Land + Water WORKS Coalition

Land + Water WORKS Coalition Summary

The Land + Water WORKS Coalition (LWWC) was formed in 2017 to provide Detroit residents with the resources needed to become better stewards of our own environment, as well as operate as a liaison that engages residents around green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) opportunities and stewardship. The coalition advocates for sustainable land and water use practices to promote healthy and equitable communities and to provide economic benefits through the implementation of GSI.

Our coalition members represent many aspects of water conservation and education, community organizing, community open space planning and vacant land transformation. The coalition is more than a group of passionate and engaged environmentally focused organizations – it’s a bridge that connects Detroiters to our legislators, residents to opportunities, and most importantly, our present to our sustainable future.


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Among Detroit’s most precious assets are its available land, access to fresh water and resilient residents. The city continues to evolve and adapt to a changing environment, including the challenges of aging infrastructure. Of Detroit’s 139 square miles of land, 24 square miles of that land is vacant and has the opportunity to be transformed into an integrated open-space network has the potential to foster a uniquely sustainable city that can create jobs with pathways to prosperity, provide physical and mental health benefits, and improve air and water quality.

Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is an alternative approach to wet weather management that uses land and buildings to control stormwater runoff in ways that transform vacant lots into open spaces amenities. GSI can also reduce the occurrence and severity of floods, enhance the attractiveness and value of a property and could decrease the cost of operating the waste water treatment system. When the installation and maintenance of GSI increases in scale, it creates a variety of jobs across several sectors, including jobs for designers, suppliers, and contractors. Through the implementation of GSI to address stormwater overflows into the Detroit and Rouge Rivers that flow into our Great Lakes, Detroiters have the opportunity to lead the green culture shift of the future.


Mission and Vision


The Land + Water WORKS Coalition connects Detroit residents to our water system to help them become a part of a shared sustainable future through innovative engagement strategies that deepen understanding and develop advocates of green stormwater infrastructure and an equitable green infrastructure economy.


Land + Water WORKS coalition supports Detroiters in becoming active and conscious stewards of our land and waterways in order to create a healthy community and improve the quality of life for all Detroiters.

What We Do


Over the course of our first year, the Land + Water WORKS coalition will engage and activate Detroiters in the green culture shift through an educational campaign centered on land and water stewardship and green stormwater infrastructure.

This campaign will reach these goals through educational community outreach, installation of green stormwater infrastructure and advocacy.

Land + Water WORKS Coalition Ambassador Program

The Land + Water WORKS Ambassador program is a dynamic community educational network of 45 neighborhood leaders and local nonprofits that are working to engage our family, friends, neighbors and stakeholders in conversations on land and water stewardship and how they can help make Detroit the greenest city in the nation. Over the course of five months, the ambassadors will receive ongoing training in land and water stewardship, green infrastructure and home water audits.

The ambassadors’ goal is to help residents understand how using innovative GSI approaches can solve our land and water challenges. Through this work, Land + Water WORKS Ambassadors help to lead the way to a more sustainable city.

Land + Water WORKS Coalition Research

The Land + Water WORKS Coalition is working with local green stormwater infrastructure implementers to develop a set of standardized best practices for rain garden and bioretention design to ensure maximum return on investment for implementers and successful installation in Detroit communities. The team will also create a set of best practices for measuring effectiveness and monitoring performance. A report detailing these findings will be released widely in Fall 2018.

Land + Water WORKS Coalition Events

Check back for upcoming events soon!


Get Involved

Join us!

Stay up-to-date on how to create a greener, healthier and more sustainable Detroit.


The Land + Water WORKS Coalition wants to support you in becoming a land and water steward of Detroit’s natural resources through green stormwater infrastructure!

Resources and Materials


The Land + Water WORKS Coalition is currently seeking responses for its Phase I Communications and Training Evaluation RFP.

The purpose of this evaluation RFP is to provide the coalition and analysis on the impact of its curriculum, communications tools, and ambassador training program developed in Phase I (2016-2018) and provide a set of recommendations that will be implemented in Phase of the program (2019-2020). The response period is open now through Friday, February 22.

To learn more and respond to this RFP, please click here.

Our Coalition Partners