University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

A Transformative Resource

The University of Minnesota is a potentially transformative resource for community organizations working on river sustainability and inclusive planning. We have over 150 separate majors in nearly a dozen relevant colleges on the Twin Cities campus.  Students and faculty alike come to our campus eager to learn and looking for ways they can make a difference in the world around them. We create opportunities to connect and engage students and faculty with community partners.

Insight & Expertise



We work with community partners to develop programs focusing on sustainable and inclusive futures for our rivers and water systems. Helping partners by thinking farther out ahead, and considering a broader range of questions, we offer our community partners a different perspective than their expertise, experience, urgency, and management has required them to build. We don’t manage anything in the national park, but we can contribute new ways of thinking and perspectives that can help make those programs better. We can convene conversations that they don’t have time to. We can organize initiatives that are not primary responsibilities of any one group, but that are significant to a number of groups.

Student Work



On this page are some projects that were conducted in collaboration with community partners. This project on  Hidden Falls Regional Park was completed by a team of graduate students in planning and preservation, in support of the “Great River Passage” planning project in St. Paul (partners:  City of St. Paul, National Park Service).  Coldwater: Shared History was completed by an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate Honors students in support of planning and program development at Coldwater Spring (community partner National Park Service).

Contact Us!
Send us a note at to make suggestions for other places we should look, media to track, and stories to tell!
River Life in Video
Come Along for a Water Walk with Kare11 and River Life, and see Gifts at Work: The Mississippi River by the University of Minnesota Foundation
Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi
A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.