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2013 Clean Water Summit

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
People attending a conference session

About 150 people showed up to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on September 13 for the 2013 Clean Water Summit, which focused on the essential role of people in protecting clean water. 

This year's theme was a bit of a twist for the annual summit, which typically focuses on more technical aspects of green infrastructure. However, as participants learned throughout the day-long summit, knowing how to work with people can be just as important as knowing how to install a raingarden when it comes to protecting water resources. 

Among the topics addressed:

  • Identifying people's motivators for environmentally-friendly behavior
  • Research on the connection between being in nature and overall happiness
  • Similarities between political campaigns and clean water initiatives 
  • Understanding the capacity of communities
  • Assessing audiences and evaluating the success of programs
  • Communicating in plain language
  • The many ways to change behavior
  • The value of partnerships between the public and private sector

Presentation slides from nearly all of the sessions are available for free on the 2013 Clean Water Summit web page

As one attendee noted, "In the future this class will help me communicate better with residents when I'm trying to convince them of the benefits of better stormwater management.  I would say just today while rehabbing a garden I was already working better with the resident than I may have previously."

Another said: "As always, a great day and great, practical information!  The Arboretum location cannot be beat."

The Pentair Foundation was the presenting sponsor, with the MCWD as a supporting sponsor of the event. Education Manager Leslie Yetka presented on ways to engage stakeholders, and James Wisker, Director of Planning, Projects and Land Conservation, led a session on the importance of working with the private sector. 

Thanks to all the attendees, speakers and sponsors for another successful summit. We hope to see you next year!