News & Insights
Lebanon Hills
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.

bulldozer on top of pile of garbage in landfill
photo courtesy of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Metro area landfills have seen a 30% increase in garbage in the last year alone, and landfills are quickly running out of space. Dealing with more waste and fewer places to put it remains a major challenge for cities like Burnsville. 

Two boys swimming in pool

In the land of 10,000 lakes, it’s easy to forget that much of southeastern Minnesota has very few. So, in Rochester the pools are where it’s at to beat the heat! Which is why it's important that as Rochester looks to invest in their amenities, the city consider not just how many people use the current park facilities like the pool, but who uses them.

family puts backpacks into trunk of car

Our field staff worked with select cities to secure their support for Clean Cars Minnesota, a set of vehicle emission standards designed to help clean up our air and bring more electric vehicles to Minnesota.

Waste Barrels
by Keely Cervantes, Regional Manager - East Metro

The story of one community's path to landmark legislation. Conservation Minnesota hosted a conversation with several board members from the White Bear Area Neighborhood Concerned Citizens Group (NCCG) about how a community can unite around a public health issue to impact state-wide legislation. With Conservation Minnesota, the NCCG played a crucial role in advocating for and pushing this policy across the finish line, and they brought together many stakeholders to find answers and make significant change beyond their own community. 

man runs with dog in sunshine

Local community action matters. This year’s legislative ban on Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a perfect example. Early in 2019, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) discovered that for many years a manufacturer in White Bear Township released TCE into the air at unsafe levels. Community members were outraged and began to organize, working to ban the chemical through legislative action. 

woman walks along boardwalk next to lake
Lebanon Hills Regional Park
by Avery Hildebrand, Regional Manager - Southeast Metro

Minnesotans love our Great Outdoors, and we are willing to do what it takes to improve our favorite parks and open spaces. Dakota County is no exception. It is home to some of our most iconic examples of natural beauty here in our state—places like Lebanon Hills Regional Park, the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, Sand Coulee, and Whitetail Woods. As demand grows in Dakota County for more access to nature and parks, now is the time to start thinking about the future.

Charging an EV
by John Anderson, Regional Manager - West Metro

For the past three years, Conservation Minnesota has worked with partner groups to put on an annual Environmental Commissions Conference every April. There is a great deal of overlap in these sorts of issues from city to city, and also the potential for cities to coordinate, so commissioners and other interested folks get together once a year to share ideas, think about how to work together, and get to know each other.

REST Rosemount Environment and Sustainability Task Force
City staff, council members, Mayor Bill Droste, commission members, and Conservation Minnesota's Avery Hildebrand (second from right)
by Avery Hildebrand, Regional Manager - Southeast Metro

On December 17th, 2019 Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste and City Council Members in attendance enthusiastically voted to turn the task force into an official city commission.