We Are Water MN, a traveling exhibit celebrating the importance of water to Minnesota, is coming to the Vermillion River Watershed very soon! The exhibit will help tell Dakota County’s water stories — the history, its cultural importance to Indigenous people, and how it affects our lives. From Oct. 13–Dec. 5, residents can view free We are Water MN exhibits at Pleasant Hill Library in Hastings and Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan.
The Pleasant Hill Library exhibit will feature hands-on activities. Listen to audio recordings and watch videos of local residents reflecting on their personal connection to water. Water-themed puzzles, puppets, books, and other activities are available for youth. Visitors are encouraged to share their own memories and stories about water on provided notecards. Water experts who live in Dakota County will be at Pleasant Hill Library to share their stories and answer questions. Connect with local farmers, educators, wetland volunteers, county staff, and others to learn what you can do to protect water.
The outdoor exhibit will be located near the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center. Visitors can read stories and learn more about water in Dakota County and Minnesota through a set of colorful panels.
Free events and activities about water will be offered throughout the duration of We Are Water MN. Take a tour of the Hastings and Lakeville Water Treatment Plants, attend story time about Dakota and Ojibwe water stories, get your well water tested for nitrates, and walk through Story Trails from the picture book We Are Water Protectors by Anishinaabe and Metis author Carole Lindstrom at Vermillion Falls Park. For more information or to register for any of these We Are Water MN events, visit www.dakotacounty.us, search we are water. They are also listed below and on our web calendar here.
Groups such as schools, civic organizations, churches, living centers, and more, are invited to schedule a visit to the Hastings exhibit. A guided 45-minute session includes an introduction to We Are Water Minnesota, an audio story from a Dakota County resident, and free time to explore the exhibit (with an optional scavenger hunt). Additional activities are available for extended tours. Contact Paula Liepold at email@example.com or 952-891-7117 for more information and to schedule your group’s visit.
We Are Water MN is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Minnesota Humanities Center, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Historical Society, and the state departments of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources.
We Are Water MN events:
Exhibits at Pleasant Hill Library (Hastings, indoor) and Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center (Eagan, outdoor) Oct. 13-Dec. 5
Opening ceremony on Oct. 13 at Hastings, 5 p.m.
Story Trail: We Are Water Protectors
Enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends and read from giant picture book pages from We Are Water Protectors.
At Vermillion Falls Park, Hastings, Oct. 7-9
At Lebanon Hills Visitor Center, Eagan, Oct. 13-16
At Thompson County Park, West St. Paul, Oct. 20-23
At Spring Lake Park Reserve, Hastings, Oct. 28-30
Protecting the Waters Indigenous Panel
Youths will share their experience traveling to Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota from 2016 during the Line 3 pipeline protests. Geared for adults and youth ages 14 and older.
Galaxie Library, Apple Valley
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2–3:30 p.m.
Imagine a Day Without Water
Come take a tour of Lakeville’s Water Treatment Facility to see where the city’s groundwater becomes potable water. Learn how your home’s water usage affects our drinking water supplies and the quality of lakes and rivers.
Lakeville Water Treatment Facility
Friday, Oct. 21
Tour times: 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., or 1 p.m. Register now.
Hastings Drinking Water Treatment Plant Tour
Presented by the City of Hastings. Registration required. Geared for adults and youth ages 12 and older.
City of Hastings Water Treatment Plant
Thursday, Oct. 20, 1–2 p.m. Register now.
Thursday, Oct. 20, 2–3 p.m. Register now.
Thursday, Nov. 17, 4:30–5:30 p.m. Register now.
Thursday, Nov. 17, 5:30–6:30 p.m. Register now.
Nitrate Clinic for Private Well Owners
Bring private well water samples in a clean container to get it tested for nitrates.
Pleasant Hill Library, Hastings
Thursday, Oct. 27, 4:30–6:30 p.m.
Water Storytelling and Collage
Join us for storytelling and collage with Julie Boada of the Fond du Lac people and Park Ranger Judy Geck who will share memories, relationships and the hidden histories that have shaped their experiences with Minnesota waters.
Pleasant Hill Library, Hastings
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 3–5 p.m. Geared for teens. Register now.
Wescott Library, Eagan
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 1–3 p.m. Geared for adults. Register now.
Burnhaven Library, Burnsville
Thursday, Nov. 3, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Geared for adults. Register now.
Go with the Flow: Watercolor Painting
Discover ways to become in tune with your body, mind, and environment through watercolor painting in this creative session with Chilean artist Tomas Araya. Registration required. Geared for adults and youth ages 14 and older.
Pleasant Hill Library
Monday, Nov. 7, 5:30–7 p.m. Register now.
Dakota and Ojibwe Water Storytime
Join us to hear Tanagidan To win (Tara Perron) read from her Indigenous children’s books about water, mother earth and traditional storytelling. Geared for youth ages 3 and older and their families.
Pleasant Hill Library
Monday, Nov. 14, 6–6:45 p.m.
Opt Outside Day WRW activities
Lebanon Hills Regional Park Visitor Center, Eagan
Friday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.