Land + Water WORKS Coalition

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 environment, as well as operate as a liaison that engages residents around green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) opportunities and stewardship. We advocate 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.


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Detroit’s available land, access to fresh water, and its resilient residents are among its most precious assets. The city continues to evolve and adapt to a changing environment, including the challenges of aging infrastructure.

Detroit’s 24 vacant square miles have the opportunity to be transformed into an integrated, open-space network that can foster a uniquely sustainable city that creates jobs with pathways to prosperity, provides physical and mental health benefits, and improves 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 wastewater treatment system.

When GSI installation and maintenance increases in scale, it creates a variety of jobs across several sectors, including designing, supplying and contracting. Through GSI implementation to address stormwater overflow into the Detroit and Rouge Rivers that connect to 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.



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

Land + Water WORKS Coalition Research

The LWWC is working with local GSI implementers to develop a set of standardized best practices for rain garden and bioretention design to ensure maximum return on investment for implementing successful installation in Detroit communities. We are creating a set of best practices for measuring effectiveness and monitoring performance.


Click here to access Resources and Materials.


Land + Water WORKS Coalition Ambassador Program

The LWWC is more than a group of passionate and engaged environmentally focused organizations – we are a bridge that connects Detroiters to legislators, residents to opportunities, and, most importantly, the present to a sustainable future. Through hands-on training, Detroit residents and non-profit organizations can also become neighborhood GSI experts, who engage and educate other Detroiters and property owners in such principals. As a result, Ambassadors help advance their communities’ GSI knowledge and support policies that improve the quality of life for all Detroiters for generations to come.


2020 Land + Water WORKS Rain Garden Workshop & Demonstration Planting Program

The Land + Water WORKS  Rain Gardens Workshop and Demonstration Planting Series is back! Now is your opportunity to join a growing cohort of faith-based organizations, non-profits, and small businesses in leading green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) community education in their neighborhood, while obtaining Green Credits from Detroit Water and Sewage Department.

Friends of the Rouge and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter invite Detroit based non-profit and faith-based organizations to apply to receive:

  • – Support and design assistance to create a rain garden
  • – Materials and support to install a rain garden
  • – Documents needed to apply for DWSD green credits to reduce the drainage fee on your water bill
  • – Facilitation of three workshops on:
    • – Detroit’s stormwater problem and rain gardens as a simple, low-cost solution.
    • – Hands-on rain garden installation.
    • – Hands-on maintenance workshop.
  • Articles, infographics, and information to share within your community.
  • Fun challenges to engage your community.

The 2020 Land + Water WORKS Coalition Ambassador Program

The Land & Water WORKS Coalition is happy to announce the selection of our 2020 Land & Water WORKS Ambassadors! Our third cohort comprises of neighborhood leaders and nonprofits serving Detroit residents from all seven council districts.

Nonprofit Organizations:
360 Detroit
Sustainable Community Farms
Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision
Norwest Art Gallery
Greening of Detroit
KAN Books
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
The Bailey Park Project

Cheryl Anderson Small
Deanne Austin
Antionette Bailey
Sany Bilani
Rachel Bush
Romana Chowdhury
Jacquelyn Garrett
Lauren Grey
Brianna Guyton
Nealmetira Loper
Janilynn Miller
Eradajere Oleita
Marc Peeples
Sylvia Roland
Ronald Roland
Janine Williams
Jake Graham
Donna McDuffie
Yumeikca Perry
Lisa Rodriguez
Deborah Stewart-Anderson
Yvonne Willis

This group joins over 75 other ambassadors who have received extensive training in land use and water conversation and protection matters. They also learned several other environmental issues that the quality of life Detroiter’s alongside the support needed to serve as community education and engagement experts in their neighborhoods.

Over the course of eight months, they will receive nearly 70 hours of training on issues that provide then robust knowledge of environmental stewardship principals and the tools to become community change-makers in this space.

Topics covered this year include Understanding the Detroit Water System, Climate Change and Resilience in the Detroit Context, Water Catchment Systems 101, and much more.

Detroit Property Owner's Guide to Bioretention

Click here to access and download the guide.

Have you tried to understand stormwater management in Detroit?


Are you interested in installing a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) practice on your property, but need more information about how to get the project done?


Would you like to invest in a GSI practice that could beautify your property and potentially improve your bottom line through a DWSD drainage credit?


If so, the Detroit Property Owner’s Guide to Bioretention is for you.


This guide will be particularly useful for small business owners, nonprofits and faith-based organizations in Detroit who are looking to retrofit or add a GSI practice to their existing property. This guide will provide details on how to plan for and implement a bioretention basin on your non-residential property to better manage stormwater.


Click here to learn more about the Guide.

Join Us!

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

    Our Coalition Partners

    Click to learn more about Alliance Click to learn more about the Eastside Community Network Click to learn more about EcoWorks




    Click to learn more about Friends of the Rouge Click to learn more about The Greening of Detroit Click to learn more about Keep Growing Detroit



    Click to learn more about Michigan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength Click to learn more about Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision Click to learn more about Sierra Club - Great Lakes Program

    Detroit Property Owner's Guide to Bioretention

    Manage stormwater on a non-residential property.
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    The Field Guide to Working with Lots

    View the full, interactive Field Guide online now.
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    Detroit GSI Workforce Assessment

    An examination of potential economic impact.
    Read More

    Detroit Future City Strategic Framework

    The Blueprint for Detroit's Future.
    Read More