Building Partners for Greater Stewardship: 2012 Great River Greening Accomplishment
Thanks to our friends and supporters, in 2012, Greening increased the scope of our impact, achieving more diverse conservation results and expanding our geography. Our conservation programs demonstrate our growing leadership in conservation partnerships throughout the greater Twin Cities and beyond.
1,800 Greening partners and volunteers restored nearly 3,000 acres including 226 acres of prairie, a rare plant community, and almost 200 acres to improve water quality. Planted 1,706 trees and shrubs. Installed 22,500 forbs and grasses. Removed 1,041 acres of invasive species.
Group volunteers included employees from Braun Intertec, Cargill, Starbucks, and Xcel Energy. In total, major funding from 3M Foundation, REI, Vinaya Foundation and Xcel Energy Foundation.
We engaged more youth: Greening introduced a new youth program in 2012, in partnership with the Conservation Corps. Like our Science Area Teen Network, the new Summer Youth Job Corps serves at-risk youth. Participants learn personal development and job skills through tenting camp with Americorps leaders while also working on Great River Greening sites.
Major 2012 funding from Best Buy Children's Foundation, Pentair Foundation, and Starbucks Foundation.
Conservation programs leveraged resources and partners
Seven-Mile Creek Watershed; Minnesota River Program:
Thirteen conservation practices are underway at Seven Mile Creek in Nicollet County, a tributary of the Minnesota River and the only designated trout stream in the southern Minnesota region. Greening is working with several partners to reduce agricultural pollution by engaging farmers through landowner workshops, BBQ dinners and mailings.
Major private awards from the McKnight Foundation, RBC Blue Water Project, and Xcel Energy Foundation, with additional funding from Clifbar Family Foundation, Minnesota Valley Electric, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Board of Soil and Water Resources, Fishers and Farmers Partnership, and Rahr Foundation.
Greening is a part of two area partnerships, Metro Conservation Corridors and Big Rivers Habitat Partnership, focused on a network of ecologically significant lands stretching from the metro area's urban core to rural perimeter. Since 2003, we have restored over 1,000 acres across nearly 40 sites, in portions of 16 counties. In 2012, Greening volunteers made a difference for water quality at local lakes and waters, including: Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park in New Prague, Colby Lake in Edgewater Park, Woodbury, and Spring Lake Regional Park in Prior Lake.
Major funding from Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Minnesota Environmental Trust Fund through the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, and additional funding from local communities.
Anoka Sandplain Partnership:
Greening is spearheading this 20-member Partnership comprising government agencies and NGOs. We are working collaboratively to advance terrestrial and freshwater resource conservation across east-central Minnesota, on both public and private lands. In 2012, the Partnership restored and enhanced almost 2,000 acres including work at Carlos Avery, the largest Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in the Twin Cities Metro Area and one of the iconic WMAs in the state of Minnesota.
Major funding from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund through the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. Other funders include Buuck Family Foundation, Centerpoint Energy, Great River Energy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rathmann Family Foundation, and Xcel Energy Foundation.
Rum River Watershed: Greening is working collaboratively with Minnesota DNR, Minnesota Land Trust and others, to improve 1,960 feet of shoreline and 52 acres along the Wild and Scenic Rum River in Isanti County. Last year, we initiated three restoration projects associated with the river's floodplain forests. Six of 8 Wild and Scenic Rivers are located within agricultural watersheds; this is the first of several such rivers we hope to work on.
Major funding from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, with additional funding from Centerpoint Energy, Connexus Energy, Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund, Minnesota DNR Shorelands Program, Minnesota Environmental Trust Fund, ONEOK Foundation, US Fish & Wildlife Service Private Lands Program.
- Conservation Partner Award: Presented by National Wild Turkey Federation. For organizing and leading the Anoka Sandplain Partnership, a group of 20 public agencies and nonprofits working to restore wildlife habitat in east central Minnesota.
- Best Booth Display: Presented by HandsOn Twin Cities. For best booth display at the HandsOn Twin Cities Volunteer Expo on February 18 at the Mall of America.
- Random Acts of Kindness Award: Presented by the City of Brooklyn Center. For contributing to the community spirit of Brooklyn Center in the streambank restoration of Shingle Creek by planting 10,000 live stake cuttings of willow and dogwood species, and 500 shrubs and trees.
- Environmental Excellence Award: Presented by the City of Woodbury for the innovative stormwater management practices represented by the Woodbury Conservation Corridor, a collaboration with the South Washington Watershed District.