Help Launch Water Bear Cooperative Land Project




Donate to the Water Bear Cooperative Land Project so that we can PAY OFF our first property as we build a community land trust. 

Water Bear Cooperative Land Project
is a center and community land trust dedicated to programs of learning, healing, and building for the black community.
-  A multipurpose space for people to teach courses, participate in fellowship programs, and do skillshare trainings.
-  A landing place where our community can come together to strategize a sustainable society, develop ecologically friendly structures, and connect with the land in a new way.
-  An institution that is dedicated to creating the necessary cultural shifts that are needed to transform community.

We want to establish a culture of holistic growth for several generations to come while paying homage to the cultures of our heritage. We know that our liberation is deeply tied to the land and our relationship with her. Black and Indigenous people have been dispossessed continuously and the harm that it has caused our communities is immeasurable. We are walking in the lineage of freedom fighters who understood this and fought back by collectivizing and creating alternatives to combat these forms of oppression.

What is a Water Bear?
Also known as Tardigrades (/ˈtɑr-dɪ-ɡreɪd/), water bears are a phylum of water-dwelling eight-legged segmented micro-animals.
-  They have been found everywhere, from mountaintops to the deep sea and mud volcanoes, and from tropical rainforests to the Antarctic
-  Water Bears are among the most resilient animals known, with individual species able to survive extreme conditions—such as exposure to extreme temperatures, extreme pressures (both high and low), air deprivation, radiation, dehydration, and starvation— even exposure to outer space!
-  Water Bears work as pioneer species by inhabiting new developing environments


What is a Community Land Trust?
We walk in the lineage of New Communities, Inc. - the first community land trust created by Black southern farmers in Albany, GA.

A community land trust is a nonprofit corporation that develops and stewards affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces and other community assets on behalf of a community.

Community Land Trusts create possibilities for the community by:
-  Balancing the needs of individuals to access land and maintain security of tenure with a community’s need to maintain affordability, economic diversity and local access to essential services
-  Removing land from the speculative market so that the property is not compromised by market or ownership shifts.


This is the request:

--  Personal Donation - Our minimum ask is an initial seed of $100-$250.  We want to meet our goal quickly, so donate in larger amounts if you have the financial capacity. Please contribute in an amount that is in alignment with the type of change you want to see in the South. 

--  Family, Friends, and Network Support - Commit to fundraising at least $1,000 from your family, friends, and networks to support Water Bear. Phone/text banking, email sharing, or fundraising parties are all great ways to collectively collect funds. 

--  Matching Donations/Large Donation Networks - Do you know any community investors or organizations that would be willing to match our fundraising effort or give in large qualities over $15,000? Please send us these connections to [email redacted]

--  Social Media Blasts and Circulation - We are live online at ! Donation options are listed on the site. Please share and circulate on social media and ask people to donate!

With your contribution...

The Water Bear Cooperative Land Project will serve the Nashville community in 4 dynamic ways:

1. Ecological Sustainability Practice - Composting and Waste Reduction, Farming, Permaculture, and Urban Farming, New Economies Education, Animal and Wildlife Education , Skill Shares and Community Trainings
2. Cultural & Organizing Programming - Rites of Passage, Cultural Arts, Movement History, Organizing Institutes, Resilience Strategies, Popular and Political Education
3. Healing & Retreat Center - Tranquil Retreat Space, Meditative Practice, Spiritual Development, Meeting and Conference Space, Experimental Practice Space
4. Conflict Resolution & Peace Center - Conflict Resolution, Mediation, Repairing Relationships, Communication Skills and other Relational Skills, Transformative Justice

This vision has been a labor of love for our team for the last 3 years and now we are ready to activate. We know our community needs connection, needs each other, and needs the land. 

On March 2-3, Nashville was blindsided by a tornado further cementing the need for this center in the long term. North Nashville, where Water Bear will call home, was especially impacted and has not received the response we need to fully recover. This tornado has been a stark awakening and we will continue to be inundated in this time of crisis. Here are some things we know and have already started to take shape:

-   Tornados and other disasters hit at a moment's notice and we must respond rapidly. No one could have told us this would happen. While there are some things that we can never anticipate, there are ways we can be ready when a crisis hits. The Water Bear Coop Land Project is positioned and ready to teach our people how to prepare for extreme emergencies and develop survivalist strategies. We are dedicated to the principle of African principle of "Akoben" meaning readiness. We need not only rapid response and mobilization but a system and culture around preparedness for the emergencies to come.

-   Nashville's display of camaraderie and support has been so beautiful to see. In moments like these, people come together to support, provide care, and collectivize resources for the survival of everyone. That is cooperation. It is a lifestyle that we are often told is too hard and that we can not do. But when the traditional structures fail us, we have always returned to. Water Bear is about shifting from a culture of individualism to a culture of collectivism. We need a training ground for us to learn cooperative economics and build cooperatives that fit our needs all the time.

-   Those who were suffering before the storm are suffering even more now. Pre-existing inequities are exacerbated by disaster and puts disadvantaged communities at an even greater disparity. The storm of displacement and gentrification has been knocking at our door and developers will use this tragedy to benefit them and build them wealth. Developers were out the day of the tornado scouting our black neighborhoods and offering folks money to sell. Water Bear is a cooperative land trust. Land trusts are designed to take land off the market for profit and speculation and put it back into community to meet our needs. We need more community resources that are not always at risk of being taken so we can have security and peace of mind. 

Thank you in advance for your support and love as we build toward the world that we want to see ❤️

Free The Land,
The Water Bear Team
Joseph Bazelais, Rhiana Anthony, Tremonisha West, Aaron Rodriquez 


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  • Erin A Kice 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Constance Collier-Mercado 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Neal Palmer 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Sarah Nelson 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Lisa Connor 
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
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Fundraising team: Team Water Bear (3)

Rhiana Anthony 
Raised $14,023 from 88 donations
Nashville, TN
Water Bear 
Tremonisha West 
Team member
Raised $125 from 3 donations
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