Gael Zembal


Summer 2019


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Laura Halldin

Content Expert

Erica Sniegowski


In Minnesota, and nationally, the general public’s understanding of environmental topics is sub-optimal. Recent studies have also noted an alarming trend of children spending less time in nature, and suffering physical and mental impacts as a result. To help increase environmental literacy, and encourage people to get outside and protect nature, watershed districts (local government units in Minnesota) are making use of environmental education. The Nine Mile Creek Watershed District (NMCWD) is no exception, with a robust education team, and a diversity of programs and messaging about water and the environment. As a local unit of government, the NMCWD protects and manages the water resources within its boundaries. The NMCWD oversees about 50 square miles, and contains parts of the cities of Bloomington, Richfield, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. It is guided by a Board of Managers and a ten year Water Management Plan, which sets the goals and focus areas for the District for ten years. Education and outreach are two of the main tools the NMCWD uses to accomplish the goals laid out in this plan. It is very important that NMCWD staff use time and resources wisely to accomplish the goals laid out in the Water Management Plan. Therefore, an Education and Outreach Plan was developed to aid in this prioritization effort. This Plan identified and defined the types of audiences that the NMCWD works with, as well as the different messages taught about, and the methods in which the messages are disseminated to the audiences. This Plan also looked at which programs and methods are more flexible to changes in messaging. Finally, the Plan laid out how best to evaluate programs and methods. The Plan will be updated every two years, and will be available to the public on the NMCWD website, With effective environmental education, the NMCWD hopes to encourage people to get outside, connect with nature, and engage in behaviors that protect and preserve water and natural resources.


Environmental Studies, Education Planning, Environmental Education








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