CRWD Celebrates 25 Years

A small group of residents gathered to discuss their concerns about Saint Paul’s Como Lake in 1995. Three years later, in 1998, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved their petition to create Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD). In the past two and a half decades, the District has grown from its modest roots to become a national leader in stormwater management.

On Friday, September 22, 2023, CRWD held its 25th Anniversary Celebration. Over 300 residents, partners, staff, and friends of the District attended an evening filled with music, food, and artmaking.

Artist Seitu Jones, former CRWD Board Manager, was the emcee for a short program highlighting the 25 years of CRWD. Administrator Mark Doneux, Board President Joe Collins, Saint Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen, and former Community Advisory Committee member David Arbeit spoke about the District’s creation, some of its keystone projects, the importance of partnerships, and future priorities, including a new Facility Management Program.

Following the program, the Women’s Drum Center entertained guests with three performances and interactive drum circle sessions. Everyone enjoyed delicious food from Thai Thai Street Food Truck and beverages from Burning Brothers Brewing.

Artist Lori Greene was there with a water-themed Mosaic on a Stick. Children and adults created beautiful mosaics on water drops, fish, and butterflies to take home. Artist Kimberly Boustead crafted inks from native and invasive plants in the District and had an interactive table to see examples of the plants. Guests made a palette of inks and painted commemorative CRWD 25th Anniversary posters.

Guests toured artARK, a Mississippi River floating platform, with Seitu Jones. Photographs and videos from the Our Sacred Waters Exhibit by InProgress invited attendees to consider the sacred connections between Indigenous people and water. We were honored to have some of the young artists from the exhibit join us at the celebration!

Staff offered tours of our Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Gold-certified building. We unveiled four new interpretative signs around our site featuring the different clean water practices we use here and at other projects across the District. You can view a PDF of the signs in five languages on our CRWD Building Grounds project page.

The evening ended with a large flock of migrating pelicans flying overhead as the sun set. It was the perfect ending to a heart-warming celebration filled with music, art, and a shared appreciation of water.