The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Accelerated Prairie Grassland Restoration and Management Program had a successful first round of funding from the Legacy Funds. The program worked through the growing pains and obstacles in getting a new program up and operational and was successful in enhancing nearly 5,800 acres of prairie and grasslands in eight of the ecological subsections of Minnesota. A contractor base has been established for this type of work statewide that needs to be evaluated and expanded on for future appropriations.
In order to implement its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) projects, the Minnesota Historical Society hired an ACHF Program Coordinator to oversee the program administration. The Society also made investments to support administration of the grants program and to fund expanded financial management and administrative functions. By carefully managing its costs, the Society has adhered to the legislative mandate that institutions not spend more than 2.5 percent on administrative expenses.
The AgBMP Loan Program provides needed funding for local implementation of clean water practices at an extremely low cost, is unique in its structure and is not duplicated by any other source of funding.The AgBMP loan program provides 3% loans through local lenders to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses.
Contractor assistance with site selection, reconnaissance and obtaining access for installation of ambient groundwater monitoring wells in Minnesota. This project will provide services for up to 25 well sites.
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.
Naturally occurring arsenic can make groundwater unsafe for drinking. Before going to the expense of drilling a well and sampling the water for arsenic, it would benefit public health to be able to predict the level of arsenic in groundwater in a certain area. A special research project with the U.S. Geological Survey is designed to develop the capacity to assess local geological conditions, related groundwater chemistry and well construction factors in three counties in order to predict the levels of arsenic found in groundwater related to those variables.
This project is a continuation of Statewide Lake study that revealed the obiquitous presence of endrocrine active compounds (EACs) in many MN Lakes. The initial project findings suggested two potential knowledge gaps in our understanding of EACs and their effects in lake environments. First, the sources of EACs and their entrance points into lakes need to be better defined than was possible in our previous statewide lake study.
Ampers member stations are producing a variety of programs, documentaries and musical specials on Minnesota's arts, historical, and cultural heritage. The stations are also offering free public performances. The on-air projects are aired on member stations, shared with other stations in the network and archived on station websites and the Ampers website: www.ampers.org
The Latino population in Minnesota has grown dramatically since 1980, both in the Twin Cities and in Greater Minnesota, in cities such as Worthington, Willmar, St. James, Moorhead, Melrose, Long Prairie and Albert Lea. This project involves interviewing Chicano-Latino elders and community leaders from approximately a dozen Latino population centers in the state.
The Division of Parks and Trails (as directed by Chapter 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(c)) utilizes Conservation Corps of Minnesota services for restoration, maintenance, and other activities that supplement the ability to reach Legacy Fund goals. Budget associated with this program area capture an accounting of dollars that support CCM Summer Youth, Individual Placements, and special projects for park and trail renewal and development. Other dollars not accounted for in this program area are part of other PAT program areas and included as part of those budgets.
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.
On behalf of the Metropolitan Council, Environmental Financial Group Inc. generated a matrix of water conservation programs with detailed information about the costs and benefits of the programs. Tools were also developed to allow users to calculate potential water savings, estimate program implementation costs, and test the effects of various water conservation programs and rate structures.
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.
Research shows that traditional teaching tools, such as textbooks and lectures, don’t fully engage today’s students who have grown up surrounded by technology and who use it in their daily lives. In this ongoing project, an additional two Minnesota Historical Society historic sites will improve their service to “21st Century Learners” and their teachers and parents.
In 2012, the Minnesota Historical Society will commemorate theU.S.-Dakota War of 1862 through a variety of programs and methods, including online presentations, educational tools, published works, artwork, events and community outreach. Visit usdakotawar.org for a list of all initiatives.
Increasingly, people are turning to digital resources for answers to questions or as a starting point for research. MNopedia is a new digital resource for the public from the Minnesota Historical Society.
Working with the Minnesota Newspaper Association, local historical societies and newspaper publishers, the Minnesota Historical Society launched an innovative project to expand the number of contemporary newspapers available in digital form.
In the pilot phase of the project, the Society developed a methodology for digitizing, preserving and indexing newspaper content. Those processes will be tested with six newspapers and optimized in 2011.
Through this funding, the Minnesota Historical Society is advancing the work of making collections information available online. The Society is photographing 3D objects in the collections and completing corresponding descriptions that will be published online, allowing web site visitors to access an increasing volume of historical information.
Partner Organizations: Minnesota Geospatial Information Office (MNGeo), Minnesota Secretary of State, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Minnesota Association of County Surveyors (MACS), U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The Discovery Farms program is a farmer-led effort to gather information on soil and nutrient loss on farms in different settings across Minnesota. The mission of Discovery Farms Minnesota is to gather water quality information under real-world conditions.
The commissioner shall develop a ten-year strategic state parks and trails plan considering traditional funding and the funding available under the Minnesota Constitution, article XI, section 15. The plan shall incorporate the 25-year framework developed by the University of Minnesota Center for Changing Landscapes. (HF 1231, Art 3, Sec 2)
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.
The Minnesota Historical Society Press(MHS Press) converted more than 125 MHS Press/Borealis Books titles to digital formats for multiple e-book readers, including the Kindle, the Nook, the Sony E-reader and the Apple iPad, allowing us to meet the needs of not only young, tech-savvy readers, but also users in the over-50 age bracket who have been among the first adopters of e-reader technologies.
The Division of Parks and Trails is creating innovative programs to attract new audiences, particularly young families, to Minnesota state parks and trails. Skill-building programs, such as "I Can Camp!," provide a trial opportunity by eliminating the barriers of needing to have pre-existing knowledge or gear for the activity. Special events, such as National Get Outdoors Day, generate enthusiasm and a sense of urgency to visit. Gateway programs introduce visitors to a host of outdoor pursuits, including those offered by other divisions of the Minnesota DNR.