Volunteer profile: Joe Knaeble

February 15, 2017

City: Minneapolis

Why do you volunteer in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District?

I think the most important issue of our time is for human beings to become much more responsible members of the earth. Since clean water is a basic necessity for all living things, how to protect existing clean water and to drastically reduce our water polluting practices is fundamental in establishing a place as responsible members of the community of life on the planet. Working on clean water issues in the watershed is an ideal way to nurture and create an environmental ethic and practices that sustain living systems rather than disrupts and destroys them.

Community Involvement

  • Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association board member and member of LHENA Environmental Committee.
  • Master Water Steward
  • Low Salt Diet for Minneapolis Campaign Core Group
  • Wilderness Inquiry volunteer
  • Katerie Residence volunteer.

Why do you think someone should volunteer their time?

To some extent we are all responsible for the environmental damage of modern civilization so we all need to be play a part in righting the ship. Whether it is through our job or volunteer work or both it will require a majority of environmentally aware and active people to make the transition to becoming life sustaining communities and cultures. There is no better place to start than in our own community/watershed.

What is your favorite memory or experience in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District?

Paddling Minnehaha Creek in the early spring and seeing my first Great Horned Owl.

What is your favorite outdoor place or natural area in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District?

Cedar Lake since it is has a more natural or semi natural shoreline and Minnehaha Creek.

Do you have any other experiences in Minnehaha Creek Watershed District you'd wish to share?

Several years ago, on a bike ride on the Cedar Lake Regional Trail, I stopped at the bridge over Minnehaha Creek and took a break. I walked up to the railing and looked down into the creek and saw a Great Blue Heron standing in the water almost directly below me. Having never seen a Great Blue from this vantage point I was amazed to see the white criss cross design on the top of its head. We both remained motionless for 30 seconds or so until it became aware of my presence and flew off.

Read more about Joe's volunteer efforts in this feature from Clean Water MN.