Annual Watershed Steward Awards

Watershed Steward Awards

Capitol Region Watershed District’s (CRWD’s) Watershed Steward Awards is an annual event that honors individuals and organizations that exemplify watershed stewardship through activities or projects that demonstrate a commitment to help protect, manage and improve our lakes and the Mississippi River.

Award Categories:

• Watershed Citizen Award: Given to an individual who has demonstrated a personal commitment to citizen engagement, project initiation or exceptional leadership that supports CRWD’s mission.
• Watershed Partner Award: Given to an organization that has demonstrated through its policies,practices or projects a commitment to CRWD’s mission by consistently implementing innovative stormwater management solutions.
• Watershed Outreach Program Award: Given to an organization that has demonstrated through its policies, practices or projects a commitment to CRWD’s mission by connecting residents to clean water practices through education art and other means.
• Young Watershed Steward Award: Given to a young person or group of young people who have undertaken projects that exemplify a commitment to CRWD’s mission.
• Watershed Project Award: Given to an organization, group or individual for a project that demonstrates an innovative and effective solution for protecting, managing and improving water resources of CRWD.
• Lifetime Stewardship Award: Given to an individual who has, during his or her lifetime, played a significant leadership role in the stewardship of CRWD’s water resources.

 

2019 Watershed Steward Award Winners

2019 Lifetime Steward Award: Shirley Reider, former CRWD Board Manager
The Lifetime Stewardship Award is given to an individual or group who has played a significant and lasting leadership role in the stewardship of CRWD’s water resources.  Shirley Reider has demonstrated a commitment to and passion for clean water by contributing 17 years of service to CRWD as a devoted member of the Board of Managers.  Shirley started on the Citizen Advisory Committee in 2002, only four years after the District’s establishment and before staff was hired.  She also served the state-wide watershed community by being an active member of the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts (MAWD). In addition to this, Shirley has contributed to community and environmental affairs through her work in leadership roles on the Hamline-Midway District Council for many years. Shirley is passionate about clean water for all residents.  Her energy, devotion and commitment make her a perfect recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

2019 Watershed Project Award: Allianz Field
The Watershed Project Award is given to an organization, group or individual for a project that demonstrates an innovative and effective solution to protecting, managing and improving water resources of the District. Minnesota United FC worked closely with CRWD and the City of Saint Paul to make a bold commitment to sustainability and green infrastructure at Allianz Field that will recycle millions of gallons of rainwater every year and support the long-term health of the surrounding community and environment.  The 35-acre Snelling-Midway Development site is a great example of how innovative stormwater approaches can be realized through strong leadership and willing partners in the public and private sector.

This first of its kind comprehensive stormwater system serves as a model for future large-scale developments and is a win for the health of the Mississippi River and greater community.

2019 Young Watershed Steward Award: Henry Welliver
The Young Watershed Steward Award is given to a young person or group of young people who have undertaken projects that exemplify a commitment to CRWD’s mission. Henry Welliver coordinated the planting of CRWD’s large northwest rain garden for his Eagle Scout project in the summer of 2019.  He recruited 28 people, including scouts and other volunteers, to help plant the garden with materials provided by the District.  The rain garden that Henry and his team of volunteers planted collects more than 2,000-gallons of rainwater each year and removes nutrients and dirt that would have otherwise washed into nearby storm drains and the Mississippi River.

This project is an excellent example of the kind of leadership and stewardship we hope to see all residents getting involved in.  Great work, Henry!

2019 Watershed Outreach Program Award: Parkview Center School’s Clean Water Project
The Watershed Outreach Program Award is given to an organization that has demonstrated through its policies, practices or projects a commitment to CRWD’s mission by connecting residents to clean water practices through education, art or other means. Teacher Jenny Eckman and her colleague Mary Sweeney at Parkview Center School in Roseville have been working to strengthen the water curriculum and hands-on learning experiences for all K-5 students through the Parkview Water Project. It begins with a pond study for kindergarteners and first graders, special in-school water lessons led by educators from the Science Museum in grades 2 and 3, a field day to Lake McCarrons in grade 4 and finally a day on the Mississippi River in voyager canoes with Wilderness Inquiry for grade 5. The Parkview Water Project lessons and experiences serve nearly 500 students each year.

The hands-on learning and access to real world connections between Parkview students and water has been priceless.

2019 Watershed Partner Award: Ramsey County Soil and Water Conservation Division
The Watershed Partner Award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated through its policies, practices or projects a commitment to CRWD’s mission by exceeding the requirements of District rules or through the implementation of innovative watershed management solutions. The Ramsey County Soil and Water Conservation District (RCSWCD) has provided technical assistance and design services for CRWD’s Stewardship Grant program since 2013. The services they provide are critical to the success of the program.  Their staff provide exemplary service at every level including site visits, conceptual planning and design, and construction oversight.  RCSWCD has also greatly contributed to the success of the District’s monitoring program by conducting annual lake aquatic vegetation monitoring. In 2018-2019, they collected below-ice data throughout the winter season and led the first curly-leaf pondweed sampling on Como Lake.

2019 Watershed Citizen Award: Erin Spry
The Watershed Citizen Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated a personal commitment to citizen engagement, project initiation or exceptional leadership that supports CRWD’s mission. As a new resident in Saint Paul’s District 10, Erin Spry volunteered to coordinate three Como Lake clean-ups in partnership with the Como Community Council. She created flyers and posters to help promote the clean-ups, gathered supplies, worked closely with the boat rental company to make boats available and coordinated with CRWD staff to provide information about lake health for participants at each event. Erin’s enthusiasm and excellent organizational skills resulted in 60 residents removing nearly 200 pounds of trash from Como Lake. Participants learned more about the issues facing the lake as well as CRWD’s plans to make improvements in the future.

2018 Watershed Steward Award Winners

2018 Lifetime Steward Award: Cy Kosel, Parks and Recreation Natural Resources Manager for the City of Saint Paul (retired)
The Lifetime Stewardship Award is given to an individual who has, during his or her lifetime, played a significant leadership role in the stewardship of CRWD’s water resources. Cy Kosel worked for the City of Saint Paul for over 40 years before retiring in 2018. Throughout those years, he was a tireless advocate for integrated natural resource, forestry and water quality management. He has supported local initiatives such as the Como Active Citizen Network’s community clean‐up events and has worked with CRWD to coordinate countless workshops for his staff on topics such as preventing illicit discharges and managing turfgrass for water quality.
“Cy Kosel has long been an advocate for clean water and a strong proponent of the early and sustained partnership between CRWD and Saint Paul to improve water quality and parks within the City.” Mark Doneux, CRWD Administrator

2018 Watershed Citizen Award: Michael Stoick, Teacher at Saint Paul Public Schools and Owner of Alley Farms and Gardens
This award is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated a personal commitment to citizen engagement, project initiation or exceptional leadership that supports CRWD’s mission. Stoick’s work with CRWD began when he was leading a team of Lego League students at Hamline Elementary who designed and built waterrelated projects. The projects included a compost tea booster system to encourage composting food waste and improve soil health while reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers, an electric rain garden that uses microbes living in rain garden environments as a source of renewable energy, and a combined speed bump and rain garden design that directs runoff into rain gardens. Michael is also involved in clean water projects in his community.

2018 Watershed Project Award: Hamline Midway Coalition’s Pierce Butler Meadows
This award recognizes an organization, group or individual for a project that demonstrates an innovative and effective solution for protecting, managing and improving water resources of the CRWD. The recipient of this award is the Hamline Midway Coalition for Pierce Butler Meadows, a project that was a culmination of more than a decade of community interest for ecological and aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Pierce Butler Route and Snelling Avenue. The Hamline Midway Coalition’s Environment Committee developed partnerships with numerous community, educational and environmental groups who came together for a weeklong series of planting events. The project concluded with a Planton Movil event for people to “lend mobility” to plants, and for plants to “borrow their slowness” to people lead by artist Lucia Monge.

2018 Watershed Partner Award: Wes Saunders‐Pearce, Water Resource Coordinator of the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections
This award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated through its policies, practices or projects a commitment to CRWD’s mission by  consistently implementing innovative stormwater management solutions. It was Saunders‐Pearce’s leadership on some of the region’s most complex and innovative stormwater management projects, including CHS Field, Allianz Field and redevelopment plans for the Ford Site, that led to this recognition of his work. He has consistently displayed a vision and keen understanding of the technical, financial and political realities of implementing innovative stormwater projects.

2018 Watershed Outreach Program Award: Summit Hill Association’s Water Wise Program
This award is given to an organization that has demonstrated through its policies, practices or projects a commitment to CRWD’s mission by connecting residents to clean water practices through education, art or other means. The winner of this award is the Summit Hill Association’s Water Wise program. The Association’s Environment and Beautification Committee is organized around the values of recycling, reuse and beautification. Using a Partner Grant they received from CRWD in 2017, they committed to a multi‐layered outreach project involving the rehabilitation of the rain garden at the Linwood Community Center by volunteers, teaching about the impacts of this neighborhood on the greater watershed, organizing a park and storm drain clean‐up day, and initiating outreach to 90 second grade students at Linwood Monroe Arts Elementary School. As part of the Water Wise program, the students planted a rain garden, learned about the Adopt‐A‐Drain program and painted with artist Annie Hejny, using her signature technique of working with river water and sediment to create paintings.