Hosting a Workshop through Sweetwater Collaborative/How to get started- click on this link to read more

Hosting a workshop through Sweetwater Collaborative is easy, affordable, and builds community.  We offer design services, workshop and site preparation, and lead volunteers through hands-on educational workshops to install sustainable and resilient systems.  We are focused on water harvesting, water re-use, food production, and healing the earth as well as our relationship to resources and each other.  

raingarden, water harvesting, rainwater catchment, mulchcommunity building, hands-on workshop

Here's how we do it and how you can get involved:

Both property owners and renters can be Sweetwater workshop hosts.  Renters need to have approval of the landlord for any work done on the property.  There are various ways to share the cost of the workshop, for example, the landlord may pay the cost of the Sweetwater instructors and the renter may volunteer in other Sweetwater workshops to reduce that cost.

We will come to your home or property for an initial site visit to introduce ourselves to you, hear what you want to  do on the property, check out the feasibility, and see if we are a good fit.  This visit costs $60 for the first  hour or less we are at the property, and is billed in 15 minute increments after that. The first $60 can be applied to our design fee when you decide to go ahead with a design through Sweetwater Collaborartive. Contact Barbara Wishingrad at 805-403-4566 or to set up an appointment.

The next step to hosting a workshop is to have the Sweetwater team do a comphrensive site assessment and design of the system or systems you want to install.  Our designs include calculations for rainwater catchment or greywater reuse, appropriate plants on the property or to add to benefit from the water redirected to the landscape, materials needed for the project, what preparation is needed for a workshop, and who would be responsible for doing what.  We work closely with the client and integrate your input as much as possible. We also fine tune our designs to the unique needs of the site and project.


rainwater harvesting, roof catchment, raintank

We would contact Dig Alert to mark the utilities before implementing the design to insure that we don’t plan any inappropriate digging where utilities are located. The workshop phase begins after the design is presented.

After we present you with the design and formal estimate for each workshop or project, you would pay a deposit of half the workshop costs upon agreement to do the workshop, and together we select the date the workshop will take place. You would be sent an invoice for the balance after the workshop is completed.  If your project involves more than one workshop, or you have a series of projects we do on your site, you will receive an invoice after each workshop or phase is done.

Everything would be written down so that we all understand our obligations and what we can expect from each other.   Once the design process is over, any changes to the agreed upon design that necessities a new sketch or additional planning will result in additional charges.  Designs are sometimes modified during the installation process, especially if we find something unexpected in the ground, like irrigation piping or major tree roots we can’t work around.

We encourage potential workshop hosts to attend other Sweetwater workshops so you get an idea of how they're run and what is accomplished. Our workshops are social work parties that make a difference.