Seven projects that use education to protect clean water will receive grants from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) in 2014. The MCWD’s Cynthia Krieg Watershed Stewardship Grant program awards $100,000 in grants each year to local communities, schools, civic groups, non-profit groups and others for projects that help people understand the importance of protecting our water resources and learn what they can do to keep their local lakes, streams and wetlands clean.
Projects selected for funding span the entire District. They include new, hands-on water quality curricula for students and campers in the western metro, a guide for shoreline gardening on Lake Minnetonka, wetland buffer landscaping and an educational kiosk at the planned bandstand at Steiger Lake in Victoria, informative short videos about runoff produced by Minneapolis community members and a program connecting interested organizations with opportunities to participate in clean water projects across the watershed.
“The recipients of funding this year will reach a wide range of audiences with information about how to protect our water resources,” said MCWD Education Manager Leslie Yetka. “From school students and summer campers to lakeshore residents and neighborhood groups, the people reached through these projects will learn how they can participate in important clean water work.”
You can learn more about the Cynthia Krieg Watershed Stewardship Grant program at www.minnehahacreek.org/cynthia-krieg.
“The Lake Minnetonka Guide to Shoreline Gardening” – reGEN Land Design ($25,000)
Creates a practical guide for combining native and horticultural plant species to create resilient shoreline gardens that add value to properties along Lake Minnetonka. Shoreline gardens add beauty and stabilize soils to protect water quality and deter geese, among other benefits. The guide re-frames common messages about “shoreline restoration” to appeal to gardeners, helping reach a new audience of potential water stewards.
“Camp Tanadoona’s Water Quality Initiative” –CampFire MN ($18,650)
Allows Camp Tanadoona in Excelsior to hire a Water Quality Specialist who will develop a curriculum for campers and train fellow staff and counselors to integrate it into the camp’s year-round programming. This curriculum will reach 2,500 people each year through the camp’s year-round program.
“A Bandstand” – Community Involvement Endowment ($15,500)
Installs wetland buffer landscaping around a soon-to-be-built bandstand to protect water quality of Steiger Lake in Victoria. Educational kiosks at the site will focus on wetland preservation, clean-water landscaping and how public/ private partnerships can help preserve water quality during new development endeavors.
“Linking Master Water Stewards with Congregations, Neighborhoods and City Environmental Commissions for Hands-On Projects” – Alliance for Sustainability ($14,624.55)
Connects community volunteers who are certified Master Water Stewards with congregations, neighborhoods and citizen groups to lead and participate in clean water projects throughout the District.
“Outdoor Learning Center Construction and Stewardship Project – Phase I” – Minnetonka Preschool and Early Childhood Family Education ($12,300)
Constructs an Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) for young children and their parents. The center will focus on water quality and other environmental issues. This grant will fund clean-water landscaping around the center, including the planting of native plants and removal of invasive plants.
“Community-Based Viral Videos” – Houchin Brothers Entertainment ($7,000)
Produces two short, light-hearted videos about stormwater runoff — one about the hydrologic cycle and another about how surface water becomes polluted. Community members from a handful of Minneapolis neighborhoods will help create the videos during workshops and use their networks and social media to share the outcomes to a wider audience.
“Water Quality and Non-Point Pollution around Minnetonka School District” – Scenic Heights Elementary 4/5 Navigators ($6,925.45)
Uses the scientific process to teach students in Minnetonka how to measure non-point pollution in stormwater runoff and assess local water quality. Students will synthesize and communicate their results and recommendations to community members and peers.