It’s almost time for corn dogs, mini donuts, and a fun-filled day at Great Minnesota get-together — the Minnesota State Fair. This year Freshwater is excited to be back at the state fair where we will be selling our 2023 Weather Environment Calendar and Almanac, like the pre-COVID days.
This year is ushering a number of changes for Jen Kader. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, she started in a new role at Freshwater as our director for engagement and systems change. Later that same month, her peers on the state’s Clean Water Council—all of whom are appointed by the governor to serve on the council—unanimously elected her council vice chair.
Freshwater recently renewed our organizational commitment to embrace our mission—to empower people to value and conserve fresh water—by thoughtfully considering the details and meaning of “people.” Whom do we mean when we say empowering people? Our board and staff realize, of course, that our mission is for all people, knowing that individually and collectively, all people need to share in protecting and conserving water.
Freshwater’s new Adopt a River program is up and running and already processing registrations for shoreline cleanups! Whether it’s a one-time cleanup or an adoption (a commitment to clean multiple times), a stretch of the Mississippi or your neighborhood pond, participating in Adopt a River could be a unique experience for you and your group.
Minnesota GreenCorps member Karyna Kloude joined Freshwater in September to support our newest program, Adopt a River. The focus of her service year is increasing the program’s sustainability, creating and revamping educational tools, and reaching new audiences.
At Freshwater, we have the privilege of reading public input from Minnesotans all over the state in our people-driven systems change work (like the One Watershed, One Plan efforts). Increasingly, we are reading public comments where people are noting that they have seen their weather change over the last decade, and these changes impact the health of their groundwater, surface waters, ecosystems, and wildlife.
If you really want to understand an environmental or water quality issue, it’s no secret that you have to get out from behind the computer screen once in a while and into the field. After years of editing technical reports, and writing factsheets and news releases for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, I decided to follow that advice.
As 2021 ends, I am sincerely grateful for the actions you, as Freshwater supporters, empowered this year. Whether you donated to one of our campaigns like our internship program, told your elected officials how important protecting and restoring clean and safe water is for our future, or shared your passion for water with friends and family, you made a real difference.
Today, Freshwater is participating in the national Imagine a Day without Water, sponsored by the U.S. Water Alliance. From a shower to morning coffee or tea, watering our plants and gardens to flushing our toilets, water is essential to our daily life. Our bodies are mostly water—78% as infants and 60% in adults. Safe and reliable water is essential to every one of us.
Minnesota’s water governance is considered some of the best in the country, and we’ve been hearing a lot about it since we began a year-long project in March 2021 to assess governance across six states and tribal nations within them: Groundwater Governance in the Great Lakes States.
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