Freshwater Society

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The Freshwater Society is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that for more than 40 years has worked to educate and inspire people to value, conserve and protect all freshwater resources.

In 2008, the Society went through a rigorous strategic planning process, led by the Guardianship Council, a blue-ribbon committee of conservationists and scientists. The council issued a report on the state of water in Minnesota: "Water Is Life: Protecting a Critical Resource For Future Generations."

The Society now focuses on two main issues:
-- The sustainability of groundwater.
-- Nonpoint pollution of lakes and rivers.

The Freshwater Society convenes forums on threats facing water and partners with other groups to explore problems and offer solutions to them.

Resources for Educators:
Art and Design Contest
Freshwater Society presents an annual Water Art and Design Contest that is open to all public, private and home schooled 9th - 12th grade students in Minnesota. The contest seeks to inspire Minnesotans to take action to protect our waters.

Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar
The wall calendar features more than 60 pages of meteorology, weather history, phenology, astronomy, gardening tips, and information on water resources. Weather, nature, and wildlife images submitted by the region's most talented photographers make this calendar extraordinary!

Calendars in the Classroom program
The free Calendars in the Classroom program, in use in 400 clasrooms across Minnesota, was developed by the Jeffers Foundation and the Freshwater Society. It allows teachers to incorporate simple and concise lessons that integrate science content into other academic areas within their daily schedule. Along with the calendar, the Calendars in the Classroom program provides step-by-step, hands-on lesson plans in topics such as: meteorology, phenology and astronomy. The factual scientific charts, documents and images pertaining to Minnesota complement a wide spectrum of Minnesota Academic Standards.

Without extensive background knowledge, a teacher can easily involve students in daily observations, instruct with the aide of visuals, and rely on information provided in the calendar to act as content meeting state science standards.

If you would like to receive a copy of Calendars in the Classroom or would like your school to receive no-cost training on Weatherguide classroom use, go to the Freshwater Society's website and search for "Weatherguide curriculum."

Freshwater Society Blog
The Freshwater blog, accessible from the website, offers a searchable archive of hundreds of news articles about weather, science and the environment.

Lecture Series
Since early 2010, the Freshwater Society and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences have co-sponsored a lecture series on water and the environment. Video of past speakers is available on the web site. Topics have included: groundwater sustainability, nonpoint pollution, endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment, ecosystem valuation and water and the future of agriculture.

Original Sources
The website features links to research and reports on water quality, water and agriculture, climate change and many other topics.

Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality
The Freshwater Society and Friends of the Minnesota Valley help community groups, including school classrooms and school clubs, organize service projects. The projects involve spring and fall clean-ups of leaves and other organic debris that cause algae growth in lakes and rivers. Many schools have conducted these clean-ups.

For more information about the Freshwater Society and any of its programs and resources, visit

Topic Areas: 
Resource Management
Pollution Prevention
Target Audience: 
Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
Outside Minnesota
Library loan: 
Is training required?: 
Contact(s) or order information.: 

Freshwater Society
2500 Shadywood Road
Excelsior, MN 55331
952-471-7685 (fax)

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