Great River Greening’s project goals are to improve the region’s natural resources by improving ecological systems and promoting stewardship and management of critical lands and waters. Within this goal, we choose our projects according to very specific criteria: conservation need; ecosystem services provided, likelihood of project success, and community benefits.
- Forests and Freshwaters Campaign: Approximately 40% of assessed water bodies have been listed as impaired. While the issue of water quality is complex and requires multiple organizations and strategies, we as a community of volunteers can do many things in the next five years. Through the Campaign for Forests and Freshwater, we all have an opportunity to put Minnesota on the path to clean water. We each can make a difference to ensure that our precious water resources will be here for generations to come.
- Anoka Sandplain Partnership: Great River Greening is leading a partnership of 20 conservation stakeholders to advance terrestrial and freshwater resource conservation in this ecological region. The Anoka Sandplain serves as a critical filter for the aquifer that provides the Twin Cities and east-central Minnesota with most of its drinking water. It is also a rich collection of natural resources, including two state Wild and Scenic Rivers and numerous wildlife management areas. 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.
- Metro Big Rivers Habitat Partnership: Work started in this newly formed Partnership to elevate conservation within habitat corridors along the Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix rivers in the Twin Cities Metro Area. 2011 projects included invasive species removal within calcareous fens at two state-owned SNAs. Major funding from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund through the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
- Metro Conservation Corridors Partnership: Through this partnership, Greening has restored 1,100 acres across 37 sites over the past nine years. Among other 2011 projects, more than 100 volunteers removed invasive species at Ike's Creek, one of the few native trout streams in the metro area, adjacent to the Minnesota Valley Natural Wildlife Refuge. Major funding from the Minnesota Environmental Trust Fund through the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
- Seven-Mile Creek Watershed: Great River Greening is beginning work on the first of several partnerships demonstrating that conservation impact can be made in agricultural watersheds. At Seven-Mile Creek (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 including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fishers & Farmers Partnership, Nicollet County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Major awards from the McKnight Foundation, RBC Blue Water Project, and Xcel Energy Foundation will help support this multiyear work targeting several watersheds.