Award-winning community service

Group of children standing next to a storm drain where they've stenciled "No dumping, drains to lake"

The MPCA and Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) awarded Ely Community Resources the 2022 Community Conservationist Award during the MASWCD annual convention in Bloomington. Ely Community Resources is a nonprofit that serves youth through a variety of programs that raise awareness about local and global water resources.

The MASWCD and the MPCA sponsor this award to recognize outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices in a community environment.

North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District nominated Ely Community Resources noting that the organization has consistently provided enriching, immersive, and authentic opportunities for youth to engage with natural resource issues and investigate the natural world around them. Recent activities included:

  • Stormwater drainage awareness: Students designed both a storm drain stencil and door hangers to educate the community about the importance of keeping pollutants from entering the storm drain system.  
  • Data collection: Students participated in investigative projects related to aquatic invasive species and native species from crayfish to zooplankton and also supported the collection of water chemistry data

Ely Community Resources' programs spark interest in science, raise awareness about natural resource issues, and motivate youth to care and understand about water issues in their community and across the globe as they become our future conservation leaders.

The MASWCD partners with the MPCA by representing the soil and water conservation districts of Minnesota, delivering education and leadership opportunities that support effective conservation practices.