Clement Waters Retreat

Learn Green. Live Green.

aka Clement Waters   |   Kansas City, MO   |  www.clementwaters.org

Mission

We help people to become better stewards of gifts naturally available to all of humanity: our bodies, our communities and our planet.

Notes from the nonprofit

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about Clement Waters Retreat, an environmental equity and advocacy organization. We look forward to a time when these programs' successes have widely created opportunities for regenerative economic success for more marginalized communities across the globe. We invite you to join in our bold call for people of all abilities and backgrounds to discover how renewing the planet's health can benefit their well-being too. Rather than thinking of this position as an elevated fight for think tanks to tackle at a policy level, we challenge everyday people to adopt the spirit of this work in their everyday lives. We can all adopt a paradigm of cooperation across dividing lines. We can all adopt a life paradigm that views 'enough' as 'plenty' without shame. We can all explore what happens when you and I view natural resources as our partners in need of care. When more people 'get it,' the world will be a better place to live in for everyone.

Ruling year info

2015

Co-Founder, President

Mrs. Joy Ellsworth MPA

Main address

7324 Norton Ave

Kansas City, MO 64132 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-3143607

NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Home Improvement/Repairs (L81)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Poverty is present in nearly every community, but poverty damages futures worst when concentrated in dense urban cores or isolated in remote rural areas. In Kansas City alone (where our headquarters is located), high poverty neighborhoods are plagued with problems which exacerbate the poverty condition—problems like crime, violence, homicides, drugs, teen pregnancy, low educational attainment... The list goes on. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has done extensive work examining what makes communities healthy, and finds that the aforementioned problems are symptoms of poverty that perpetuate the cycle, but they're not causes. Problems like pervasive low quality housing, few economic options, a lack of access to quality nutrition, and a scarcity of safe places will cause a community to fall into or remain within poverty. After studying poverty in rural and urban locations alike, the founders of Clement Waters are ready to counteract the causes of poverty, no matter where they occur.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Mary Severin Legacy Greenhouse

In Summer 2019, a team from Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City will be dedicating their Summer of Service to building a tool storage shed and seed starting room in one building at Clement Forest. Engineers Without Borders of Kansas City will be providing planning and construction expertise, as well as mentoring for the young people building the 'off-grid' structure.

This project is named after a founding board member who worked through a battle with cancer to finish her own proof-of-concept housing project in southeastern Missouri. Mary Severin built a 2,200 square-foot earth-contact off-grid home of her own design with her husband and son before passing away in November 2018. She trained our construction staff, and we will miss her dearly.

Our structure will only be a few hundred square feet, but it will serve as a pilot project for more utility independent housing structures that can be used in communities across the world where utilities are costly and housing is scarce.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Contingent upon funding for training and salaries, Clement Waters Retreat (CWR) will provide staff and training for guided forest therapy sessions lasting around two hours—referred to as 'walks'. Staff will provide instructions—referred to as 'invitations'—for exploration of natural features. Staff will also facilitate meditative thought in a nature immersive environment.

CWR plans to begin the 6-month Forest Therapy Guide certification process in April 2019 and begin offering guided forest therapy to the general public as soon as June 2019. After certification has been achieved in November 2019, CWR plans to form cooperative agreements primarily with mental health providers serving east Kansas City residents.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with psychosocial disabilities

Contingent upon an equipment acquisition grant from the Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority combined with the funding of startup supporters, we will launch this mission-related earnings venture in 2019 to support the costs associated with our other two programs.

The NEIGHBOR Handcrafted Goods (NHG) venture will reclaim fallen timber from east Kansas City residents who cannot afford tree removal, using a portable sawmill and a portable tub grinder. We will turn peripheral limbs into mulch for resale to landscaping companies and garden stores, and we will turn the timber into planks and boards for construction into live-edge furniture and wooden home goods.

Staff hired from the neighborhoods surrounding Clement Forest will work alongside the founders at farmers market venues in Kansas City selling hardwood wares and quality handmade crafts made in east Kansas City neighborhoods, and souvenirs touting Clement Waters Retreat's environmental advocacy message.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Self-employed people

Where we work

Awards

Cohort Member 2017

Project United Knowledge

Cohort Member 2018

Sprint Accelerator

Affiliations & memberships

Episcopal Church Creation Care 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of audience members saying issue is important to them

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with psychosocial disabilities, Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, Victims and oppressed people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These figures represent volunteers, social page fans, newsletter recipients, donors and other engagements online.

Acres of natural habitat restored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with psychosocial disabilities, Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, Victims and oppressed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Clement Waters acquired 4 acres of urban forest in February 2018. It is natural habitat for deer, groundhogs, squirrels, 'critters', songbirds, raptors, small reptiles, 'bugs' and native plants.

Number of conservation areas with evidence that illegal activities causing key threats have declined or stabilized

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, People with psychosocial disabilities, Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, Victims and oppressed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The acquired headquarters acreage is in need of protection from dumping. Dumping is known to signal crime acceptance within a community. Elimination of dumping reduces crime and increases recreation.

Number of audience members willing to take action on behalf of a specific issue

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with psychosocial disabilities, Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, Victims and oppressed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number reflects the people who have attended group sessions, nature therapy sessions, classes, volunteer work sessions and planning meetings.

Number of invasive species removed from managed area(s)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, People with psychosocial disabilities, Economically disadvantaged people, Victims and oppressed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Invasive honeysuckle bushes are public enemy #1 on our 4-acre urban forestland. We removed over 50 cubic yards of it by hand in 2018, and 30 more cubic yards of it by the end of 2021.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The residents near Clement Forest trail frequently encounter lifestyle restrictions isolating them from financial opportunity and shortening their expected lifespan. Working in the Retreat at Gregory Ridge's zip code (our Kansas City urban food forest project is located in 64132), we see evidence every day of disparity: 1.) Metro-wide lowest lifespan; 2.) 45% below federal poverty level; 3.) Within a severe USDA food desert; 4.) 97% African-American, characterized as highly segregated. These statistics occur just one mile away from an 80% Caucasian affluent area of the metro. Economic disparity worsens the already simmering racial conflict and the notoriously high KC crime rate. Clement Waters Retreat follows through with outreach, education and practical solutions which alleviate the pressure that stressors and crises put upon people experiencing chronic and generational poverty. We improve food access for people who lack close grocery stores by facilitating a food and seed sharing network of people who have elected to self-educate about sustainable home food gardening. We improve mental health for people living within walking distance of their neighborhoods' first ever safe walking trail, giving them access to a nature-immersive experience proven to more quickly restore peace of mind. We provide nature therapy walks to populations burdened by health costs associated with chronic health problems caused by poverty symptoms like domestic abuse and adverse childhood events (ACEs). And we back up all of these services with dedicated administrative and volunteer support.

In 2022, Clement Waters Retreat (CWR) will continue maintaining trails, constructing seating and caring for raised food garden beds in the Retreat at Gregory Ridge walking trail. We will continue removing invasive bush honeysuckle to achieve an airy walking experience that will feel safer for the local visitors who frequent the trail. CWR will manage and run a safe rural location for empowerment retreats, marketing the availability and safety to populations not traditionally welcomed into rural environments, utilizing existing customer revenue to supplement program costs. CWR will introduce bio-intensive companion food garden concepts to 20,000 audience members in the Plains Midwest and Ozarks, fully training 1,400 students in a knowledge certification program. CWR will introduce nature therapy as a solution for personal health management to 20,000 audience members in the same geographic area, fully training 1,400 students in a knowledge certification program. CWR will introduce responsible rules for social gathering for self-improvement and group capability to 10,000 audience members, fully training 700 students in a knowledge certification program. Success depends upon the availability and coordination of funding, and the success of fee-for-service earnings from the rural retreat.

We are fortunate to have a roster of over 600 volunteers who perform physical labor work to maintain our physical presence in east Kansas City. Numerous community organizations and other nonprofit organizations have delivered essential help for the achievement of our goals so far, and this is likely to continue. We are fortunate to have the dedication of administratively capable people within our ranks. The greatest challenge facing Clement Waters Retreat at the beginning of 2022 is a mismatch between the enormous efforts spent for coordinating programs and the amount of funding available to provide wages and benefits for dedicated individuals who have thus far worked pro-bono. In fact, at the outset of 2022 there is such a mismatch between funding for wages and work being done that it would be imprudent to place any would-be employees into earnings agreements. We are seeking community partners who want to strengthen our body of work with steadfast financial backing so that we can keep the people who have done the hard work of making this effort into a worthwhile cause.

Since the organization's founding in late 2014, CWR has researched root causes of poverty in urban and rural communities; developed pilot programs to test lessons learned; adapted to pandemic realities to deliver pilot program material virtually and in protected outdoor environments; coordinated volunteer events involving members of the public representing a range of economic, academic and ethnic backgrounds; certified staff to deliver specialized therapeutic services; and acquired two dedicated spaces for service delivery in the heart of areas suffering from chronic and generational poverty. CWR will continue to stand on the solid lessons of the past to bridge gaps between people in need and nature, in ways that empower them to achieve healthy interdependence between themselves and all other beings, operating with compassion, cooperation and open consideration.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

Clement Waters Retreat
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Clement Waters Retreat

Board of directors
as of 03/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Joy Ellsworth

Metropolitan Energy Center

Term: 2021 - 2024

Joy Ellsworth, MPA

Ellsworth Collaborative LLC

Darlis Malindi, CPA

CEO, Sunrise Tax & Accounting LLC

Carl Stafford, BFA

My Region Wins!, Gregory Ridge Neighborhood Association

Connie Stewart

Master Gardener, Community Volunteer

Iyabo Dedmon

CEO/Founder, ThriveOn Concepts, LLC; President, Aspiring Daughters of Promise

James Vokac

Founder, Eleven Point River Headwaters Stream Team; Host/Creator, "Some Things Reconsidered" (KZGM 88.1); High School Science Department Head (ret.)

Michael Nobo, MSW

Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker; Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional; Co-Owner, Food Mood Therapists

Staroyce Washington-Nealy

Founding Director, Global One Urban Farming

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/3/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/03/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.