The Le Sueur River Watershed Network exists to encourage collaboration, empower citizens, and nurture a land stewardship ethic amongst those that live, work and recreate in the watershed.
A priority focus for Le Sueur River Watershed Network is to provide education and outreach about watershed conditions and watershed health. The Network has hosted many meetings across the watershed since its inception. Networks leaders share their stories locally and across the state and work to increase awareness, encourage collaboration and support for a land stewardship ethic.
Over the years, the Network has hosted more than 50 meetings all across the watershed (see map below). Residents have had the opportunity to learn about the watershed and to share information and to work collaboratively on watershed initiatives and projects. Some highlights have included potlucks at Indian Island Winery or picnics along the river at McGowan Farm and on the shores of St. Olaf Lake.
Steering Committee Meeting
The steering committee meets at least quarterly, often more frequently to keep information flowing about watershed projects, to plan upcoming meetings, to further initiatives, and to strategically plan next steps for the group.
The Network has hosted dozens of watershed tours ranging from watershed paddles to bus tours to farm visits.
Over the years, the Network has been featured in over two dozen newspaper articles and 6 television spots, sharing stories and raising the public’s awareness about watershed issues and solution strategies.
Six videos have been created about the watershed. One video provides an overview of watershed issues, another tells the story of the creation of the Network and profiles Network leaders. A video illustrates the dramatic impacts of more erosive river flows and property loss, highlighting the River Park Neighborhood near Mankato. Other videos highlight researchers explaining changes they have monitored across the watershed.
The Network has held meetings in many farms across the watershed to learn about conservation practices such as a nitrogen bioreactor at a Discovery Farm site.
The Network has hosted river paddles and have had the opportunity to learn from local, state and national experts. Giving residents a “view from the canoe” is a powerful way to see first hand and better understand watershed conditions.
Network leaders have also helped to improve informational signage about the watershed, such as park signage (Blue Earth County).