Each year, Environmental Initiative honors people and projects focusing not only on environmental outcomes and impact, but also the processes through which they achieve them. Mindsailing was proud to celebrate some of Minnesota’s innovative environmental leaders this past week, at the 2019 Environmental Initiative Awards.  


We left inspired by this year’s winning projects, and we wanted to spotlight a few that demonstrate the power of businesses and organizations committing to tackle global climate issues at the local level. These three winners accomplished that through close partnerships in the communities they call home.


CU Green Clean Energy Lending Platform

Energy and Climate Award Winner

Minnesota credit unions partnered with the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment Climate Smart Municipalities program to provide homeowner and small business loans for clean energy projects, such as the installation of home solar projects and the implementation of energy efficiency projects.


Three Rivers Climate Conversations

Environmental Innovation Award Winner

Three Rivers Park District and Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy collaborated to create a series of community workshops tailored to the environmental issues facing each park site and area. The project seeks to educate, connect and build a collective understanding of how climate challenges affect us all.


Poplar River Management Board

Rural Vitality Award Winner

Poplar River Management Board worked with community groups and local, state and federal partners to address water quality in the Poplar River on Minnesota’s North Shore. The project reduced erosion on the river’s shores, and as a result, the Poplar River has been removed from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s “impaired waters” list.

Mindsailing is proud to support Environmental Initiative through our Essential Elements Campaign — a focus on supporting organizations driving change in water conservation, equitable access and cross-sector collaboration. We celebrate all the nominees and winners from the awards for being Essential Elements in making positive change happen in our communities.