Location: Chesapeake Bay Watershed and San Francisco Bay Watershed | Client: Multiple | Project Date: 2011 – Present
Links and Resources
At Skeo, our planning work with hundreds of communities has left us convinced that water can be a significant revitalizing force for communities. In 2011, we launched the Walkable Watershed Initiative with the Bellemeade Walkable Watershed project in Richmond, VA and have supported eight additional communities in developing community-based watershed plans with green infrastructure strategies to improve quality of life and watershed health for disadvantaged communities.
While watershed planning is not new, Skeo’s Walkable Watershed planning process is unique in linking environmental and social equity goals. This integrated approach means that we can help local communities leverage more resources, work more efficiently to find new solutions, and increase the likelihood of success by acting on multiple fronts simultaneously. The concept is based on the idea that high-quality water goes hand-in-hand with a high quality of life, supporting access to the outdoors, enhanced community infrastructure and services and community health.
Combining innovative planning with community capacity-building, Skeo’s Walkable Watershed projects have resulted in a cohesive strategy to improve the overall health of the community and continue to guide efforts to improve watershed health, improve neighborhood quality of life, strengthen local infrastructure and leverage investment. Skeo has supported the following communities:
- Bellemeade and Gillies Creek in Richmond, Virginia.
- Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Cortland, New York.
- Oakland, California.
- Petersburg, Virginia.
- Lynchburg, Virginia.
- San Jose, California.
Building on lessons learned from these efforts, Skeo developed a guide – Walkable Watershed – A Guide to Community-Based Watershed Planning – that includes an approach for other communities to implement and tips for more effectively engaging underserved communities in watershed planning that results in community benefits.