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Higher education has increasingly embraced what is variously called public, civic, or community engagement over the past two decades, and more and more students arrive on campus having participated in community service or service-learning as part of their K-12 education.
Many Minneapolis residents don’t know about Bridal Veil Falls, yet there was a time when it was one of the area’s most memorable and sought after tourist attractions. The history of Bridal Veil Falls is one of both human admiration and change.
…A movement has grown at Standing Rock, inspiring the largest gathering of American Indian tribes in over a century. In attempting to understand this historical contestation over water resources and tribal sovereignty, the question of treaty rights has been on the lips of Standing Rock water protectors, as well as scholars, community leaders, politicians, and commentators.
In November 2016, I visited Water/Ways, hosted from October 1 to November 13 at the Goodhue County Historical Society in Red Wing, Minnesota. This traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative— which then moved on to Sandstone, Minnesota—is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street and is available at a series of venues nationwide through April 2017.
Citizens who appreciate the importance and preservation of our country’s natural resources know that governmental agencies need assistance to do their jobs. That’s why in the conservation arena so many not-for-profit or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are acting to augment and monitor the work of the government agencies.
Over thousands of years the Mississippi River deposited fresh water, nutrients, and sediment through a vast American territory to form one of the world’s grandest deltas. Today, Louisiana’s coastal wetlands—a critical ecosystem in this delta and a place we call “America’s Wetland”—is dying.
How can dozens or even hundreds of organizations working on the Mississippi River be harnessed into a powerful body that has demonstrable influence in our nation’s capital, in capitals of states along the river, and in other places where the health of the river is decided?
Healing Place Collaborative (HPC) is an association of 40 professionals from many fields who share an interest in the Mississippi River as a place of healing and a place in need of healing. Indigenous-led and artist-led, the group includes language activists, educators, environmentalists, scientists, therapists, community organizers, public officials, and scholars.
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area touts itself a “partnership park,” but what does that mean, especially in the context of the National Park Service (NPS) overall? When most people think of national parks, they imagine Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, the Everglades, the Statue of Liberty, or some other iconic park or place.
When I got fully engaged with Mississippi River work, in the mid-90s, there was a lot of talk about public-private partnerships. That has ebbed and flowed and morphed over the years, but the idea of partnership has remained. Pretty much anyone in any sector—public, nonprofit, or corporate—understands that work beyond a small one-time project rarely happens through just one entity.