The Upstream Blog: Stories from Minnesota

HealthPartners: Waste Reduction Keeps Our Water and Community Safe

The health of our natural places has a big influence on the length and quality of our lives. As the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care and financing organization in the nation, Upstream Partner HealthPartners is committed to doing its part to bring health and conservation together. The health care industry generates a considerable amount of…  Read More

Meet the 2023 Upstream Artist Fellows

Upstream is thrilled to announce the selection of our 2023 Upstream Artist Fellows.  Upstream Artist Fellows are 13 artists from a variety of mediums who share a love for Minnesota’s natural places and care for them personally and through their work.   The artists will embark on a nearly year-long relationship with each other and…  Read More

NWTF: Building Traditions and Preserving Habitat

Tom Glines remembers one of the first times he went on a turkey hunt. It was in the fields and woods near Lanesboro in southeastern Minnesota’s driftless region. It was a spring hunt, and the state was waking up from a long winter slumber. A lifelong hunter, Tom was comfortable in the still and quiet…  Read More

Meet Upstreamer Debi K: Caring for Butterfly Habitat

Debi Kohlhardt may not have been born in Minnesota, but this Jordan, MN mom loves where she lives.  Debi, who went to college in Moorhead, MN and now teaches yoga through Community Education in Jordan, takes a daily walk around Mill Pond Lake–the crown jewel of Jordan’s park system.  Debi walks rain or shine, in…  Read More

Connexus Energy: Powerful Stories of Stewardship

Connexus Energy is Minnesota’s largest member-owned energy cooperative, providing power to the more than 330,000 people that live and work in portions of Anoka, Ramsey, Hennepin, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Washington, Isanti and Chisago counties. Connexus goes Upstream by providing members with programs to help members conserve energy, including peak time programs, energy efficiency rebates and…  Read More

Meet Sam Hesla: Wilderness Inquiry Leader

When it comes to loving and caring for our natural places, habits learned early carry through life.  That’s especially true for Sam Hesla, a 30 year old Wilderness Inquiry volunteer from Minneapolis.   When Sam, born with Down syndrome, was six months old, he took his first camping trip with his parents.  And when he…  Read More

Compeer: Enabling Stewardship Across Minnesota’s Farmlands

Compeer Financial, with a large Minnesota workforce, helps farmers, ranchers and growers with financial services and products across the midwest.  They help farmers, large and small,  achieve their goals through lending programs.  They care for our places by helping farmers to make the transition to sustainable agriculture. Compeer works with traditional agriculture, but also serves…  Read More

Ecolab: Restoring our Natural Places

Ecolab has been partnering with The Nature Conservancy and Great River Greening for many years. In 2013 they kicked off an annual, family friendly volunteer event planting trees and pollinator friendly species at various treasured locations around the Twin Cities area, including Victoria Park in St. Paul, Hidden Falls, a popular summer spot for families,…  Read More

Meet Upstreamer Mary: From Paddleboards to Plastic

Mary Flood-Maneely loves walking along the Mississippi, around the lakes of the Twin Cities and being outside any time she can.  “I find my outdoors time restores me and allows me to reset.”  Minnesota’s natural places are important to Mary.  Whether camping at one of Minnesota’s many state parks, or on her paddleboard on Lake of the…  Read More