Water Quality Program

Want help managing water resources on your land?

Planting trees on farms and along shorelines can reduce nutrient pollution in local lakes, rivers, and streams. Our Water Quality Program establishes demonstration farms around the Great Lakes, and shares research and education on the potential for agroforestry systems to meet the challenge of the water crisis.

Education and Outreach

With financial support from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, the Savanna Institute and its partners are investing heavily in demonstrating the potential for widespread agroforestry to impact an entire watershed. Demonstration farms being established in Michigan and Wisconsin will be educational hubs for farmers and community members to learn more about the water quality benefits of farming with trees. Here we will conduct research into agroforestry’s full impact on an ecosystem. A series of toolkits created by partners will empower landowners and farmers with best practices and lessons learned on leasing, financing, and tree selection. Plus, our team of media specialists will document the process of establishing a variety of agroforestry practices in different contexts. With this broad set of resources, we will guide farmers each step along their path to planting trees for water quality.

Watch the Videos

Explore the Resources

West Michigan river with blue heron.

Our Research

Savanna Institute’s Ecosystem Services Team monitors water and soil quality to quantify agroforestry’s impact on the ecosystem. At demonstration farms in Wisconsin and Illinois, we’ve dug 100 cores each one meter deep to track soil carbon. This research will help inform standards for how climate mitigation is quantified across carbon markets.

Join Events Near You

Savanna Institute Open House attendees touring the farm.
A wide river with trees and cliffs.


The Daybreak Fund has announced its inaugural round of funding, awarding some $1.4 million in grants to local nonprofits and community groups to help fight climate change, improve water quality, and address social inequities.

Thank You Partners