MWMO Newsletter - January 2022 - News, Project Updates, Grant Opportunities, and More

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization


MWMO Announces Executive Director Retirement, Leadership Changes

Doug Snyder

MWMO Executive Director Doug Snyder will retire at the end of February, after nearly 20 years of service to the watershed.

Snyder was one of two original staff hired by the MWMO in 2002. Over the course of two decades, he oversaw the development of the MWMO into the organization it is today, with 16 permanent staff members, a riverfront office and interpretive facility, and wide-ranging impacts on the community.

The MWMO will begin searching for a new permanent executive director in February. An executive search firm will aid in the selection process, and the MWMO hopes to select a final candidate by June.

In the meantime, the MWMO has a new, interim executive director: former Minneapolis City Council Member and long-time MWMO Board Chair Kevin Reich.

Reich has spent a total of 12 years on the MWMO Board of Commissioners, including the last 10 years as chair. The board voted to appoint him interim executive director until a permanent replacement is hired. He began work at the MWMO on January 25.

MWMO board membership is also changing, with new commissioner appointments from the Cities of Columbia Heights, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The board plans to elect new officers at its upcoming March meeting.

You can find the details in our news release.

MWMO Awards Funding for Stormwater Reuse at Former Wells Fargo Site in Minneapolis

Aerial view of 3030 Nicollet Ave.

The MWMO has awarded a $289,000 Capital Project Grant for a rainwater harvesting system and other green stormwater infrastructure at a new six-story affordable housing development project in the Lyndale Neighborhood of Minneapolis.

The building will replace a former Wells Fargo branch that was damaged during civil unrest in 2020 and then demolished. Nonprofit developer Project for Pride in Living plans to construct 110 units of affordable housing as well as affordable commercial condos that will be sold to local entrepreneurs. A new Wells Fargo branch will also be opened at the site. (Watch a presentation by the developer.)

MWMO funds will be used for a rainwater harvesting system that will allow the building to offset an estimated 70 percent of its non-potable water use (i.e., irrigation and flushing toilets), as well as a stormwater infiltration tank, raingarden, and permeable paver patio area.

New Juxtaposition Arts Campus to Feature Stormwater Improvements

3D rendering of new JXTA campus.

Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) is building a redesigned and expanded campus in North Minneapolis that will feature a stormwater retention and reuse system as well as native plantings to support habitat creation.

A $216,000 MWMO Capital Project Grant will help fund the stormwater and habitat improvements, which will be highly visible and offer new educational opportunities for JXTA students and residents.

The project builds on previous collaborations between JXTA and the MWMO, including JXTA’s Skate-Able Art Plaza, which features raingardens funded by a an MWMO Action Grant. Several partners on the campus redesign project also worked with JXTA artists on the 26th Avenue North Overlook, which included MWMO-funded native planting and shoreline restoration.

Seeking New Mississippi River Green Team Members

Mississippi River Green Team members.

Do you know a teenager from North or Northeast Minneapolis who’s looking for a summer job?

The Mississippi River Green Team is a two-year, year-round employment and conservation program for teenagers between the ages of 14-16 from North and Northeast Minneapolis. It’s an opportunity for youth to have a mentored job experience, learn about environmental careers, and acquire new skills.

We are looking for candidates to be on the 2022 team. If you know someone who might be a good fit, send them to, where they can find out more and apply to be on the team. Applications are due by Friday, February 25.

Your Input Wanted: ‘Drawing Water’ Tool Presentation and Feedback Sessions

You are invited to provide feedback on an innovative new tool designed to help visualize the flow of water in building projects.

“Drawing Water” is a tool designed to create a common graphic language that both design professionals and non-professionals can use to understand current conditions, communicate alternative conceptual designs, and reach consensus on the best stormwater management approaches. (See sample images.)

Project leads Matt Tierney, AIA (executive director of ASK) and Richard Strong (retired, Center for Sustainable Building Research) will present their work on the project and invite audience feedback.

Attend one of two sessions on February 24one at 11:30 a.m. or another at 5 p.m. Following the presentation, a Q&A session will invite audience members to provide feedback. Learn more on our website.

We’re Hiring! Join Our Team as a Project and Planning Implementation Specialist

MWMO staff at a construction site.

The MWMO is seeking a Project Planning and Implementation Specialist to join our team.

This position collaborates with MWMO member communities, partners, and staff to integrate and execute the MWMO Watershed Management Plan and capital implementation strategies.

This may include activities such as capital improvement project management, land acquisition and resource restoration, non-point source pollution prevention, and restorative water resource planning.

Find out more.

MWMO Watershed Management Plan Updated

The final version of the MWMO's 2021-2031 Watershed Management Plan is now available.

The plan sets out goals, strategies, and implementation actions based on past studies and current data on the watershed. It was developed during the course of the last two years with input from various stakeholders, including the public, state agencies, and local governments.

Upcoming Events

Grant Application Reminders

Join Hennepin County’s Plastic Free Challenge

Trash pulled from a stormdrain.

Plastics are problematic for many reasons. They create waste and litter, contribute to climate change, pollute our water, harm wildlife, and pose risks to human health.

Be part of the solution to reduce waste, protect water and wildlife, address climate change, and look after the health of ourselves and future generations by joining the Hennepin County Plastic-Free Challenge and committing to actions that help create a plastic-free world.