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 come to our campus eager to learn and looking for ways they can make a difference in the world around them. For increasing numbers, issues of sustainability and equity are at the top of their list of concerns. The Mississippi River, and potentially the work of your agency or nonprofit, can provide an excellent “learning lab” for them.
A Decade of Experience
Over the past decade of working with agencies and nonprofits, we have seen staff become increasingly stretched thinner and thinner as shrinking budgets take a toll. We have seen our partners reach their operational capacity, and no longer have the ability to mentor the rising generation of professionals, keep up with what’s going on in their field elsewhere in the country, or even do a quick study to “get ahead” of a project coming up in a year or so.
River Life staff are well aware that flooding our community partners with interns is not necessarily the answer. As we have worked with you, we have heard very clearly the need to work in partnership, mentoring the student from the University side as well as in the community and providing clear direction for what we expect from students. Our internship and community-based learning projects are carefully set up to try to maximize the benefit to the student and the community partner, mitigating as much as possible the extra stress that working with a student can bring.
To learn more about how you can be a part of the River Life program contact Pat Nunnally at email@example.com.
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).