For Cleaner Water
       & Fewer Floods  

Area Events & Workshops

  • 24 Mar 2016 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    Despite the snow, the Zumbro Watershed Buffer Summit will still take place on Thursday, March 24, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Mazeppa Community Center, 121 Maple St. in Mazeppa, MN.

    If you want to learn how the new Minnesota Buffer Rule will affect you, your farm, and the Zumbro River, join us tonight in Mazeppa for a short presentation and question and answer session about this rule.

    6:30-7:15 Crash Course in the Buffer Rule, Tom Gile, BWSR Buffer Specialist
    7:15-7:30 Five-minute Presentations by farmers Andy Hart and Duane Alberts about how they've installed buffers as part of their farm operations

    7:30-8:00 pm Question and Answer Period (panel to include everyone on this email list) I'm expecting that many of the questions will go to Tom. But having other agency staff there will also allow us to answers questions about having buffers in CRP (NRCS panelists), etc.

  • 15 Mar 2016 4:20 PM | Anonymous

    Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies Kick-off Meeting



    The Zumbro Watershed Partnership invites you to join us as we begin the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies Process for the Zumbro River Watershed.  


    What: Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) Kick-off Meeting for     

               the Zumbro River Watershed 


    When: Saturday March 19, 2016 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM


    Where: People's Energy Cooperative, Conference Meeting Room

                 1775 Lake Shady Avenue South

                 Oronoco, MN   55960

    We will be reviewing the new watershed science from the MPCA, and discussing the current and historical water quality issues in the Zumbro River Watershed along with providing a road map to address them.  

    Attached to this message are the following:

    1.  Detailed Agenda (also below)

    2.  A fact sheet regarding the use of Zonation Model and Zonation Model questionnaires that we'll be using for a survey in the afternoon.  Please review

    Zumbro River Watershed WRAPS Kickoff Meeting



    The Zumbro Watershed Partnership invites you to join us as we begin the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies Process for the Zumbro River Watershed.  


    What: Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) Kick-off Meeting for     

               the Zumbro River Watershed 


    When: Saturday March 19, 2016 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM


    Where: People's Energy Cooperative, Conference Meeting Room

                 1775 Lake Shady Avenue South

                 Oronoco, MN   55960

    We will be reviewing the new watershed science from the MPCA, and discussing the current and historical water quality issues in the Zumbro River Watershed along with providing a road map to address them.  

    Attached to this message are the following:

    1.  Detailed Agenda (also below)

    2.  A fact sheet regarding the use of Zonation Model and Zonation Model questionnaires that we'll be using for a survey in the afternoon.  Please review before the meeting.



    We will be providing boxed lunches from Hy-Vee.  PLEASE RSVP SO WE YOU HAVE A LUNCH FOR YOU.  

    RSVP by emailing Paul Wotzka at or calling me at 507-450-7737 by 11 AM on Thursday, March 17th.


    Hope to see you there!
    Paul Wotzka


    Zumbro River Watershed (ZRW) 

    Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS)

    Kickoff Meeting Agenda

    March 19, 2016 from 9:30-2:30

    (Lunch Provided by ZWP for attendees that RSVP)

    People’s Energy Cooperative Conference Room

    1775 Lake Shady Avenue South, Oronoco, MN 55960



    9:30 -10:00 am

    Registration and Beginning the Discussion

    Coffee and cookies

    Map displays

    Informal conversation on WRAPS 



    10:00-10:30 am

    Introductions, Overview of WRAPS and Meeting Agenda

    Overview of the WRAPS Statute and process. Review agenda and emailed materials. 

    Paul Wotzka, ZWP 

    10:30 am - noon 

    New Watershed Science on the Zumbro River Watershed

    Monitoring and Assessment 

    Biological Stressor Identification 

    Water Quality Modeling:  HSPF and BATHTUB 

    MPCA Staff:  Justin Watkins, Ben Roush, and Tiffany Schauls

    Noon-12:45 pm



    Provided by ZWP

    12:45 -1:00 pm

    Knitting It All Together

    Synthesis of the morning’s watershed science 

    Justin Watkins, MPCA

    1:00-2:00 pm

    Zonation Values-based Modeling 

    Review of the process and conducting the surveys

    Paul Radomski, DNR

    2:00-2:30 pm

    Next Steps and Attendees Expectations for ZRW WRAPS 

    Three rounds of smaller scale meetings based on ZRW lobes












  • 14 Mar 2016 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    The Zumbro Watershed Partnership seeks applicants for it's position as Executive Director.


    Zumbro Watershed Partnership, Inc.

    DATE POSTED: March 4th, 2016

    APPLICATIONS DUE: April 8th, 2016

    POSITION TITLE: Executive Director

    POSITION LOCATION: Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center, Rochester, MN

    EMPLOYMENT TERMS: Part-Time Employee (~25 hours/week)

    SALARY: $22.50 - $25.00/hour depending on experience

    START DATE: May 16th, 2016


    The Executive Director leads the Zumbro Watershed Partnership (ZWP) and provides daily management of all ZWP functions. This includes coordination with federal, state and local agency professionals and citizen members in the planning and execution of watershed management activities; application for grants and execution of awarded grants; fundraising; public relations; and membership recruitment.

    The Executive Director also reaches out to local and regional elected and appointed officials, private businesses and volunteer organizations to
    increase visibility of ZWP and accelerate implementation of a unified approach to watershed management in alignment with the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources’ “One Watershed, One Plan” initiative. This position is also responsible for overseeing ZWP staff, which currently includes a half-time Educational Coordinator and a half-time Watershed Planner.

    The Zumbro Watershed Partnership (ZWP) is a nonprofit organization of local concerned citizens and resource management professionals with the goal of restoring the natural and social benefits of a healthy watershed through collaborative partner projects. We have a history of building strong partnerships among citizen groups, local government entities, and academic institutions to obtain grants from government agencies and Non Government Organizations
    (NGOs). Those grants have allowed us to further our scientific understanding of the Zumbro Watershed, communicate more effectively with residents of the watershed, and develop long-
    term strategies toward improving the ecological integrity of our shared resources.


     Bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from an accredited college/university

    (e.g., water resources, watershed management, hydrology, ecology, conservation, fisheries

    and wildlife management, or related resource management field)


    Bachelor’s or Post-bachelor’s degree in the field of philanthropy, non-profit management,

    development and 5 years of experience in natural resources management, environmental

    education and/or environmental non-profit or advocacy organization.

     Demonstrated fundraising and/or grant writing abilities

     Ability to work effectively in various field conditions, including rough terrain and inclement


     Strong organizational, managerial, interpersonal, and communication skills, both written and verbal. Willingness to work with individuals of varied ages, educational, and social

     Skilled and experienced in public meeting facilitation and/or public speaking.

     Ability to manage multiple, concurrent projects and responsibilities.

     Possession of a valid Minnesota Driver’s License and a personal vehicle (mileage will be reimbursed at the IRS rate).

     Ability to analyze and comprehend technical and scientific data and express it in lay terms to

    ZWP members and the general public.

     Ability to apply effective leadership skills to employees, the ZWP Board, and committees, including the ability to provide effective work direction and performance management to employees.


     Successful fundraising and/or grant acquisition record.

     Experience with membership engagement and membership drives.

     Knowledge of conservation principles, practices and policies.

     Knowledge of urban and agricultural storm water management and flood management principles and practices, at both a local and regional scale.

     Experience with GIS software and application of geo-spatial information.

     Knowledge of watershed assessment models and application.

     Financial management and budgeting experience.

     Team management skills, including experience in staff development.


    1. Grant Acquisition, Donor and Membership fundraising

     Pursue outside funding opportunities through grant writing and relationship building to further facilitate implementation of the Zumbro River Watershed Management Plan.

     Coordinate membership drive activities, including tracking membership applications andmailings, and maintaining the membership database.

    2. Coordination with Technical Partners and Grant Funding Agencies

     Facilitate interagency coordination, cooperation, and communication for all ZWP

     Coordinate with partners to define, apply, implement and evaluate projects led by the ZWP or its partners that advance the goals and objectives of the Zumbro Watershed Plan.

     Continue ongoing efforts to prepare partners for the Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources’ “One Watershed, One Plan” initiative.

    3. Organization Management

     Provide staff support to and communication with the ZWP Board.

     Prepare for and attend monthly Board meetings and regular committee meetings; prepare and distribute committee meeting notes; and provide status reports on activities.

     Supervise other ZWP staff and contractors in the execution of educational programming, planning efforts, and grant execution, including the completion of performance appraisals.

     Provide regular written communication to members, partners, and other interested parties.

    4. Grant Execution

     Oversee and administer grants, including execution of grant activities, compilation and submittal of required grant progress reports, tracking project expenditures, and documenting in-kind match contributions submitted by partners.


    This position reports to the Zumbro Watershed Partnership, Inc. Board of Directors.

    About the Zumbro Watershed Partnership (ZWP)

    The Zumbro Watershed Partnership, Inc. is a nonprofit organization of local concerned citizens and water resource management professionals committed to protecting and restoring terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitat in the Zumbro River Watershed. This major watershed covers 910,337 acres in the Lower Mississippi River basin in southeastern Minnesota in which more than 170,000 people live, work and play. ZWP is working to accelerate the adoption of conservation practices on agricultural working lands and perennial cover practices on highly sensitive areas in the watershed to improve freshwater aquatic habitat, improve water quality,
    and reduce storm water runoff. Funding comes from a combination of state and foundation grants as well as membership donations and benefit events.


    Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references by 5:00 pm on April 8th, 2016. Please

    submit documents via email to or by mail to:

    Lawrence Svien
    Zumbro Watershed Partnership
    1485 Industrial Drive NW
    Rochester, MN 55901

    Phone: 507-226-6787

    For more information, visit or contact Lawrence Svien at 507-226-6787 or

  • 09 Feb 2016 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    A big round a applause for Ray Schmidtz and Bruce Frutiger who each received a 2015 Olmsted County , Rochester Public Utilities Environmental Achievement Award in January.

    Schmitz is active in many environmental organizations in the area, including the Zumbro Watershed Partnership, EarthFest, and the Environmental Commission.

    Bruce Frutiger teaches high school students at Century High School  in Rochester about environmental issues.

    The awards recognize individuals and organizations in Olmsted County who make a significant contribution to Environmental Quality in Olmsted County. For more information, visit:

  • 04 Feb 2016 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    In 2009, the City of Rochester launched Realize Rain Gardens Rochester - a cost-share grant program promoting the installation of residential rain gardens in Rochester. A task force of interested citizens and the City’s Public Works staff developed this program. Selected sites are used to demonstrate how raingardens slow, treat, and infiltrate storm water, while adding beauty to neighborhoods and creating habitat for songbirds and butterflies. This program has facilitated the installation of over 30 rain gardens since 2009.  Hundreds of residents have discovered the benefits of these water-cleaning wonders through tours, Rain Garden Parties, and workshops. This program is also a recipient of the Committee on Urban Design & Environment’s Institutional Development award.


    The Realize Rain Gardens Rochester program will award cost-share grants to both residential customers and non-profit organizations, including schools, located within the city limits of Rochester. Residential applications must propose projects located within Rochester’s city limits on a residential parcel owned by a Rochester citizen. Community applications must be submitted by a non-profit organization for a proposed location that has an ability to reach large audiences. Schools located in Rochester are also eligible to apply. Applicants have until May 1, 2016 to submit their application for a cost-share grant to assist in the creation of a raingarden. Applications are reviewed and ranked, with up to seven projects receiving a cost-share grant. The grant award will be for 50% of verifiable costs, up to a maximum of $750.00 per project. Eligible expenditures include the costs for the design, plants, mulch, soil amendment, related materials, and labor. To be considered for this year’s grant round, raingardens must be installed in 2016 on parcels within Rochester’s city limits and outside of utility and drainage easements or road rights-of-way. 


    More details about the Realize Rain Gardens Rochester cost-share grant program, including the application form and pictures of past grant winners, can be found on the City’s stormwater website: People without computer access may contact Megan Moeller, Public Works Department at (507) 328-2440 to request an application package or obtain assistance while preparing grant applications.


    Save the Date for Related Programs:

    ·         Introduction to Rain Gardens: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 from 7-8:30pm at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota - Cascade Meadow (

    ·         Realize Rain Gardens Rochester Cost Share Grant Writing Workshop: Monday, February 29, 2016 from 7-9:00pm in City Hall Conference Room 104
  • 28 Jan 2016 3:11 PM | Anonymous

    Our friends at the Land Stewardship Project are holding workshops that will help farmers protect their soil and our water resources.

    STARTING MONDAY, FEB. 1 - LSP'S FARM TRANSITION PLANNING WORKSHOP SERIES of three consecutive Mondays for families ready to give considerable thought to what's next for their farms. The cost is $150 per family, which covers three full-day sessions and materials. Space is limited; to register or for more information, contact LSP's Karen Stettler, 507-523-3366 or  Other details at

    THURSDAYS, FEB. 4 AND 11 - "IT'S NOT JUST DIRT ANYMORE - MAXIMIZING SOIL HEALTH" WORKSHOPS in Plainview and Lewiston. Each site features different national and regional experts in cover crops and soil health. The $10 fee covers a meal and materials. To help with the meal count, please RSVP for Feb. 4 (Plainview) by Tuesday, Feb. 2; please RSVP for Feb. 11 (Lewiston) by Feb. 9 to Doug Nopar, 507-523-3366, Speakers and other details at

    THURSDAY, MAR. 3 - "SPRING PREP! COVER CROP STRATEGIES, SEED, AND SOIL SCIENCE" WORKSHOP in Chatfield UMC, 1-3:30 p.m. with area cover crop farmers, the go-to guy for the Haney soil health test, state researchers, and engaged seed houses. Come for coffee and leave inspired and supported as you take on not just your yield this year but the ongoing health of your soil every year. RSVP helpful plus details at Caroline van Schaik, 507-523-3366, caroline

    SATURDAY, AP. 2 - "LAND ETHIC AT WORK" WORKSHOP at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center for anyone trying to articulate and then put their priorities to work on the land. 8:30 a.m. to dessert after Dinner on the Bluff guest speaker Dr. Bruno Borsari on his recent work in Panama. Early Bird rate until Mar. 12; please register at  Scholarship and exhibitor opportunities; please contact Caroline van Schaik, 507-523-3366, with questions. Details at

  • 26 Jan 2016 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    The second annual Rochester EarthFest Expo will be held April 24th at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium. The goal of the Expo is to promote sustainable living through education, interactive displays, and promoting green products. Our theme this year will be "100% Renewable Energy by 2031". 2016 will be an exciting year with Mayor Brede's proclamation for 100% renewable energy by 2031, the DMC sustainability plan, and the upcoming Rochester Energy Action Plan.


    The Expo is the grand finale of a 7-day EarthFest celebration. The Expo will be held at the Mayo Civic Center Exhibition Hall on April 24th from 10AM-4PM. Setup will begin at 7:00 that morning. EarthFest is organized by the Rochester Climate Coalition, which is a coalition of non-profit organizations who are interested in promoting an earth-friendly sustainable lifestyle.


     In addition to our green building and sustainable living commercial booths, the fair will feature:

    •          A way cool Zumbro Watershed Partnership Booth and ...
    •          Visits from "Zumbro Zoe" our 6-foot SpokesOtter, photos with the Otter

    •          Electric Vehicle show

    •          Educational classes

    •          Children’s activities

    •          Non-profit environmental group displays

    •          Keynote speaker to be determined 


  • 05 Jan 2016 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2016
    Contact: Megan Duffey Moeller
    City of Rochester, Public Works Department
    201 4th Street SE, Room 108
    Rochester, MN 55904

    Mussels of Southeastern Minnesota

    Speaker Series at Saint Mary’s University – Cascade Meadow

    Who knew the Zumbro River’s mussels could be so fascinating! Join us to learn all about these important invertebrates, including: how they live, how they reproduce, why we should care about them, threats to their wellbeing, and how they can tell us about the health of our waterways. We will also learn how the Minnesota DNR’s native mussel program has been working to protect these important animals and what they plan to do in the future.
    Presentation by Shelby Marr, Malacologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
    This program is FREE of charge.
    Date: January 26, 2016
    Time: 6-7:30 pm
    Place: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota – Cascade Meadow
    2900 19th Street NW, Rochester, 55901
    Cost: Free
    No reservations are necessary.

  • 22 Dec 2015 3:41 PM | Anonymous

    Documentary Screening: Project WILD THING; Saturday, January 9, 10:00 a.m., Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, 2900--19th St. NW, Rochester, MN

    Together with Project Get Outdoors (GO), Cascade Meadow invites parents, grandparents, child care providers and others concerned about the well-being of children to come learn more about connecting kids to nature for their health and to foster future stewards of our natural world.

    The Project WILD THING documentary follows British filmaker, David Bond, who is worried about his children. His kids' waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors - not like it was back in his day. David decides it's time to get back to nature – literally. Project WILD THING brings to light the obstacles keeping children from experiencing the outdoors and presents accessible opportunities to reconnect families to the natural world.

    Audience participants will have the opportunity to share in a group dialogue facilitated by representatives of Project GO and the local medical community. Free resources will be available to help you connect children to nature.

Contact Us:

Mailing Address: Zumbro Watershed Partnership, Inc.
12 Elton Hills Drive NW
Rochester, MN 55901

ZWP Executive Director Contact Information 
Phone Number: 507-226-6787

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