NEWSBRIEF: Join your neighbors to protect the water

All across the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area and beyond, individuals are joining with neighbors to make a significant difference in the health of water in their communities. By becoming trained and certified as Master Water Stewards, neighbors have helped make measurable impacts on water quality. Applications are now being accepted for the next cohort of Master Water Stewards who want to make a difference in their community. Classes start in October.

Master Water Stewards are certified by participating in a broad training curriculum led by experts in the fields of hydrology, stormwater management, water policy, community-based social marketing, and rain garden assessment and installation. They must complete a capstone project that captures rainfall and allows more water to soak into the ground, and lead a community outreach event. Stewards then become a point of knowledge and influence in their communities.

Master Water Stewards volunteer their time for watershed districts and environmental groups, participating on city and local government boards, influencing policy and changing the health of our waters.

Master Water Stewards volunteer 50 hours of community service in their initial year of certification, at least 25 hours each subsequent year and attend eight hours of continuing education to maintain their certification. To date, stewards have accomplished a tremendous amount through their service.

They have connected with thousands of people through outreach and educational events; have installed or planned more than 83 projects, including rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, a dry creek bed and a permeable driveway; are preventing millions of gallons of polluted stormwater runoff from entering our lakes, rivers and creeks each year. In the process these efforts are removing silt, leaves and plant material, animal waste, automobile gas and oil spillage, excess salt, and other debris from  neighborhoods.

To learn more, citizens can visit www.masterwaterstewards.org or attend any of the upcoming information sessions at one of the following locations:

• Aug. 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Harriet Alexander Nature Center, 2520 Dale St. N., Roseville

• Aug. 21, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Vermillion River Watershed JPO, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley

• Aug. 21, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center

• Aug. 28, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Big Wood Brewery, 2222 Fourth St, White Bear Lake

• Aug. 28, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Golden Valley Library, 830 Winnetka Ave. N., Golden Valley

• Aug. 28, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Washington Conservation District, 455 Hayward Ave. N., Oakdale

• Sept. 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Freshwater, 2424 W Territorial Road, St. Paul

 

Find more dates and times at www.masterwaterstewards.org/calendar.

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