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2018-2019 Master Water Stewards from the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District.

Do you want to protect clean water in a lake or stream you care about? Is there a drainage problem in your neighborhood that you want to fix? Want to get off the sidelines and make real change?

Become a Master Water Steward. This program provides training on how to protect local lakes and creeks from pollution. Following the training, stewards put their knowledge into action in their own communities.

When it rains, oil from cars, salt, fertilizer, litter and other debris flow off the landscape into nearby storm drains, which empty into local lakes and creeks. Runoff is the number one threat to clean water, and Master Water Stewards play a vital role in reducing its impact.

By joining the growing ranks of these passionate and dedicated people, you can make a difference in keeping water clean and healthy.

The six-session course runs from October through March and is taught by top industry professionals and offers a network of like-minded peers. The course uses a blended learning approach, with both online and in-person classes.

Stewards then build projects in their neighborhoods that prevent polluted rainwater from entering our lakes and creeks, and educate their neighbors on clean water issues. Past projects include rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, water-permeable walkways and other clean water landscaping.

The one-time cost to enroll in the Master Water Stewards Program is $200 per person, which covers course fees and field trips. Scholarships may be available.

To qualify, applicants must live in a participating watershed district and attend an information session.

Local info sessions are scheduled for 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at Smith Coffee, 8107 Eden Prairie Road, Eden Prairie; and 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Cream and Amber, 1605 Mainstreet, Hopkins.

For more details and to apply, visit masterwaterstewards.org. Applications are due Sept. 20.

Questions can be directed to the following:

• Maya Swope, Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District, 952-687-1348, mswope@rpbcwd.org

• Gael Zembal, Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, 952-204-9691, gzembal@ninemilecreek.org

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