Monday, July 21, 2014

Quarterly Meeting Announcement: Minnesota River group to focus discussion on recent river congress

A report on the recent Minnesota River Congress will be a main discussion topic at the quarterly meeting of the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance Tuesday, Aug. 12, at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson. A potluck meal begins at 6 p.m. (contributions welcome), followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Minnesota River Watershed Alliance is a watershed-wide network of individuals from private organizations and public agencies, and citizens who meet quarterly and work on projects that support and benefit the Minnesota River basin. The Aug. 12 agenda also includes a status report of the National Blueway designation project for the Minnesota River, and other general updates.

At its April 15 meeting, the Alliance voted to support the convening of the first Minnesota River Congress, which occurred June 19 at Turner Hall in New Ulm. The purpose of the Congress was to bring together all interested parties in the Minnesota River basin to network and discuss building a broad-based citizen and government partnership entity to preserve and improve natural resource conditions in the basin.

About 100 individuals attended the Congress, and 22 organizations set up information tables. During the discussion, a majority supported the idea of a basin-wide, citizen-led entity to help coordinate the work of the numerous, diverse groups in the basin. Other themes that emerged included: More recreation on the Minnesota River, support for land set-aside easements, more people aware of the river, and much good work has been done.

A series of regional meetings will be organized later this summer and fall to share information from the congress. A follow-up congress would be convened later in the fall to review the actions and steps resulting from the first congress, and to move forward as appropriate.

Minnesota River Congress Photos: