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News & Insights
Lebanon Hills
Kid places carrot nose on snowman
by Paul Austin, Executive Director

On my first day 17 years ago, I had never worked for a conservation group. I was newly married, planning a family, and wanted to make sure the children I hoped for had the opportunity to experience the joy of the Great Outdoors that meant so much to me growing up.

But recent droughts, storms, and wildfires have made it clear that we have a lot more work left to restore our climate, lakes, and communities. Four in 10 young people are hesitant to have children, fearing climate change impacts on their lives. We must not allow fear and diminished opportunities to be our legacy.

Micah Rivera near solar panels
Micah Rivera, clean energy student
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

Micah Rivera, a local technical student from Apple Valley, is excited about his clean energy career path. “Solar is one of the fastest-growing fields to be in right now.”

Anthony Fair and Simon Eddy
Solar energy workers Anthony Fair and Simon Eddy
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

In rural Backus, Minnesota, Simon Eddy and Anthony Fair work for REAL Solar, bringing home-grown energy to households and businesses. Eddy as a Sales & Project Management Specialist and Fair as an Install Tech & Site Supervisor. Both enjoy the work and its impact.

Dog at Battle Creek Park
Lichen goes for a walk at Battle Creek Park
by John Anderson, Local Government Program Manager

Working with local governments is one way we make progress on our most important conservation issues. That’s why we helped organize a meeting of city environment commissions dedicated to how their work can help protect the land, air, and water that is so important to us.

St. Cloud Pediatrician Dr. Kulus
St. Cloud pediatrician Dr. Kulus
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

As a pediatrician in St. Cloud, Minnesota for over 25 years, Dr. Kathleen Kulus has seen the state’s changing climate impact her patients and she’s speaking up about it. “I need to be advocating for these children and the impact it's having on them because they don't always have a voice.”

Farmer couple with their dog on by their barn
Anne and Peter Schwagerl on their family farm in Browns Valley
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

As stewards of our land, Minnesota farmers understand climate impacts and the need to adapt growing practices to weather the changes. Anne Schwagerl and her husband Peter operate Prairie Point Farm in western Minnesota’s Browns Valley where they're experminenting with a new "climate friendly" Kernza® grain.

Linda Larson stands among flowering plants
Linda Larson, Dakota County President for the Farmers Union
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

Linda Larson has been an advocate for rural Minnesota her whole life. Growing up on a family farm near Ruthton in southwestern Minnesota, Larson’s connection to the land runs deep. She now serves as Dakota County President for the Farmers Union. “People who are actively farming don’t have the time to go to the State Capitol or Washington DC or to advocate for the policy that supports them.” Larson does, and she advocates for issues like rural broadband, tax policy, food supply, and yes, climate resiliency.

Dusty Thune carving Butter Earth
Dusty Thune working on the Climate Action Now sculpture
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

Dusty Thune from House of Thune is an award-winning Minnesota artist specializing in snow- and sand-sculpting and climate activism. Thune creates large-scale design projects with messages about conservation and the environment. “It’s important to get people drawn in, to at least start the conversation...”

Butterfly rests on girl's finger

This fall, Conservation Minnesota is proud to launch Conservation Crew, a student leadership program for Minnesota middle schoolers designed to empower youth through conservation projects.

Belted kingfisher flying
Belted kingfisher

For over 30 years, the Minnesota Lottery has played an important role in preserving our state’s natural resources. Conservation Minnesota continues to watch the portion of state lottery proceeds, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), move through the legislative process to ensure the money is used as voters intended.