you’re invited to a Community Water Panel in Thomas Berry Hall!

How does WATER integrate a thriving community?

Highlighting Specific Solutions

The Dreamrider mission is to build generations of socially and ecologically responsible young citizens through the excitement of live theatre and multimedia. Everything they do is fun, creative, welcoming, meaningful, empowering, and inspiring! Through music, story, theatre and interactive media, they introduce the fundamentals of environmental and social awareness to school-age children, and get them energized about learning, changing their behaviors, and passing that excitement on to their families and communities.

The mission of Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group is to ensure a Duwamish River cleanup that is accepted by and benefits the community and protects fish, wildlife and human health. DRCC/TAG manages outreach and educational programming about the Superfund cleanup and is the successor to the community, neighborhood, environmental, tribal and small business organizations that first came together as EPA’s community advisory group for the site.

The Methow Conservancy’s mission is to inspire people to care for and conserve the land of the Methow Valley, ensuring it will remain a place where future generations can enjoy the rural character and natural beauty we cherish today. They envision the Methow Valley as a place where people care for the land and know that the vibrancy and sustainability of the economy is based on the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Whidbey Watershed Stewards is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation working with the Whidbey Island community to promote watershed stewardship, habitat enhancement, and environmental education for all ages.  They promote nearshore and watershed health by linking water, land, wildlife and people on Whidbey Island through education, research, and restoration. The Whidbey Watershed Stewards is truly a grassroots story of common people doing uncommon work for the common good. A teacher’s vision, a living laboratory for students, and a community collaboration in a natural environment dramatically illustrate our power to positively impact the fragile ecosystem in which we live.

Benefits of Participation

The three-day session will open space for dialogue and exploration together using the models presented in the videos and those that others bring to this gathering to:
• Help one other envision possibilities and practical outcomes
Explore how something might take hold in your community
Build networks of collaboration and support
• Slow down in this busy world, using the space to honor your work and hopes
Be fed in awesome ways by food, music, art, poetry, and our land, forest, and people

We will include toolbox sessions: lessons in how to implement change, from those who have started something new. Every organization featured in this year’s videos will be represented by in-person delegates, with team members sharing the challenges and opportunities they encountered in their work.

Who Should Come?

All ages are welcome and represented in this work, and members of every community are welcome. We have worked with communities of all types and sizes. We encourage you to bring at least one other member of your own community. Conversation continues more fruitfully at home if two or more have shared the conference experience.

We encourage government officials, public representatives, and community activists to attend!

Please Note: A discount of 20% OFF tuition is applied to registrations that include 2 or more people from the same organization/community (not including Whidbey Island). Near the end of your registration process, there will be an option to “Add another person”—use this option to claim your discount!

Why Should You Attend?

Water is a vital lifegiving substance for people and ecosystems. Each of us is touched by challenges to clean, safe water, and we can do something about it! Meet those who have done something, and continue in their life-changing work!

We will gather as active participants to share ideas both big and small. As a testimony to the success of this model, over thirty communities have already exchanged and implemented ideas from previous Thriving Communities gatherings. Mark your calendar for March 17-19, 2016!

Stay in Touch

There are many ways to stay in touch—before, during, and after the conference! Visit our Thriving Communities page for information regarding the 2012, 2013, 204, and 2015 conferences; photos and videos and more on the history of this movement and our community of collaborators. We also are on Facebook. Join the conversation by asking to be added to the Thriving Communities group, where you can share your own news and updates, and by liking our page.

We welcome you to our 5th annual Thriving Communities Conference!


March 17, 2016
March 19, 2016