I'm a member of a couple of Tucson, Arizona groups that bring the barn-raising model to community greening projects. The first is a homeowners’ co-op that is part of the Watershed Management Group.
Members are required to work a certain number of hours before they can host a water harvesting workshop on their property. It’s 16 hours for an earthworks workshop and 32 hours for a cistern workshop.
I hosted an earthworks building project at my house last August. The co-op members were supervised by a WMG employee, and they built berms and basins.
These earthworks are designed to keep my yard from flooding in the heavy storms that Tucson gets during the summer months. The basins are also planted with low water use plants. I’m now logging the hours I’ll need for another workshop.
In addition to WMG, I volunteer with the Teaching and Helping Project. It teaches Tucsonans how to make old houses more energy efficient. Last month, I helped insulate and replace windows on an elderly woman’s 51-year-old house.