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April 3, 2019 CAC Minutes




Wednesday, April 3, 2019


Members Present

Bill Bushnell, Sliv Carlson, Liz Crow, Brian Girard, Linda Jahnke, Drew McGovern, Cassy Ordway, Peter Rechelbacher, Marc Rosenberg and John Salditt


Managers Present

Manager Bill Olson


Others Present

MCWD staff: Becky Christopher, Kim LaBo, Mike Hayman and Darren Lochner


Approval of Agenda and Minutes

It was moved by Carlson to approve the agenda and Bushnell provided the second.   All members approved the April agenda.


The CAC reviewed the March minutes and Girard moved to approve the minutes and Carlson provided the second. All members approved the March minutes.


Discussion Items:
Minnehaha Creek Greenway Programming – LaBo

The purpose of this presentation was to provide an update and high level overview on the draft goals, strategies and performance indicators for the Minnehaha Creek Greenway Community Engagement and Programming Plan.  The CAC has been regularly updated on the area known at the Minnehaha Creek Greenway - between West 34th Street and Excelsior Boulevard in St. Louis Park and Hopkins. The presentation highlighted ways the Education Program has been and will be involved in this area.


Kim LaBo, Education and Engagement Coordinator provided background on the shift in the Education Program in response to the strategic planning process at the District.  She provided examples of how the Education Program will be involved with the focal geographies and maintain baseline education programs.  In the Greenway there is an opportunity to increase community connection to the creek by activating existing and new Greenway spaces through programming and place-making.


The development of the draft Minnehaha Creek Greenway Community Engagement and Programming Plan focuses on the opportunity to raise community understanding and support of District projects by increasing outreach and involvement of key stakeholders, and creating a feedback loop to elected officials on the benefits of District work. The plan also creates community engagement processes for planned District projects and activation of completed project spaces through programming, signage and placemaking. 


LaBo highlight projects in regards to the new bridge that will be constructed at Louisiana Avenue and how the passage way under the bridge will continue the Park Nicollet Hospital to the Minnehaha Creek Preserve and the role of art under the bridge.  She provided examples of the tours and signage around the Preserve that will help to further build awareness, understanding and support for projects in the Greenway.  It was mentioned that the District needs to remember to emphasize the water quality message along the way.


Responsive Model Development - Christopher

At the April 3, 2019 CAC meeting, staff and CAC continued discussions regarding development of the District’s responsive implementation model. The staff presentation consisted of two parts: (1) revisiting the purpose and goals discussion from the March meeting to ensure clarity, and (2) gathering input on initial concepts regarding opportunity identification, evaluation, and response. 


First, staff reviewed the two prongs of the District’s implementation model – focal and responsive. Staff highlighted the key differences between the two approaches in terms of who initiates/leads the work, the process for identifying opportunities, the scope of planning and implementation, and the level of District staff and financial resources required. The CAC members appreciated the clarity of the description and information provided on the two different approaches.


Staff then reviewed a simplified version of the purpose and goals for the responsive model.


—Purpose - Provide support for partner projects that align with District goals and priorities


Improve water resources

—Improve integration and early coordination with land-use planning

—Provide service and value to communities

—Efficient and cost-effective

—Clear and transparent

—Flexible and adaptive


Staff identified the two primary audiences for the responsive model as:  cities/public agencies and private development.  Staff outlined a preliminary framework for how opportunities will be identified, evaluated, and responded to for each audience.  The CAC appeared to be clear on the audiences and the preliminary frameworks and complimented staff for the thorough presentation.


CAC members discussed some of the components regarding evaluation and follow-up.  It was noted that the framework must be clear and understandable, defensible, repeatable, consistent, and able to achieve the desired results.  It was suggested that the District use GIS mapping to dial in opportunity areas based on data such as elevations, drainage areas, and proximity to resources. This will make the process more efficient and targeted.


Overall the CAC was quite pleased with the presentation and increased level of clarity of the responsive model.  Staff will use the feedback from the CAC to continue developing the responsive model and will come back to the CAC with a more refined framework for review.



Information Items and Updates:
CAC member updates

Girard asked about spring clean-ups and role of the District.  The District is in full support of clean-ups and does have bags and gloves available to groups. There was also the reminder on the Adopt A Drain program.


Jahnke reminded CAC members of Metro Blooms Workshops


Crow pointed out Water Action Day at the Capital.


Board updates – Manager Olson
New Board of Manager appointments from Hennepin County are likely to occur in late April.


Staff updates – Lochner

A presentation on water management was provided including several recent MCWD publications.  This information will be shared with the CAC following the meeting. The presentation covered the publications as well as where to find information on the MCWD website and social media.


  • Water Management Approach in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed
  • Gray’s Bay Dam Partnership – Proactive management of water levels
  • Nokomis Area Groundwater & Surface Water Evaluation FAQS
  • Website and Social Media


Bushnell made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Salditt seconded.  All CAC members approved.  Meeting adjourned 8:40 p.m.


Next Meeting is Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

Board of Manager Liaison Kurt Rogness

Minutes or Agenda?: