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Resilience Projects with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Youth Crew at Winona Sugar Bluffs. Picture via: Winona Post

For three years now, our Summer Youth Corps and Youth Outdoor crew members have partnered with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to work on projects dealing with climate resiliency. What is that you ask? Let’s take a look!

The purpose of the project is for MPCA to help support local community efforts to strengthen resilience to the climate change; projects such as green infrastructure installations that included storm-water BMPs (Best Management Practice), urban and community trees, stormwater green infrastructure and native pollinator plants, as well as public land and park improvements – all of which bring life and vibrancy to the communities.

This year, the Summer Youth Corps and Youth Outdoors crew worked in a variety of locations across Minnesota which include Winona, Warren, Aitkin, New Brighton, and Big Lake. In Winona, crews spent time in the Sugar Loaf bluffs decommissioning trails and creating water bars to divert runoff water from further eroding the bluffs. Aitkin Minnesota also received some love after seven Youth Crew Members and two crew leaders planted hundreds of plants in the round-about near Hwy. 169.

Youth Crew in Aitkin MInnesota, planting a garden off of highway roundabout. Picture via Aitkin Independent Age.

In the moment, these projects provide much needed environmental assistance to communities all across Minnesota, but they also instill a conservation passion within the participants. 93% of youth participants in 2017 demonstrated increased knowledge of environmental concerns, including the importance of climate resilience.

A huge thank you to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for partnering with us and providing this opportunity and to Laura Millberg, who has been the MPCA staff member to make this happen all these years! Our work here has just begun and we’re excited to continue our work with climate resilience.