Watershed Education Program
A University of Minnesota Extension resource to assist communities with watershed education and planning
The Watershed Education Program (WEP) provides community leaders, citizens, and natural resource professionals with knowledge and tools to make informed water and land use decisions to protect and restore the integrity of Minnesota's lakes, rivers, and wetlands.
Staff from the WEP can assist you in developing a comprehensive educational program for your watershed.
Why a watershed approach?
State and Federal agencies support a watershed approach for addressing water resources issues within areas bounded by geographic features such as topography rather than political boundaries such as county lines. WEP takes the same approach when providing assistance to local community leaders by providing education to foster an understanding of water resource issues on a systems level. WEP staff will work with municipalities, counties, nonprofit groups, and natural resource professionals to adopt watershed based planning, policy, and practices.
WEP staff can help community leaders identify their community's specific learning needs, as well as develop and deliver the appropriate customized training. WEP staff can also assist in promoting collaboration with other local leaders and agencies within a watershed.
How the watershed education program can help you
Working with local leaders and experts, WEP staff develop a coordinated education and outreach plan to reach watershed citizens and stakeholders while simultaneously meeting the goals and obligations of the watershed approach framework. By increasing understanding of local water resource planning, protection, and improvement, communities will be empowered to meet their clean water goals.
The WEP offers physical and biological science education and assistance with stakeholder involvement, planning, and policy development.
Specific learning experiences that are offered include topics such as:
- Basics of watershed hydrology
- Lake and river systems
- Urban and rural runoff
- Best management practices
- Aquatic invasive species
- Use of native plants to improve water quality
- The role of citizens in watershed planning and Best Management Practices implementation
- Education models that have been successful in other watersheds
WEP staff are committed to working with community leaders to holistically address the issues specific to their watershed.
Contact a watershed education program educator
Because each watershed is unique and the needs are highly variable, please contact one of the following educators to assist you in developing a comprehensive educational program to address your watershed's goals.
- Eleanor Burkett, Brainerd
- Doug Malchow, Rochester
- Karen Terry, Morris