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Minnesota River Congress Basin Wide Meetings

1st Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday, June 19, 2014 in New Ulm, MN at Turner Hall.

2nd Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday, October 30, 2014 in New Ulm, MN at Turner Hall.

3rd Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday, April 16, 2015 in New Ulm, MN at Turner Hall.

4th Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday, July 23, 2015 in New Ulm, MN at Turner Hall.

5th Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday, November 12, 2015 in New Ulm, MN at Turner Hall.

6th Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) -  Thursday, March 10, 2016 in New Ulm, MN at the New Ulm Event Center. 78 people attended the meeting. Doors opened at 4:30 p.m. for a network fair with 12 booth displays from organizations across the river basin.

Anthony Sindt, a Minnesota River fisheries specialist with the DNR, gave a presentation on the fish populations in the Minnesota River. Brian HIcks from rural Tracy gave a presentation on innovative agricultural drainage management research at his farm.

7th Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday, November 17, 2016 in Mankato, MN at Kato Ballroom.

8th Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Redwood Falls, MN at Redwood Area Community Center.

9th Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - Thursday November 16, 2017 in Jordan, MN at the Regional Training Facility.

Presentations include:

• Past, Present and Potential Futures for the Minnesota River System, Patrick Belmon

• Progress on Resolutions, Interest Network Teams and Action Board activities

• Annual evaluation of current and submitted resolutions

• Annual review and vote on Action Board Membership

10th Minnesota River Congress - (Event Flyer) May 17, 2018 in Mankato, MN at the Kato Ballroom.

• The 10th Minnesota River Congress was attended by 83 basin-wide organizational representatives and individuals. 


• The event kicked off with the Networking Fair which was a good opportunity for folks from all over the basin to trade ideas and interact with those working to improve conditions in our river system.  Informative displays and information was exhibited by some of the following groups.  The Crystal Waters Project, Minnesota Farmers Union, MPCA, MNDNR, LeSueur River Watershed Network, Mankato Paddling and Outings Club, Paddle for Progress, The Joseph Brown Center, Scott County WMO NRCS, Pioneer Public Television and River Ramble bike tour.

11th Minnesota River Congress (Event Flyer) - May 17, 2018 in New Ulm, MN at Turner Hall.

Results of Input From 11th Minnesota River Congress


All Responses (prioritized by groups)


Question #1


Tell us good things going on in in your watershed or District that you think should be replicated across the Minnesota River Basin


Cover Crops

Water storage and retention projects of any type, size and shape

Wetland creations and enhancements

Wetland banking can be lucrative for land owners

Shallow lake management & water quality improvement projects 

Partnerships with organizations and diverse stakeholders

12th Minnesota River Congress - (Event Flyer) May 16, 2019 in St. Peter, MN at the St. Peter Legion Club.

Summary Recorded by Scott Sparlin Coordinator/Facilitator


• There were 86 registered attendees at the St. Peter Legion Club for the 12th Minnesota River Congress held on 5-16-19


• The full session began with a brief overview of the focus for the evening.  The focus was the topic of water storage.  Action Board member and Public Policy Network team leader Ted Suss gave an up to date talk about how the focus for the evening was arrived at.  He noted that after numerous meetings and in direct consultation with several key organizations is has become obvious that the basin is going to need increased water storage capacity in order to avoid chronic breakdown of both urban and rural infrastructure as well as insuring the viability of agriculture in the future.  Coordinator/Facilitator Scott Sparlin followed Mr. Suss with an update on meetings with SWCD cluster Areas within the basin.  He also provided information on previous meetings held with area state legislators and various governing agency staff associated with water.  He stated that there is a willingness to bring significant water storage funding to the legislature for consideration.  He also stated there is a needed process involving strategies and component development.  He called on SWCD’s to offer

13th Minnesota River Congress Water Storage Initiative Responses - (Event Flyer) November 21, 2019 in St. Peter, MN at the St. Peter Legion Club.


 Consideration, discussion and review of elements in a potential water storage bill



Note:  Individual Responses (some responses refer to marketing, others to sustainable scientific resource and societal based values)


Consensus priority themes from questions from small groups and over all significantly repeated responses are in bold



  1. What do you feel the important components of a major program created specifically for water storage should include for it to be attractive to landowners? Please list all responses.

14th Minnesota River Congress - (Event Flyer) June 15, 2022 in Mankato, MN at the Kato Ballroom.

***We would like to get more input from you on the questions to assist us on strategizing as we move on with the Water Storage Initiative.

Questionnaire & Responses From 14th Minnesota River Congress


Please send Responses to:

Scott Sparlin, Coordinator/Facilitator, Minnesota River Congress   (507 276 2280)


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