TJCOG Water Resource Team Members Mike Schlegel and Heather Saunders Benson participated in the 2014 Water Education Summit on September 8th - 10th. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, and the workshop also included an off-site tour of the extensive sustainability features of the new Sierra Nevada Brewery.
The plenary sessions were well-designed to engage small group table discussions, and the concurrent sessions covered a wide range of topics. Mike co-facilitated a well-attended special session for watershed leaders and local stewardship champions as part of the NC Watershed Stewardship Network (WSN). Mike worked with staff from fellow WSN founding-organizations like WRRI, NC State University, NC DENR, and UNC Institute for the Environment.
Mike also co-presented with Mark Contorno, Founder of Creeklife.com, a new crowd-funding platform for environmental, outdoor, and place-based projects. Mike used Creeklife with his daughter and their Y Guides tribe to raise money to install a garbage can along the Upper Neuse Greenway trail. The Creeklife Team gave all the workshop participants $10 in Creek Cash towards their first Call to Action.
All-in-all, it was a great event, and TJCOG staff were well engaged. Kudos to the event staff for a well-organized workshop with high-caliber speakers and good interactive sessions.