We provide many ways that individuals can learn including hands-on projects. We currently offer rain barrel workshops in collaboration with The City of Watertown. Previous workshops and collaborations include A Rain Garden in Every Community. Read more information about that partnership on our Accomplishment Highlights page.

Here are other ways that you can make a difference from home.

Photo Credit: Addie Schlussel

Rain Barrel Workshops

We aim to equip individuals with the tools that they can use to protect their local water. One of the ways we do this is by providing rain barrel workshops in collaboration with The City of Watertown, River Network and Wis-Pak Inc.

Rain barrels help to offset the water we use in our daily lives. The average American family directly consumes nearly 110,000 gallons of water each year, and if you include water used for producing food, energy, and consumer goods, that total jumps to 1.9 million gallons annually. Up to 60% of the water we use in our households occurs outdoors, largely for irrigation. However, a single 55-gallon rain barrel can save up to 1,300 gallons of water every year.

Rain barrels collect free rainwater to water gardens, trees, and lawns. This saves you money on water bills AND helps reduce demand for energy-intensive treated tap water, limits stormwater runoff and erosion, and saves water for use during droughts. Installing a rain barrel is one of the easiest ways to reduce your water footprint and help recharge our rivers, lakes, and aquifers.

Our workshops provide individuals with the materials and knowledge to make this change. To learn more about ways that individuals can make a difference, visit our what you can do at home page.

Upcoming Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshops:

  • Watertown: Saturday, April 20th, 9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Lake Mills: Saturday, May 4th, 9:30 am – 11:30 am

WAV Baseline Monitoring Refresher Trainings

To all returning stream monitoring volunteers: WAV requests that all of our returning stream monitors attend one of their upcoming refresher trainings, to ensure that everyone is up to date and collecting quality data. At this Zoom refresher training, WAV staff will share Wisconsin stream monitoring news and WAV program updates, do a quick walk through of the baseline stream monitoring protocols, review common monitoring errors from 2023 to watch out for, and answer any questions!

The content will be the same on both dates, so you need only sign up for one webinar:

Register Here: Thursday, April 25th 5:30 – 6:30pm

Register Here: Friday, April 26th 12:00 – 1:00pm

Virtual SWIMS Database Trainings

Calling all stream monitoring volunteers, new and returning! Need training on submitting your data to the Surface Water Integrated Monitoring System (SWIMS) database or simply want a better understanding of how to navigate the site? Sign up for one of our virtual webinars where an RRC staff member will teach you the following:

  • How to submit your monitoring data
  • How to access, explore, and export past and current monitoring data
  • How to use other online resources to view your data and learn more about your stream

Register Here: Thursday, May 16th 5:30 – 6:30pm

Register Here: Friday, May 17th 12:00 – 1:00pm

Where: Google Meet (https://meet.google.com/ske-hsig-tke)

Want More Info Before Signing Up? Contact our Stream Monitoring Coordinator Lizzy Reitzloff at lizzy@rockrivercoaltion.org with questions

Nature-Based Solutions for Wetlands and Riparian Areas

Environmental leaders in Southern Wisconsin are pursuing nature-based solutions to restore function to wetlands and riparian areas. A nature-based solution is a form of conservation that utilizes or replicates natural features to address a specific issue. In this case, beaver dam analogs will be used to reconnect floodplains and restore function to streams and riparian wetlands.

To better understand the build process and create a few demonstration sites, we are proposing a webinar and one or more hands-on workshops. Nature-based solutions are typically small-scale techniques with lower costs and complexity than other more traditional conservation tools, and these sessions will help us determine the most effective method of building a beaver dam analog.


Date TBD May-June 2024

This webinar will outline the technique, appropriate locations, and challenges.

Hosted by Wisconsin Land and Water

Click here if you are interested in participation.

Hands on Workshop

Date TBD September 2024

These hands-on workshops will briefly summarize desired outcomes and allow participants to build the beaver dam analogs. We will conduct pre- and post-monitoring to document the following changes: reduced runoff, better water quality, and improved wetland vegetation and associated wildlife.

Click here if you are interested in participation.

The proposed site is Briggs Wetland, which is owned by The Prairie Enthusiasts and adjacent to land owned by Green-Rock Audubon Society. It is open to the public and located near Beloit in Rock County.

Benefits of Becoming a Sponsor

  • Your organization/business logo on the event webpage.
  • Your logo on sponsorship slides at the end and beginning of the webinar.
  • recognition at future nature-based solution events.

Can you support or sponsor this event?  Click here if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.


  • The Prairie Enthusiasts
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
  • Wisconsin Land and Water
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Green-Rock Audubon Society
  • Wisconsin Wetlands Association
  • Taylor Conservation, LLC
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Rock River Coalition