News & Insights
Lebanon Hills
Group of people walk through oak savanna
2024 Environment Commissions Conference at Burnsville’s Terrace Oaks West Park
Avery Hildebrand

On May 1st, 2024, Conservation Minnesota and GreenStep Cites & Tribal Nations hosted the 7th Environment Commissions Conference. Commissioners joined us at Burnsville’s Terrace Oaks Park for a tour of their oak savanna restoration project.

CC Students work on a buckthorn removal project

Winter is upon us, but our Conservation Crews are not hibernating—they’re hard at work. Crews at 32 middle schools across the state are working to finalize their project ideas and get down to business. 

sunrise over lake shore with evergreens
Sunrise on a lake near Grand Rapids, Minnesota

As we kick off the celebration of Conservation Minnesota’s 20th Anniversary, this edition of our newsletter gives a “peek under the hood” of how we make change happen. Luckily, the fuels that power this engine are all renewable: trust, community, and partnership.

Blazing Star Award Conservation Minnesota
Avery Hildebrand

In recognition of local governments’ work to protect the Great Outdoors, we launched the Blazing Star Award in 2022. Learn about the 2023 winners!

Students learn how to make a wood garden bed
Crew students learn how to make a raised bed for a campus garden

Entering the 3rd year of our youth program, Conservation Crew, we've had some great results! Read about our program evaluation results from last school year and what we're looking forward to this school year.

Prairie landscape
Avery Hildebrand

We're celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day by highlighting a 2023 law that returns the Upper Sioux Agency State Park, a culturally significant site in Southwest Minnesota, to the Upper Sioux Community. Read more about the bill and the history behind this decision.

Staff at Farmfest
Greetings from Farmfest! Keely, BreAnna, Paul, Liz, and Marcus were among the staff hosting our first booth at Farmfest.
Keely Cervantes

Each August, farm families and agriculture leaders descend on 50 acres of farmland in Southeastern Minnesota’s Redwood County for Farmfest. Conservation Minnesota hosted our very first booth at Farmfest this year, where we engaged with attendees about climate-smart agriculture funding that was significantly increased in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Clearing storm drain
Our Bemidji storm drain cleanup and stenciling event

Our first term with Community Stewards based in Moorhead, Bemidji, and Winona ends this month. Over their 7-month term, Stewards reached over 800 people and hosted over 30 events. Our Stewards led educational and service projects, working with local citizens to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and improve conservation.

group of students
Conservation Minnesota's Max the Moose (left) made an appearance at the 2023 Conservation Celebration, shown here with one of the Crews.

Conservation Crew students from across the state gathered at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove on May 6th for the annual Conservation Celebration to recognize their accomplishments and share their projects from the 2022–2023 year with peers. Four schools were awarded for their work based on their creativity, impact, resourcefulness, execution, and presentation.

people watching presentation
John Anderson presents at the 2023 conference
John Anderson

Conservation Minnesota convenes a conference of environment commission members from across Minnesota each year. Environment commissioners from 15 cities came together in Minnetonka on May 20th to make connections, discuss challenges, and share ideas on how to act on conservation at the local level.