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  • 09 Feb 2016 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    A big round a applause for Ray Schmidtz and Bruce Frutiger who each received a 2015 Olmsted County , Rochester Public Utilities Environmental Achievement Award in January.


    Schmitz is active in many environmental organizations in the area, including the Zumbro Watershed Partnership, EarthFest, and the Environmental Commission.


    Bruce Frutiger teaches high school students at Century High School  in Rochester about environmental issues.


    The awards recognize individuals and organizations in Olmsted County who make a significant contribution to Environmental Quality in Olmsted County. For more information, visit: https://www.rpu.org/environment/environmental-achievement-awards/

  • 04 Feb 2016 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    In 2009, the City of Rochester launched Realize Rain Gardens Rochester - a cost-share grant program promoting the installation of residential rain gardens in Rochester. A task force of interested citizens and the City’s Public Works staff developed this program. Selected sites are used to demonstrate how raingardens slow, treat, and infiltrate storm water, while adding beauty to neighborhoods and creating habitat for songbirds and butterflies. This program has facilitated the installation of over 30 rain gardens since 2009.  Hundreds of residents have discovered the benefits of these water-cleaning wonders through tours, Rain Garden Parties, and workshops. This program is also a recipient of the Committee on Urban Design & Environment’s Institutional Development award.

     

    The Realize Rain Gardens Rochester program will award cost-share grants to both residential customers and non-profit organizations, including schools, located within the city limits of Rochester. Residential applications must propose projects located within Rochester’s city limits on a residential parcel owned by a Rochester citizen. Community applications must be submitted by a non-profit organization for a proposed location that has an ability to reach large audiences. Schools located in Rochester are also eligible to apply. Applicants have until May 1, 2016 to submit their application for a cost-share grant to assist in the creation of a raingarden. Applications are reviewed and ranked, with up to seven projects receiving a cost-share grant. The grant award will be for 50% of verifiable costs, up to a maximum of $750.00 per project. Eligible expenditures include the costs for the design, plants, mulch, soil amendment, related materials, and labor. To be considered for this year’s grant round, raingardens must be installed in 2016 on parcels within Rochester’s city limits and outside of utility and drainage easements or road rights-of-way. 

     

    More details about the Realize Rain Gardens Rochester cost-share grant program, including the application form and pictures of past grant winners, can be found on the City’s stormwater website: www.rochesterstormwater.com/rrr People without computer access may contact Megan Moeller, Public Works Department at (507) 328-2440 to request an application package or obtain assistance while preparing grant applications.

     

    Save the Date for Related Programs:

    ·         Introduction to Rain Gardens: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 from 7-8:30pm at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota - Cascade Meadow (www.cascademeadow.org)

    ·         Realize Rain Gardens Rochester Cost Share Grant Writing Workshop: Monday, February 29, 2016 from 7-9:00pm in City Hall Conference Room 104
  • 28 Jan 2016 3:11 PM | Anonymous

    Our friends at the Land Stewardship Project are holding workshops that will help farmers protect their soil and our water resources.


    STARTING MONDAY, FEB. 1 - LSP'S FARM TRANSITION PLANNING WORKSHOP SERIES of three consecutive Mondays for families ready to give considerable thought to what's next for their farms. The cost is $150 per family, which covers three full-day sessions and materials. Space is limited; to register or for more information, contact LSP's Karen Stettler, 507-523-3366 or stettler@landstewardshipproject.org.  Other details at https://landstewardshipproject.org/events/item/773.

    THURSDAYS, FEB. 4 AND 11 - "IT'S NOT JUST DIRT ANYMORE - MAXIMIZING SOIL HEALTH" WORKSHOPS in Plainview and Lewiston. Each site features different national and regional experts in cover crops and soil health. The $10 fee covers a meal and materials. To help with the meal count, please RSVP for Feb. 4 (Plainview) by Tuesday, Feb. 2; please RSVP for Feb. 11 (Lewiston) by Feb. 9 to Doug Nopar, 507-523-3366, dnopar@landstewardshipproject.org. Speakers and other details at https://landstewardshipproject.org/events/item/797.

    THURSDAY, MAR. 3 - "SPRING PREP! COVER CROP STRATEGIES, SEED, AND SOIL SCIENCE" WORKSHOP in Chatfield UMC, 1-3:30 p.m. with area cover crop farmers, the go-to guy for the Haney soil health test, state researchers, and engaged seed houses. Come for coffee and leave inspired and supported as you take on not just your yield this year but the ongoing health of your soil every year. RSVP helpful plus details at Caroline van Schaik, 507-523-3366, caroline @landstewardshipproject.org.

    SATURDAY, AP. 2 - "LAND ETHIC AT WORK" WORKSHOP at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center for anyone trying to articulate and then put their priorities to work on the land. 8:30 a.m. to dessert after Dinner on the Bluff guest speaker Dr. Bruno Borsari on his recent work in Panama. Early Bird rate until Mar. 12; please register at https://winona.augusoft.net/index.cfm?method=ClassInfo.ClassInformation&int_class_id=1795&int_category_id=0&int_sub_category_id=0&int_catalog_id=0&bit_url=1.  Scholarship and exhibitor opportunities; please contact Caroline van Schaik, 507-523-3366, caroline@landstewardshipproject.org. with questions. Details at https://landstewardshipproject.org/events/item/770.

  • 26 Jan 2016 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    The second annual Rochester EarthFest Expo will be held April 24th at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium. The goal of the Expo is to promote sustainable living through education, interactive displays, and promoting green products. Our theme this year will be "100% Renewable Energy by 2031". 2016 will be an exciting year with Mayor Brede's proclamation for 100% renewable energy by 2031, the DMC sustainability plan, and the upcoming Rochester Energy Action Plan.

     

    The Expo is the grand finale of a 7-day EarthFest celebration. The Expo will be held at the Mayo Civic Center Exhibition Hall on April 24th from 10AM-4PM. Setup will begin at 7:00 that morning. EarthFest is organized by the Rochester Climate Coalition, which is a coalition of non-profit organizations who are interested in promoting an earth-friendly sustainable lifestyle.

     

     In addition to our green building and sustainable living commercial booths, the fair will feature:


    •          A way cool Zumbro Watershed Partnership Booth and ...
    •          Visits from "Zumbro Zoe" our 6-foot SpokesOtter, photos with the Otter

    •          Electric Vehicle show

    •          Educational classes

    •          Children’s activities

    •          Non-profit environmental group displays

    •          Keynote speaker to be determined 

     

  • 05 Jan 2016 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    PRESS RELEASE
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2016
    Contact: Megan Duffey Moeller
    City of Rochester, Public Works Department
    201 4th Street SE, Room 108
    Rochester, MN 55904
    507–328-2440
    mmoeller@rochestermn.gov


    Mussels of Southeastern Minnesota

    Speaker Series at Saint Mary’s University – Cascade Meadow


    Who knew the Zumbro River’s mussels could be so fascinating! Join us to learn all about these important invertebrates, including: how they live, how they reproduce, why we should care about them, threats to their wellbeing, and how they can tell us about the health of our waterways. We will also learn how the Minnesota DNR’s native mussel program has been working to protect these important animals and what they plan to do in the future.
    Presentation by Shelby Marr, Malacologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
    This program is FREE of charge.
    Date: January 26, 2016
    Time: 6-7:30 pm
    Place: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota – Cascade Meadow
    2900 19th Street NW, Rochester, 55901
    Cost: Free
    No reservations are necessary.

  • 22 Dec 2015 3:41 PM | Anonymous

    Documentary Screening: Project WILD THING; Saturday, January 9, 10:00 a.m., Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, 2900--19th St. NW, Rochester, MN


    Together with Project Get Outdoors (GO), Cascade Meadow invites parents, grandparents, child care providers and others concerned about the well-being of children to come learn more about connecting kids to nature for their health and to foster future stewards of our natural world.

    The Project WILD THING documentary follows British filmaker, David Bond, who is worried about his children. His kids' waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors - not like it was back in his day. David decides it's time to get back to nature – literally. Project WILD THING brings to light the obstacles keeping children from experiencing the outdoors and presents accessible opportunities to reconnect families to the natural world.

    Audience participants will have the opportunity to share in a group dialogue facilitated by representatives of Project GO and the local medical community. Free resources will be available to help you connect children to nature.

  • 11 Dec 2015 1:42 PM | Anonymous

    If you are looking for ways that you, or those who work with you, could find proven land uses practices that will lead to cleaner rivers and streams, then check out the new University of MN Extension "Field to Steam: Managing Water in Rural Landscapes" guide. Download it as a pdf here.

  • 11 Dec 2015 1:28 PM | Anonymous

    While the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) is creating a map of the "public waters" that will require an average 50-food vegetated buffer, a part of the legislation gives county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) the ability and responsibility to identify waters that are not listed as "pubic waters."


    According to current and former SE MN conservation staff, in come cases, one portion of a stream might be defined as a "public waters" and another stretch, just 100 yards downstream might not be "public waters."


    This new legislation will let local conservation district staff fix inconsistencies in the defined "public waters." Local residents and conservation groups can also ask the local SWCDs to add waters to the "public waters" list.


    Want to see the proposed MN DNR Public Waters map? Click on this link.

  • 11 Dec 2015 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    On Thursday, Dec. 10, MPCA Watershed Specialist Justin Watkins gave a presentation about the state of rivers and water in southeastern Minnesota. If you missed the presentation or would like to see Justin's slides, Click Here.

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Zumbro Watershed Partnership, Inc.
1485 Industrial Drive NW, Room 102
Rochester, MN 55901



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