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Cultivating Water Stewardship: RCWD, Growing Green Hearts, and Hayes Elementary

In a collaboration focused on nurturing water resource stewardship, Rice Creek Watershed District, Growing Green Hearts, and Hayes Elementary in Fridley, Minnesota are working together to educate and inspire the next generation about native plants and water resources. Through their joint efforts, they aim to instill a genuine appreciation for our water in young minds.

Heidi teaching about watershed and stormwater management

At the heart of this partnership is the students at Hayes Elementary, where they’re growing native plants as the first step in the Prairie Plants as Superheroes Relay program led by Heidi Ferris at Growing Green Hearts. This hands-on experience, designed with students in mind, allows them to see firsthand and understand the vital role native prairie plants play in cleaning water, filtering air, and supporting and protecting pollinators like bumble bees and butterflies.

Students starting native seeds

Once the native plants are ready to go in the ground, they’ll prepare for the next phase – planting them at their school for a real-life project that supports water quality, pollinators, and community connection. Students will help build a rain garden and plant the native plants.

Once the native plants are established on school grounds, they’ll serve as a living classroom for years to come, providing students with a practical way to learn about plants, water quality, and their environment.

Through this collaboration, Rice Creek Watershed District, Growing Green Hearts, and Hayes Elementary demonstrate the power of working together to advance environmental education in the watershed. Together, they are fostering a generation of individuals who will continue to care for and protect our natural resources for years to come.

More Updates Coming Soon!



To get involved and learn more, please contact:

Kendra Sommerfeld

Communications & Outreach Manager