Communicating with All Minnesotans about Water Resources

Jenny Winkelman, Education and Outreach Manager, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

The 2010 Census results prove what we already know: Minnesota's population continues to grow more diverse. Yet, many communities have difficulty communicating with their diverse residents about environmental information in meaningful ways-and a failure to connect effectively with all Minnesotans on these issues likely will have negative consequences for the next generation of natural resources management.

As Education and Outreach Manager for the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO), Jenny Winkelman spearheaded a special partnership with the City of Minneapolis to better understand how the Hmong community accesses and shares information, to understand the Hmong cultural context and priorities for water resource issues, and to develop a customized Water Education Plan. One outcome of this project was the creation of a DVD, "Dej Tus Kab Ke - The Nature of Water," to increase environmental literacy and water stewardship in Minneapolis' Southeast Asian communities. The DVD is about water and pollution prevention, with features on raingardens, household hazardous waste, and watersheds. It is presented in five spoken languages and two written languages.

Jenny also works with partners to develop future leadership in the MWMO's diverse communities. One example is the Mississippi River Green Team, a conservation-focused youth development program for urban teenagers-the next generation of river stewards and coworkers. These experiences have given Jenny important insights about how to involve diverse and young people in water resources issues.

Presentation (PDF, 831kb)

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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