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Minnesota Sea Grant seeks participants for green infrastructure focus groups

Photo:Child's legs and boots splashing in a puddle

Are you interested in making your property resilient to storm water? Are you curious about how securing your property could help the greater community? Do you have two hours to be part of a focus group that will inform the creation of a Lake Superior Green Guide?

If this describes you, Minnesota Sea Grant would like to get together, share some good pie (really, we’re not kidding) and get your feedback on a handbook for private landowners.

“We live in a community that values personal initiative,” said Tom Beery, Minnesota Sea Grant extension educator and focus group organizer. “We want to capitalize on that.”

Minnesota community institutions, businesses and individuals are the front lines of climate resilience. But what does it mean to be resilient and how does a community develop resiliency?

A resilient community has the capacity to survive, adapt and grow in response to stress and change. “One effective tool in a community’s resilience toolbox is green infrastructure,” said Beery. “Green infrastructure is a phrase that describes putting some of the vital-to-people functions of the natural environment back into human-build infrastructure.”

Managing storm water and runoff is a concern for many home and property owners and it’s not just topography that plays a role. According to Minnesota’s climatologists, the state is experiencing more precipitation events and more severe events, which can wreak havoc on human-build infrastructure. Green infrastructure is effective, economical, and enhances community safety and quality of life.  

“In the natural environment when water runs downhill, much of the water is absorbed and filtered by soil and vegetation,” said Beery. “In human-built infrastructure when it rains the water hits pavement or other solid surfaces, gushes downhill, sometimes destroying property along the way and often carrying pollutants to the end lake, river or stream.”

Minnesota Sea Grant is hosting a series of focus groups to review and provide feedback on the initial stages of a draft action-oriented handbook designed to help private landowners incorporate green infrastructure into their properties.

Focus groups will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on May 3, 14, 15 and 16 in Duluth, Two Harbors and Grand Marais. Participants may only attend the group in their community. To participate, contact Tom Beery.


  • Tom Beery, Resilience Specialist, Minnesota Sea Grant, tbeery@d.umn.edu, 218-726-7677.

  • Marie Thoms, Communications and Public Relations Specialist, Minnesota Sea Grant, methoms@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8710

Posted on April 18, 2018

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