Here at CWC, we have a motto: “Healthy Watersheds, Thriving Communities”. We believe that when people care for the San Lorenzo River, learn about its significance and build a connection to nature, it benefits not only the river but the broader Santa Cruz community. Following our Theory of Change, CWC intentionally creates opportunities for people to reflect on their connection with the river, engage with the river in new ways and co-create projects that have benefits for both nature and people.


Nothing is more powerful in creating positive momentum for the river than doubling down on the values and interests that you, your neighbors, your friends and your colleagues already have. CWC loves when our volunteers, partners and supporters bring us a fledgling idea that we can grow together to create maximum impact.

For example, we’ve recently experienced amazing collaborative success with one of our River Health Day volunteers, Madeline. Madeline is a design engineer at the Santa Cruz office of Sherwood Design Engineers. She volunteered with CWC at our December River Health Day, helping plant new native plants like lupine, rush and yarrow along the riverbank. In January, Madeline returned to the San Lorenzo River for our January River Health Day, this time bringing her work colleagues with her. Together with other volunteers, the Sherwood Design Engineers team helped plant 375 new native plants and spent a fun morning learning about and giving back to the river ecosystem. In fact, they loved the experience so much that we are now in the process of collaboratively designing an “Adopt a Riverbank” program so that they can more regularly engage with and support the San Lorenzo River. Madeline’s individual interest in the river and her commitment to sharing the river with her colleagues has helped grow love for the river in a new cohort of individuals. Thank you, Madeline!

Take a moment and consider what you love about the San Lorenzo River. What motivates you? What is your dream for the river’s future? Let us know! There are so many ways you can help the river today and lay the foundation for our collective river future.

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