“Bagnado” wins Best of Show; “Swimmable, Fishable, Fixable?” is recognized by MAGC.
The Minnesota Association of Government Communicators (MAGC) recognized two MPCA communications projects with Northern Lights Awards at their annual recognition event Thursday, May 19. “Bagnado,” from the MPCA’s 2015 Eco Experience exhibit, not only won first place in the Special Event category, but was also chosen “Best in Show” from among all the MAGC nominees! In addition, MPCA’s report “Swimmable, Fishable, Fixable?” from Spring 2015 earned a bronze award in MAGC’s Public Information Project category.
Bagnado took center stage in the Eco Experience building at the 2015 State Fair, towering over the other displays, a swirling 25-foot tall tornado made of thousands of plastic bags and pieces of film. Bagnado transformed data from the MPCA Waste Characterization Report into a visually stunning exhibit to shock Minnesotans about how much plastic bag and film waste we generate, and to encourage reduction and recycling. The plastic used in Bagnado represented the 60 pounds of plastic bags and film thrown away in Minnesota every five seconds. Minnesotans throw away more than 1 million pounds of plastic packaging and grocery bags EVERY day.
Bagnado was also a cost-effective message for the agency. More than 250,000 people attended the Eco Experience; the cost of the Bagnado exhibit was 2 cents per impression.
Jeanne Giernet, Wayne Gjerde, and Scott Andre were MPCA staff leads on the project, but staff from the Communications Section and Resource Management and Assistance Division also contributed. Merrick, a nonprofit organization that provides work options for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, was hired to figure out how to use plastic bags and film as the “fabric” for Bagnado. MasterMark, a Minnesota company that makes decking from recycled plastic and wood, donated the plastic fence (made from recycled jugs, plastic bags, and wood)
Swimmable, fishable, fixable?
MAGC also recognized MPCA’s Swimmable, Fishable, Fixable? report, which took a stark look at the varied condition and quality of Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. The report received widespread media coverage and comment in the final two months of the 2015 Minnesota legislative session. Governor Mark Dayton credited the report with inspiring him to make protecting water one of his legacy issues in his final term as Governor. The report also played a pivotal role in the legislative debate over Governor Dayton’s buffer initiative, which ultimately passed.
Cathy Rofshus, Mike Koschak, Lee Ganske, Tanja Michels, Ashley Ignatius, and Theresa Gaffey were lead staff on Fishable, Swimmable, Fixable? with contributions from Shannon Lotthammer, Gaylen Reetz, and several others from Communications, EAO, and Watershed Division.
“These are well-told stories about some of the great work that happens at this agency,” says MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine. “It’s great to see our MPCA core values in practice. We strive to support people, leadership, and collaboration at MPCA. We also strongly value the importance of using data to make decisions and tell environmental stories. Bagnado and the Fishable Swimmable report are stories that show our values in practice."