Past Projects

Below is a summary for projects funded for 2017. Click here for a complete list of funded projects since the fund's origin in 1998. 

Alliance for Sustainability Linking Master Water Stewards with Neighborhoods for Water Quality

Non-profit Alliance for Sustainability will be working with Master Water Stewards (certified volunteers with experience in water resource protection) to bring behavior change campaigns to their local communities.  Campaigns include neighborhood cleanups, keeping yard waste out of wetlands and shorelines, and reducing winter salt use at local businesses.

Grant Award: $1,250

The Blake School – Using Plants to Fight Runoff Pollution – 4th Graders at The Blake School 

The 4th graders at The Blake School in Hopkins will be learning about the water cycle and impact of runoff pollution on water (especially Minnehaha Creek).  Students will travel the length of the creek, learning how human choices impact the creek.  Students and teachers will then partner to create signage at school talking about runoff and how people can protect the creek.

Grant Award: $1,450

Clear Springs Elementary School – Clear Springs Elementary Inquiry-Based Community Watershed Project

Clear Springs Elementary School 5th graders will be partnering with a Master Water Steward to install a cistern and raingardens at a St. Louis Park townhome.  Students will learn about raingardens, stormdrains, and the environmental impacts of runoff – culminating in a “Watershed Outreach Day” where they describe their project and what they learned to the local community.

Grant Award: $3,000

Freshwater Society – Community Resilience Workshops – Building Resilience to Our Changing Climate

Freshwater Society facilitate a series of interactive workshops to educate and engages local communities on the importance of climate change, current and anticipated impacts, and the need to build community resilience through planning.  The outcome will be local and specific climate change action plans for participating communities that can be incorporated into municipal comprehensive plans.

Grant Award: $5,000

Freshwater Society – Helping Cities Work with Master Water Stewards to Achieve MS4 Goals

Freshwater Society will host an interactive event that will showcase examples of city efforts that have successfully engaged Master Water Stewards  and develop a framework other cities can use to effectively leverage the expertise and value Stewards can bring to cities when trying to meet their MS4 permit goals.   

Grant Award: $7,500

Friends of the Mississippi River – Minnehaha Creek Watershed Stewardship Initiative

Friends of the Mississippi River will host several community workshops to train and inspire local residents to take action in their homes and yards to protect local water resources, including new and emerging pollution issues. Post-event follow up outreach and evaluation will provide valuable information about the impact of the workshops and push participants towards further behavior changes and in-the-ground projects at home. 

Grant Award: $7,500

Great River Greening – Field Learning for Teens

Great River Greening will pilot their “Field Learning for Teens” program in the Minnehaha Creek Greenway – a recent focal restoration area in the communities of St. Louis Park and Hopkins.  Great River Greening will be working with local science teachers and youth leaders to use these restoration sites as vehicles to reinforce water quality concepts and inspire a passion for lifelong stewardship.

Grant Award: $10,000

Hamline University CGEE  - Lake Hiawatha Adopt-A-Drain

Hamline University will work to expand the Adopt-a-Drain outreach program in the Lake Hiawatha watershed by expanding into areas of the watershed not in direct proximity to the lake.  Hamline will then evaluate the similarities and differences in the two geographic areas (nearby lake vs further away from lake) to help determine how outreach methods and proximity to a water body affects adoption.

Grant Award: $6,000

Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association – Low Salt Diet for Minneapolis Businesses

The Environmental Committee of the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association will work to develop targeted educational tools and an outreach campaign aimed at reducing the amount of salt being used on sidewalks and parking lots by local Minneapolis businesses.

Grant Award: $10,000

Metro Blooms – Maintenance Training & Certification for Non-Stormwater Professionals

Metro Blooms will work to expand the availability of qualified and affordable maintenance services through a field training pilot program for non-stormwater professionals.  Following the training, Metro Blooms will connect certified graduates with property owners in need of maintenance services. 

Grant Award: $10,000

Nawayee Center School – Mde Maka Ska Historical and Promotional Video

The Mde Maka Ska Canoe Nations Gathering event is an opportunity for Native American youth, parents, and community to re-engage the sacredness of water (mni wakan) by reintegrating this important piece of history surrounding the local water systems into local school curriculum.  Nawayee Center School will develop a promotional video about the event to document the sacred role of water in their culture – and the need to promote its continued protection.

Grant Award: $1,000

Southwest High School PTSA Wellness Committee – Water, Wellness, & Worldview

The Wellness Committee of Southwest High School’s PTSA will conduct a year-long study of how water, wellness, and worldview are intricately connected – culminating in an all-school event tied to their annual Wellness Day.  The project aims to build healthy individuals who understand that their world and their water and intricately tied to their wellbeing.

Grant Award: $5,000

Tree Trust – Be a Steward, Plant a Tree, Clean the Water

Tree Trust will partner with communities in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District to offer a tree distribution and education program to residents.  The program will educate homeowners on the benefits of trees in protecting and improving water quality, and would aid homeowners in planting trees to mitigate stormwater runoff. 

Grant Award: $8,000

University of Minnesota – Connecting Stormwater Management to Bees, Pollinators, Other Beneficial Insects & Healthy Ecosystems

The University of Minnesota Bee Squad will work to educate residents through interactive events on the connection of stormwater management to beneficial insects (including bees and other pollinators) and healthy ecosystems in order to reduce shoreline pesticide use and increase water quality.

Grant Award: $7,500

Wilderness Inquiry – “Own Your Shed”: Increasing Access, Connections, and Ownership through Place-Based Watershed Education

Local non-profit Wilderness inquiry will connect over 2,000 youth and their families to hands-on watershed education.  The project aims to develop environmental stewardship in youth through a three-step approach: access to their watershed through experiences such as canoeing and water quality testing, connection to their watershed by engaging in a service learning project, and ownership of their watershed by learning how changing behaviors positively impacts and protects the watershed. 

Grant Award: $15,000