Monday, August 22, 2016

Something's Brewing in September

By Sage Passi

Bang Brewing Company in St. Paul, site for the Master Water Stewards happy hour in September.

Come to Bang Brewing Company on September 20 from 5-7 PM when Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, Capitol Region Watershed District and Freshwater Society host a happy hour for people who are curious about the upcoming Master Water Stewards program that begins its second round in the east metro area in October. Join us for light appetizers and a cash bar, hear first-hand stories from 2016 Master Water Stewards and check out the rainwater features on site at the brewery during a tour at 6:00 PM at 2320 Capp Road in St. Paul. RSVPs appreciated.
RWMWD Master Water Stewards explore the rainwater features at Maplewood Mall as a part of their watershed tour this past spring.

Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District launched the Master Water Stewards program in 2016 in partnership with the Freshwater Society. Eight Master Water Stewards were recruited for involvement in the program in RWMWD. In the coming year, new stewards-in-training will participate in twelve classes and a tour where they will learn about local water resources and how to identify sites and projects in their communities that can help reduce water pollution.

As part of the program, Master Water Stewards will work in teams to complete a capstone project. These projects are initiated by Stewards to reduce stormwater run-off. Each project includes education and an in-the-ground practice that allows more water to soak into gardens, grass or other vegetated areas. Once Master Stewards complete the training and capstone projects they will apply their knowledge by continuing to volunteer in their local watershed district in subsequent years.

Master Water Stewards ponder their design recommendations at a rainscaping workshop.
Anna Barker (upper left) and David Rittenhouse (right)

Two RWMWD Master Water Steward teams are currently in the process of meeting with and helping residents decide on planting designs and preparing for the installation of several curb-cut rain gardens in a targeted sub-watershed that drains into Bennett Lake in Roseville. Another team is working with a homeowner who lives on Battle Creek in Woodbury. Here are testimonials from three Master Water Stewards who have participated in the program this year:

“Becoming a Master Water Steward has been the kick in the pants that I needed to get myself out there and help people make informed, sustainable choices. I have way more confidence in my ability to work with others towards building healthier waters and healthier communities.”  
Mary Henke-Haney, 2016 Master Water Steward

“By going through the Master Watershed Stewards program I feel confident and energized to engage my neighbors around water quality issues. I feel prepared to discuss with others about the issues facing our water bodies, and more importantly what we as individuals can do to reduce our negative impacts.”

David Rittenhouse, 2016 Master Water Steward

“The Master Water Steward program has increased my knowledge about water quality issues and what can be done to improve our precious water resources. One of the surprising things I’ve learned is working with smaller groups or individuals makes people more comfortable and willing to ask questions. This interaction encourages people to follow through and make the changes they can. It results in community members committing to act and making changes to improve local water quality.”
Linda Neilson, 2016 Master Water Steward

Together Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District and Capitol Region will be sponsoring up to twenty residents from neighborhoods in Saint Paul and cities throughout the east metro in 2017. These Master Water Stewards will complete the training and implement projects in their respective watershed districts.

Attend an upcoming info session for both watershed districts on September 6 at Capitol Region Watershed District from 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM at 1410 Energy Park Drive #4 in St. Paul or join us for the happy hour on September 20 at Bang Brewing Company. 

To learn more about this training opportunity, visit or contact Sage Passi by email
 or by calling 651-792-7958.

For an online application, click here.

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