“Acquiring Land and Creating Opportunities - A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘create new and expanded park and trail opportunities to satisfy current customers as well as to reach out to new ones’.
An interagency workgroup is developing recommendations for best practices and policies for water reuse in Minnesota. Recommendations will include both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to successful implementation of water reuse. The workgroup will evaluate current regulations, practices, and barriers, and quantify and determine acceptable health risks associated with water reuse applications. The University of Minnesota is collecting and analyzing field data for use in targeting Minnesota-specific risks.
The DNR is working with local communities and an interagency team to define, prioritize, and establish groundwater management areas in Minnesota. Groundwater management areas will have increased data collection and monitoring that allow the state and local communities to understand water supplies, uses, limitations, and threats to natural resources that depend on groundwater. This information will support detailed aquifer protection plans that ensure equitable and sustainable groundwater and drinking water use for the future.
MN Alliance of Local History Museums (MALHM) collaborates with MNHS to develop the capacity of history professionals across the state to serve local communities. This partnership will distribute best practices to all corners of the state through a conference to be held in April 2016 in Willmar. The partnership also will begin to operate with a paid coordinator to assure efficiency in serving a greater number of Minnesotans and their organizations that save and share history.
“Connecting People to the Outdoors- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘better develop Minnesota’s stewards of tomorrow through efforts to increase life-long participation in parks and trails.’
“Coordinating with Partners- A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan identifies its purpose to ‘enhance coordination across the large and complex network of public, private, and non-profit partners that support Minnesota’s parks and trails to ensure seamless, enjoyable park and trail experiences for Minnesotans.’
MNHS continues its focus on preserving and making accessible the newspapers published in the state. Last year, the staff concentrated on acquiring digital content from publishers and building the access hub, Minnesota Newspapers Online (MNO). Work on both of these activities will continue.
Minnesota’s use of groundwater has increased over the last two decades. An increasing reliance on groundwater may not be a sustainable path for continued economic growth and development. The DNR is establishing three pilot groundwater management areas (GWMA) to help improve groundwater appropriation decisions and help groundwater users better understand and plan for future groundwater needs associated with economic development.
Historic Fort Snelling is an MNHS historic site targeted for revitalization. This revitalization is one of MNHS's current strategic priorities. The Historic Fort Snelling revitalization project completed a master plan in June 2015. The predesign phase kicked off in September 2015 and continues through FY16. The project manager position, which coordinates various MNHS educational programs and building activities, was partially supported with Legacy funds.
“Maintaining Existing Holdings - A Parks and Trails Strategic Objective” is a program area representing DNR’s commitment to one of the four pillars identified in the 25 year Legacy plan. The Legacy plan calls this ‘Take Care of What We Have,’ and identifies its purpose to ‘provide safe, high-quality park and trail experiences by regular re-investment in park and trail infrastructure, and natural resource management.’
The Minnesota Main Street program is a proven, comprehensive strategy that helps communities create new jobs and businesses while revitalizing buildings and preserving their historic downtowns. MNHS's Heritage Preservation department works with the partners
listed above to implement Minnesota Main Street,
which provides the tools, training, information, and networking that communities need to revitalize their business districts.
There are currently seven Minnesota Main Street designated communities: Faribault, New Ulm, Owatonna, Red Wing, Shakopee, Willmar, and Winona.
Phase 1 of this project is primarily geared towards project planning and coordination among project partners, developing an initial civic engagement strategic plan, holding a watershed kick-off meeting, and gathering and summarizing available water quality data.
The MNHS Indian Advisory Committee (IAC) is made up of tribally appointed representatives of the 11 Minnesota tribes, as well as representatives of key groups, such as educators. IAC advises on planning, developing, and evaluating MNHS activities and initiatives including exhibitions, publications, public programs, and curatorial policy as they relate to the research, collection, preservation, and interpretation of Minnesota and American Indian history in Minnesota.
The Clean Water Council was created through the Clean Water Legacy Act (Minn. Stat. Ch 114D) which was signed into law June 2, 2006. The council’s role is to advise on the administration and implementation of the Clean Water Legacy Act. See the Council’s FY18-19 Clean Water Fund and Policy Recommendations Report (December 1, 2016). The 28-member Clean Water Council (Council) represents organizations with a major role in achieving clean water, enabling consensus building and coordination on a wide array of issues critical to the people of Minnesota.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Environmental Outcomes staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, fieldwork, data management, and interpretation expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities. The ambient groundwater monitoring network describes the current condition and trends in Minnesota's groundwater quality.
This project supports activities by Minnesota Pollution Control (MPCA) Watershed Division staff that provide technical assistance, project oversight, coordination, outreach and other agency activities associated with assessing, listing and conducting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies throughout the State of Minnesota. Project also includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with TMDL work at the MPCA.
The Minnesota Historical Society and the Wilder Foundation worked with two new groups of existing and emerging community leaders in 2015 to enhance their ability to act on important community issues.
During each six-month program, 245 participants explored neighborhood involvement and developed leadership skills to take effective community action.
The 17 member Park and Trail Legacy Advisory Committee is appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, the Chair of the Metropolitan Council and the Chair of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission. The mission of the committee is to champion the 25 year "Parks and Trails Legacy Plan" by providing recommendations to enhance promotion, coordination, and accountability throughout implementation of the plan.
MNHS continues to build a culture of evaluation. An evaluation manager leads institutional evaluation capacity building, as well as provides technical assistance and support to staff who evaluate ACHF projects and programs. An evaluation associate in the Education and Lifelong Learning Division facilitates evaluation efforts specifically in K-12 education and public programs. Three interns and numerous volunteers continue to support evaluation work.
MNHS staff created communication strategies and promotional materials for Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) history projects, programs, and grants, including media kits for grant recipients. Increasing public awareness of ACHF investments will ensure that students, teachers, and the general public will use and benefit from them.
This project will meet the following goals: develop, implement, and evaluate the impacts civic engagement outcomes for the Rainy River Headwaters and the Cloquet watersheds; create a citizen understanding of the Watershed Restoration & Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process and the role that citizens, lake associations, institutions of higher education, and other stakeholders can play in attaining water quality restoration and protection; provide opportunities for citizens and stakeholders to assist local partners and state agencies in developing priorities for projects to accomplish resto
MNHS has in its care over 100,000 cubic feet of hard-copy government records and manuscript collections dating from the territorial period to the present. To access the vast majority of these holdings, researchers must currently visit the History Center or make other special arrangements. In FY16, MNHS is piloting a unique "scan on demand" service for researchers that will allow them to request, either online or in person, the digitization of specific materials with the resulting images being put online for wide public access.
The Metropolitan Council is working with local partners to evaluate and address potential threats to the Seminary Fen, a calcareous wetland in southeastern Carver County. This rare and sensitive water feature, protected by Minnesota Statutes 103G.223, relies on the discharge of groundwater to sustain a unique and protected plant community. Growing communities near the fen also rely on groundwater for their water supply.
The goal of this project is to evaluate projected water demand, groundwater contamination and potential natural resource impacts in southern Washington County to ensure water supplies are developed sustainably. An important part of this project involves working with stakeholders to identify common goals and objectives, as well as ways to enhance coordination amongst water suppliers and water resource managers.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the fifth year of its sustainability program. Staff and visitors are engaged with sustainability through the project's "More for the Mission" campaign. Recent energy-efficiency projects within our facilities have allowed us to achieve the five-year goal of 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Cognizant to the needs of the stormwater community, a group that has engaged in stormwater research at the University of Minnesota (UMN) has developed a research program for the biennium that addresses pressing needs: a stormwater research roadmap and framework for priority needs, research required to improve stormwater pond maintenance, and information transfer related to these needs.
The Watershed Health Assessment Framework is a web-based tool for resource managers and others interested in the ecological health of Minnesota’s watersheds. The framework uses five ecological components to organize and deliver information about watershed health conditions in Minnesota. The five components are: hydrology, connectivity, biology, geomorphology, and water quality.
The DNR provides technical support regarding the causes of and solutions to drainage impacts, actively engaging with other Minnesota modelers and scientists working on issues related to altered hydrology. We use state-of-the-art models to look at cumulative impacts of drainage and land-use practices and determine the benefits of site-specific best management practices. This involves collaboration with multiple partners and at multiple scales.
This project delineates and maps watersheds (drainage areas) of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands for the state of Minnesota and provides watershed maps in digital form for use in geographic information systems. These maps become the basis for clean water planning and implementation efforts.
The DNR's Regional Clean Water Specialists and Area Hydrologists work with other state agencies and local partners to help identify the causes of pollution problems and determine the best strategies for fixing them. A statewide coordinator works with the DNR and external partners to ensure funds are spent in the most effective and efficient manner to meet the State's clean water goals.
MNHS continues to focus on broadening access to many of its Legacy-funded programs through the Internet. This funding supports the web development professionals who plan, build, and implement digital components that are part of many Legacy-funded history projects and helps pay for Web hosting to make these projects accessible to people in Minnesota and beyond. MNHS also uses the web to report on its use of Legacy funds at legacy.mnhs.org and for the public to apply for Legacy grant funds at legacy.mnhs.org/grants.