Walkable Watersheds: Community-Developed Equitable Investments in Infrastructure and Watershed Planning
Neglected creeks often flow through neglected and underserved neighborhoods. What could be an asset is seen as liability, where crime, illegal dumping, and flooding are common. Partnering with the Friends of Sausal Creek, the City of Oakland and community-based organizations, we developed a community-based action plan integrating goals for water and people into a cohesive strategy to revitalize both neighborhoods and the watershed. The action plan built on the unique character of the Fruitvale and Dimond communities through a bottom-up approach focused on art and culture, education and community health. Through this approach, stormwater capture and infiltration are seen as opportunities for education, community engagement and empowerment and to address multiple benefits. This session will introduce the concept of a Walkable Watershed and provide participants an opportunity to interact and fully explore how they can apply this approach to their own communities. Developing a Walkable Watershed approach can be a positive way to understand community priorities, address multiple planning goals, and build community cohesion; developing a community's long term capacity to “craft their future”. The session will introduce the concept, tools, strategies, project journeys and video interviews of diverse stakeholders. Through discussion and short breakout groups, participants will learn how to work with community partners to facilitate watershed restoration, equitable development, and community health, integrate other land use planning efforts and community goals with watershed restoration and build partnerships for long-term implementation.
With expertise in integrated watershed planning and climate equity, Marcus Griswold provides technical assistance to local governments, the non-profit sector and underserved communities. Marcus’s experience includes groundwater-surface water interactions, public lands management, and engaging diverse stakeholders from the federal, state, and local government and the K-12 community in climate and watershed planning.