Strategic planning efforts guide the expenditure of Legacy funds towards desired outcomes which are derived from public and stakeholder input, research, analysis and input from a variety of experts and leadership. Parks and Trails planners conduct these efforts. Staffing levels were adjusted to complete this legacy work.
The goals of the program are to evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural conservation practices, identify underlying processes that affect water quality, and develop technologies to target critical areas of the landscape. Funded projects provide current and accurate scientific data on the environmental impacts of agricultural practices and help to develop or revise agricultural practices that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining farm profitability.
This project will provide notification of the potential for coal tar contamination, establish a storm water pond inventory schedule, and develop best management practices for treating and cleaning up contaminated sediments. The sampling design includes 15 stormwater ponds, 5 each from residential, commercial, and industrial land use areas. Municipalities in the metro area with MS4 permits of stormwater ponds will be contacted to nominate candidate sites for this study. GPS coordinates will be taken at all sampling sites.
USGS will complete the following activities in support of the SCSU project Assessing the Contribution of Microhabitat Differences on Biological Effects in Bluegill Sunfish in Sullivan Lake, MN-Continuation of MN Lakes Study 2010-2011. Geospatial analysis of maps, aerial photography, satellite imagery, GIS data, and field mapping (topography, bathymetry, vegetation, habitat); Bulk characterization of the physical and chemical features of the littoral zone, inflows, and outflows.
The DNR works with the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) to convey valuable geologic and groundwater information and interpretations to government units at all levels, but particularly to local governments, private organizations and citizens.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as stressors have not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
MNHS exhibitions are supported by diverse programming that complements the content of the exhibitions. These additional programs augment and promote the rich stories of Minnesota's history. In FY16, programs included lectures, musical performances, hands-on family activities, and other events. In particular, three exhibitions
The DNR works with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health to determine the level of contamination from mercury and other harmful chemicals in fish from Minnesota's lakes and rivers and to track the success of efforts to reduce mercury pollution. Clean Water Legacy funding is being used to significantly increase (more than double) the number of lakes and rivers that are assessed for mercury contamination on an annual basis. Fish are collected during DNR fishery surveys, processed for laboratory testing, and analyzed for contaminants.
Groundwater sample collection and analysis will be conducted for contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) at large subsurface treatment systems (LSTS) and rapid infiltration basins (RIB), using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology. Results from the ELISA analysis will be reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and used to conduct follow-up investigations at a select number of these sites.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as a stressor has not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
The Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) is a tool that can identify water pollution problems based on the type and abundance of selected plants or animals. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses IBIs for fish and macroinvertebrates (stream-dwelling insects and other critters) in streams to help determine whether these waterways are impacted by water pollution. The DNR has developed a similar tool for fish in lakes and is developing a tool for aquatic plants. Both are used to help the MPCA identify lakes that may be impacted by water pollution.
The Minnesota Historical Society introduced the Legacy Research Fellowship program in FY13 to add to the body of knowledge and interpretation of Minnesota's history (pre- and post-statehood). The first seven fellows completed their work in FY15. The second class of four fellows was named in December 2014 and will work on their projects in the Gale Family Library in 2015.
MNHS and regional public libraries across Minnesota are combining resources to educate, entertain, and build community among library patrons in the state. Libraries and MNHS are bringing a range of programs and events to local libraries that document and preserve community stories for future generations, educate people of all ages about the history of Minnesota and its people, and make high quality history programming accessible to
More than 60 programs were presented in dozens
of communities around the state, including:
The Minnesota Historical Society is deeply engaged in cultivating meaningful relationships with adult audiences as lifelong learners, members, donors, volunteers, and supporters. In FY16, MNHS continued to build the organization's capacity for using skilled volunteers through staff trainings, creating new programs, and a thorough evaluation of programs targeted at adult audiences. New initiatives: Fifty-eight new skilled volunteer positions were added, contributing 4,700 volunteer hours.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. MIDS offers guidelines, recommendations and tools that help low impact development practices be implemented more uniformly across Minnesota's landscape and provides guidance to effectively implement the concepts and practices of low impact development. Products include performance goals for new development, redevelopment and linear projects, a graphic user interface calculator and flexible treatment options for sites design.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. The consultant was hired to conduct research and design specifications for permeable pavement and turf.
The overall goal of this project is to further develop performance standards, design standards, or other tools to enable the implementation of low-impact development and other stormwater management techniques.
The objective of this project is to build on previous efforts aimed at determining the public health risk due to virus contamination in Minnesota groundwater. The Minnesota Department of Health will examine the occurrence of viruses in non-disinfecting groundwater sources in Minnesota as well as evaluate the association between source water virus occurrence and community acute gastrointestinal illness.
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.
This project will develop a reasonable statewide estimate of recharge using the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) Code (Westenbroek and others, 2010), validate the simulation results, and conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive model parameters. For the purposes of this application of the SWB application, comparing the simulation results will be conducted on selected watershed basins in the state against previously established recharge estimates.
The Center for Changing Landscapes was directed by the Minnesota State Legislature to create a long-range framework for an integrated statewide parks and trails system that provides information on the natural resource-based recreational opportunities available throughout the state. The detailed framework must include an inventory of existing regionally and statewide significant parks and trails, respond to recreational trends and demographic changes, and identify underserved areas, overused facilities, and gaps in the current parks and trails system (Minn. Gen. Laws 64.8 § 6).
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.
MNopedia (www.mnopedia.org) is a free, reliable, award-winning online encyclopedia of Minnesota, created and managed by the Minnesota Historical Society. MNopedia authors, many of whom are volunteer specialists, create rich entry packages, including text, multimedia and bibliographic resources that tell the stories of their communities and our state. New articles are published weekly. This unique resource, written and designed for use by general audiences as well as teachers and students, provides easy access to the shared history of all Minnesotans.
MNopedia is an award-winning online encyclopedia of Minnesota created by MNHS, designed for use by a general audience, teachers, and students. In 2015, the MNopedia library grew to include essays on Hmong, African American, and Jewish history, and articles on topics as diverse as Minnesota in World War I, immigration to the Iron Range, Dayton's department store, and the Grange in Minnesota. A new feature, This Day in Minnesota History, a Minnesota book of days, was added.
This project will assess the exposure and effects of WWTP effluent on a model vertebrae organism, the fathead minnow. Through a series of controlled experiments, to be conducted on-site of the WWTP utilizing the Mobile Exposure Laboratory Trailer (MELT),SCSU will address (1) onset and timing of acute exposure effects, (2) downstream exposure effects, and (3) reproductive consequences of exposure for male and female fathead minnows. MPCA EAO staff will provide technical assistance and oversight of the project.
Staffing support to evaluate the performance of existing stormwater infiltration sites, as identified in the Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project. Monitor the range of existing infiltration devices in Minnesota and compare to design criteria, maintenance records, and quantify year-round infiltration rates. Develop and refine pretreatment options and standards for municipal stormwater treatment.
This project will develop databases to manage TMDL activities and track progress. It will also provide assistance to promulgate rulemaking. This project will also support agency operations to review civic engagement proposals from basin and sub basin organizations. Assistance provided to establish a coalition between organizations creating productive environments where citizens and stakeholders can come together to dialogue about issues of concern to them and create their own visions and strategies for TMDL-related change/issues in their communities.
This project will provide an interpretive assessment of nitrogen concentrations in Minnesota rivers and streams, including spatial and temporal trends based on historical data sets. The trends analyses will provide information useful for evaluating nitrogen reduction efforts in the past couple of decades.
The Arts Education in Minnesota Schools Research Project is surveying all public and private schools to collect baseline data on the status of arts education statewide to serve as a resource for making data-driven decisions. A national research and evaluation company, Quadrant Arts Education Research, is conducting the study, comprised of three elements.
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.
The Minnesota Historical Society continues to raise awareness of its Legacy projects and programs through a comprehensive communications strategy. The strategy is aimed at ensuring that Minnesotans are informed of MNHS programs and therefore have the information necessary to visit our historic sites and museums, engage in our website, use our many services, and learn about the history of our state.
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.