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environmental education news

Recap: Hennepin County Environmental education network meeting

Educators and program managers from government agencies, nonprofits, schools, and other organizations gathered virtually on June 30 for the first Hennepin County Environmental education network meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Participants talk to each other in the virtual network meeting

The training was held virtually and included trivia, small group discussions, and a presentation from Hennepin County updating participants on environmental education resources. Members of the Hennepin County environmental education network Facebook group who were unable to attend the meeting were also looped in via a series of posts in the group including trivia, a recording of the meeting, and a link to a survey to provide input on the future of the network.

Keep an eye out on this newsletter as well as our Facebook group for announcements about upcoming network meetings. Thank you to all who participated!

Printed resources now available to order

Get ready for your summer and fall events, label waste bins and dumpsters at your workplace, and help to educate others about environmental topics with printed materials, now available through our order forms.

Please plan ahead: processing and filling orders may take longer than usual due to limited staff capacity.

Environmental education

Recyclo activity book

Environmental education items including factsheets, pamphlets and handouts covering a wide variety of environmental topics are available to community groups, volunteers, cities, nonprofits, and schools in Hennepin County.


School recycling

Cafeteria recycling poster

School recycling resources including signs for on waste bins, dumpsters, and recycling and organics at school guides are available to schools located within Hennepin County.


Residential recycling

Recycle at home label

Residential recycling resources including trash, recycling, and organics labels for in your home are available to Hennepin County residents to improve recycling and to distribute to friends and neighbors. 


Business recycling

Business recycling sign

Business recycling resources including signs for on waste bins, dumpsters, and recycling and organics at work guides are available to businesses and organizations located in Hennepin County.

Green cleaning digital recipe cards

We recently created digital green cleaning recipe cards that we are sharing on our social media channels weekly through the middle of August.

All purpose cleaner recipe

Recipes include:

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Unclog and deodorize drains

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only a fraction of registered chemicals have gone through complete testing for human health concerns. Some chemicals have immediate toxic effects. Others are toxic to our bodies only after repeated, long-term exposure. Hazardous household chemicals also require special disposal at drop-off sites to protect our air, land and water.

You can protect your health and the health of your family, pets and the environment by making your own cleaning products with simple, less-toxic ingredients. Many common household products, such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar and liquid dish soap, can make effective and inexpensive cleaners.

Share the recipes with your participants and partners

Share the recipe cards with your participants and partners by either sharing the posts that go up on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), or by posting the graphics directly to your social accounts or emails.

Use our media kit (DOCX) to access graphics, an example newsletter article, and social media posts.

Updating the Natural Resources Strategic Plan

Help shape priorities for protecting natural resources and let us know how you would like to be engaged

Wetland at sunrise

From lakes and rivers to urban parks, forests and prairies, Hennepin County has an abundance of diverse landscapes and natural resources. These natural resources provide critical habitat for wildlife, protect water quality, offer recreational opportunities, and enhance our collective quality of life.

We all play a role in protecting our natural resources, and we need to hear from you and the people you are connected with!

We are seeking input from the community as we update the Hennepin County Natural Resources Strategic Plan, which will define our natural resources goals and strategies for the next 10 years.

About the Natural Resources Strategic Plan

The Hennepin County Natural Resources Strategic Plan guides the county’s work to improve, protect, and preserve natural resources and provides a framework for our natural resources policies, programs, and partnerships.

The updated plan will seek to better align with new county initiatives, shifting demographics, and changing landscapes. This is the first opportunity to incorporate the county’s climate and racial equity priorities into the foundation of the plan.

Current feedback opportunities

We will be seeking input from the community throughout the year-long plan development process to ensure your values and priorities are reflected.

Take our survey by August 1, 2021, to help shape priorities and let us know how you would like to be engaged in the update of the plan. Also please share this survey with your network and encourage them to provide feedback!

Share your priorities, take our survey


Learn more and stay up to date

Learn more about the county’s role in protecting natural resources and the plan update process and timeline at hennepin.us/natural-resources-plan.

Sign up for Natural Resources Strategic Plan email updates to stay informed of the process and opportunities to provide feedback at each step.

Environmental education advocacy resources and policy updates

eeADVOCATE newsletter from the North American Association for Environmental Education


The North American Association for Environmental Education is starting a new, quarterly advocacy-focused newsletter called eeADVOCATE. The newsletter will include policy updates, a comprehensive review of the field’s most recent accomplishments, and a preview of opportunities that lie ahead. Tools and advice for advocating for environmental education at the state and federal levels will also be featured. Learn more and subscribe.


New state funding could increase solar installations on Minnesota schools

solar array

A new, first-of-its-kind state fund could help triple the number of solar installations on Minnesota K-12 schools and community colleges. The omnibus commerce and energy policy and finance bill includes $16 million for solar projects on K-12 schools and nearly $5 million for community colleges. Read more from the Energy News Network.

Green Partners grantee events, trainings, and highlights

The following organizations have received a Hennepin County Green Partners environmental education grant and are busy engaging their audiences in taking action to protect the environment

Attend the Bolder Options open house 

Thursday, July 22 from 5 to 7:30 P.M.

event flyer


Join Bolder Options for an outdoor gathering with food, games, and music! Learn about their mentoring program and their Green Partners environmental education project. RSVP here.

Event location: Bolder Options, 2100 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404


Climate action simulation facilitation training

Tuesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. (2 part training)

climate action training

The University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment (IonE) is offering free virtual Climate Action Simulation facilitation training. The training includes a Climate Action Simulation and a walk through of the steps to facilitate a simulation in a school, for an organization or at an event.

Learn more about the climate action simulation game in this short (2 minute) video. All educators are welcome to attend training! The UMN IonE team seeks educators from Minnesota and neighboring states, youth staff or volunteers from K-12 public, charter, religious or independent schools, Universities, community colleges, youth organizations (Scouts, 4H, FFA, DECA, Model UN etc.), and environmental clubs. Youth themselves, in leadership roles, are invited as well.

Learn more and register.


MN Renewable Now fights climate change alongside community members in north Minneapolis 

video about solar energy


MN Renewable Now is featured in this video created by the Minneapolis Foundation. In the video, climate science advisor, Sven Sundgaard, breaks down how solar energy works and interviews Kristel Porter from MN Renewable Now about how their organization works with the community in north Minneapolis to fight climate change. 


Metro Blooms hosts sustainable landcare training

students outdoors during landscape training

Through their Green Partners grant, Metro Blooms has been working with Helping Hand Companies on their Sustainable Landcare Training program. The program includes a combination of online education and hands-on experiences in the field. 

Metro Blooms trains youth and adults to be skilled workers in a growing field in the green economy. Apprentices learn about stormwater, raingardens, native plants, weedy and non-native plants, and doing inspections and reporting. While the training provides skills for joining the workforce right away, it can also lead to academic and career pathways in green infrastructure such as horticulture and hydrology.

To learn more about this training program, contact James Wolfin at james@metroblooms.org

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