MWMO Newsletter - November 2021 - News, Project Updates, Grant Opportunities, Fall Yard Care and More

Trouble viewing this email? Click here to view in browser.

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization


Aerial view of controlled burn at MWMO.

Aerial view of a controlled burn in the MWMO's backyard on Nov. 10, 2021.

Controlled Burns Improve Native Landscape Ecology

Controlled burns (a.k.a. prescribed burns) are a type of land management technique that helps remove unwanted species, recycle nutrients, and support biodiversity. Controlled burns mimic the types of fires that occurred in Minnesota prairies prior to European settlement, and were historically used by Native Americans both for hunting and to enhance prairie ecology.

A crew from Landbridge Ecological conducted a controlled burn in the MWMO’s backyard on Nov. 10, during a rare window of ideal conditions. We used the occasion to capture some drone footage of the burn. (There's also an extra-long version of the video, along with a photo album, for those who might be interested.) The area has now been overseeded with native wildflowers to add some plant diversity to our 8-year-old backyard prairie.

Controlled burns are also underway at the Columbia Golf Course and Park this week. The burn areas will cover 9 acres of woodlands and will minimize vegetation on the ground in preparation for native plant seeding. (We posted some photos from yesterday's controlled burn at the park.)

Join the Minnesota Water Stewards! Be a Leader for Clean Water in Your Community

A Minnesota Water Steward gardening.

Applications are being accepted now for the next group of Minnesota Water Stewards eager to make a difference for water! Throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area and beyond, Minnesota Water Stewards are connecting with neighbors to protect and improve the health of our water.

Trained and certified through the Minnesota Water Stewards program, these local leaders spark curiosity and engage their communities in projects that make measurable impacts on water health. (Read more on our blog.)

To learn more, visit and register for an online information session.

MWMO Awards Grant to Xcel Energy for Stormwater and Habitat Project

Xcel Energy site rendering.

On Nov. 9, the MWMO awarded a $295,000 Capital Project Grant to Xcel Energy for stormwater and habitat enhancements at their planned Marshall Operations Center in Northeast Minneapolis.

The site will feature MWMO-funded pollinator and wildlife habitat improvements, as well as features that will remove an estimated 95 percent of phosphorus and sediment from the site's stormwater runoff.

The redeveloped site will serve as a connection between several existing prairie and woodland habitat areas near the Mississippi River.

Read our news release...

MWMO Projects, Partners Featured in The Nature Conservancy’s ‘Trees. Water. Soil.’ Campaign

Mississippi River Green Team members in the field.

Some of the best solutions to climate change can be found in nature. That’s the premise of a new campaign from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) that features a pair of MWMO-funded projects.

TNC featured our own Mississippi River Green Team in a recent article and video on their website. For 14 years, the MWMO has partnered with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on this innovative youth conservation and employment program for Minneapolis teens.

TNC also featured the Masjid An-Nur Eco-Mosque project in another article and video posted earlier this year. The MWMO supported the project with a pair of Stewardship Fund Grants.

 Read more and watch the videos on our blog.

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines

Featured Project

Metro Transit Bus Garage Stormwater Reuse

A large cistern at a construction site.

The MWMO worked with Metro Transit to design and implement a stormwater reuse system that will be used for washing buses at a new bus operations and maintenance facility in North Minneapolis. The system will allow facility staff to conserve up to 13,000 gallons of potable water each day at the facility, which will serve approximately 200 buses.

MWMO and Metro Transit staff collaborated for three years to design the system, which is built around a 40,000-gallon cistern that collects water from the building’s roof. The water will be filtered before use.

It's a creative example of stormwater reuse that calls to mind other recent projects like Cemstone, which uses stormwater to make cement, and Water Works and Westminster Presbyterian Church, which flush their toilets with treated stormwater.