Governor Dayton to visit Willow Lane Elementary, University of Minnesota to see how Minnesota students are making a difference for water quality
Water Action Week raising awareness of challenges facing our lakes, rivers, and drinking water systems, empower Minnesotans of all ages to take individual actions to be part of the solution
ST. PAUL, MN – As Water Action Week
continues, Governor Mark Dayton today will visit Willow Lane Elementary School in White Bear Lake and the University of Minnesota to see how Minnesota students are making a difference for water quality. Establishing an ethic of responsible stewardship needs to start early. That is why Governor Dayton is urging parents and teachers to talk with their children and students this week about the importance of water in our lives, and what Minnesotans can do – even as children – to leave a lasting legacy of clean water for this generation, and generations that follow.
“As Minnesotans, who have inherited this incredible state, we have no greater shared responsibility than our stewardship: to protect and improve the priceless natural resources, which we will pass on to our children and grandchildren. That wise stewardship is everyone's challenge and everyone's opportunity,” said Governor Dayton. “We can preserve the best of what we have in Minnesota by behaving responsibly. By being wise stewards, we can bequeath clean water to future generations.”
As Governor Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius prepare to visit Willow Lane Elementary, Commissioner Cassellius yesterday sent a message to school districts
, encouraging schools to teach young people this week about the importance of water quality, and what kids can do to help. Minnesota kids, parents, and teachers can find simple lesson plans, watch short videos, and find new ways to make a positive impact on water quality by logging on to www.h2oforlifeschools.org
. The user-friendly website is designed for children, families, and classrooms to engage together in the work necessary to improve the quality of our lakes, rivers, and drinking water systems.
“As the state with ‘Ten Thousand Lakes,’ Minnesota is known throughout the nation for the incredibly beautiful bodies of water that lay within its borders,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “I challenge every school in Minnesota to take some time this week to incorporate water conservation into the classroom. Just as we prepared our students for success in career and college, we must also provide them with the tools necessary to be good stewards of the Earth.”
Taking Water Action at Willow Lane Elementary
At 11:00am today, Governor Dayton and Commissioner Cassellius will visit a 5th Grade classroom at Willow Lane Elementary in White Bear Lake (4855 Bloom Ave). Students at Willow Lane are part of the White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi School District’s “Race 2 Reduce”
curriculum, in which students learn how to conserve water and take actions to improve water quality. The curriculum consists of short activities, videos, and discussion questions for a 5-10 minute daily, 5-day curriculum about water.
During Water Action Week, kids at Willow Lane Elementary, and elementary schools in participating school districts across Minnesota, are learning about why it is important to save water, fix water leaks, and how kids and their families can save water at home. During the week, kids set a water goal for their families, and then come up with a series of tasks to achieve their goals.
For example, students are learning that in the United States, we use 100 gallons of water per person, per day – compared with 16 gallons per person in China, and 30 gallons per person in the United Kingdom. And students learn that the United States wastes 1 trillion gallons of water each year through leaky pipes and toilets, with the average household leak resulting in 10,000 gallons of wasted water – enough to do 270 loads of water.
Taking Water Action at the University of Minnesota
At 2:00pm today, Governor Dayton will join Minnesota legislators to visit Forever Green Field at the University of Minnesota’s Cargill Building (Atrium and Seminar Room 105, 1500 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN) today, to discuss research and innovations that are working to improve land management practices, and contribute to cleaner water in Minnesota communities.
Students and researchers at the University of Minnesota participating in the Forever Green Initiative are working to provide systemic, transformative change to our landscapes, and improve water quality. By developing smart cropping systems that offer year-round cover, and perennial vegetation on the land, the work of these students and researchers are helping to increase economic production and provide cleaner water for our communities to drink from, play in, and enjoy without fear of harmful runoff.
Governor, Lt. Governor Call on Minnesotans to Take Water Action
During Water Action Week, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith are urging Minnesotans to take four simple actions – individual efforts to collectively improve the quality of Minnesota’s waters.
1. Learn About Your Water Quality
– Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith are encouraging all Minnesotans to learn more about the water around them, including the challenges facing our lakes, rivers, and clean drinking water systems, and the actions they can take as individuals to make a difference – because Minnesotans who understand the problems facing our waters will be better-equipped and motivated to be part of the solution. This week, the Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor has launched a one-stop web page
that provides a number of helpful links Minnesotans can use to learn more about water challenges in Minnesota. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith are also encouraging Minnesotans to do their own research, to test the water in their wells, and to learn more locally about the water infrastructure and systems their families rely on. Minnesotans can also follow the conversation on Facebook
where the Governor, Lt. Governor
, and state agencies will be sharing #WaterActionMN
tips every day throughout the week.
2. Teach Your Children about Clean Water, and Let Them Teach You
– Establishing an ethic of responsible stewardship needs to start early. That is why Governor Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will be visiting an elementary classroom this week, to meet with students who are learning in school what they can do to protect and improve the quality of water in their communities. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith urge all Minnesota parents and teachers to talk with their children and students this week about the importance of water in our lives, and what Minnesotans can do – even as children – to leave a lasting legacy of clean water for this generation, and generations that follow. A great place to start is www.h2oforlifeschools.org
where parents, teachers, and children can find simple lesson plans, watch short videos, and find new ways to make a positive impact on water quality in our communities, across our state, and around the world.
3. Set a Water Conservation Goal – Whether fixing leaky pipes in your house, turning off the water when brushing your teeth, taking a shorter shower, or using less fertilizer on your lawn, all Minnesotans can make small changes in their lives that will collectively have a significant and positive impact on Minnesota’s waters. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith encourage Minnesotans this week to think about the way their lifestyles impact the water around them, and set a specific goal to make positive changes in their lives that will contribute to cleaner, safer, more affordable water for all Minnesotans.
4. Contact Your Legislators
– While government alone cannot solve the multitude of challenges facing Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and drinking water systems, state and local leaders do play an important role. The actions of the State Legislature can, and must make a significant difference in assuring clean, affordable water for all Minnesotans. This session, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith have proposed a $220 million down-payment on the essential clean water infrastructure upgrades Minnesota needs to provide clean, affordable drinking water in communities across Minnesota. Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith encourage Minnesotans to review the proposal
– including how it would impact their communities
– and contact their legislators to encourage them to support these needed investments. Minnesotans can find out how to contact their legislators by using the “Who Represents Me?”
tool on the Legislative Coordinating Commission’s website.