Workshops planned for Burroughs students

rain gardens and water pollution
A Hennepin County grant-funded program through the Highpoint Center for Printmaking has helped students at Burroughs Community School in Lynnhurst learn about rain gardens and water pollution. Submitted photos

Fifth graders at Burroughs Community School in Lynnhurst will participate in a series of environment-related arts workshops for the second straight year thanks to a LynLake arts nonprofit.

The Highpoint Center for Printmaking has received a $14,600 grant through Hennepin County’s Green Partners Environmental Education program to host the workshops at Burroughs and at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School in North Minneapolis.

The students participating in the workshops will learn about factors threatening water and pollinators and actions they can take to prevent pollution, according to the county.

They will also create art projects around what they learn, said Tyler Green, Highpoint’s education and community programs manager.

“The idea is that we want to connect students with the water bodies that they live around,” he said.

HP Green Partners 2019

Green said that Highpoint decided to undertake the workshops because of its commitment to caring for the environment. He said the nonprofit chose to work with Burroughs and Nellie Stone Johnson specifically because both schools have raingardens and are close to bodies of water. (Burroughs is adjacent to Minnehaha Creek, and Nellie Stone Johnson is near the Mississippi River.)

Last year, students in the workshops learned about the connection between storm drains and local bodies of water, Green said, adding that they helped sort through garbage found in Lake Hiawatha.

At the end of this school year, Highpoint plans to partner with the nonprofit Pollinate Minnesota to help students learn more about the animals and plants in the local ecosystem. It plans to do print- and map-making projects with the students and to give each of them a water bottle in an effort to reduce waste.

Highpoint was one of 20 organizations to receive a grant through the Green Partners Environmental Education program in September. The county says that the 23 grant-funded projects are expected to reach more than 200,000 residents and that 21 projects will engage people of color and residents of “areas of concern for environmental justice.”

In Southwest Minneapolis, the Whittier-based Somali American Women Action Center received a $10,000 grant for an effort to help East African youth learn the connec- tion between plastic bags, climate change, environmental justice and waste. Additionally, Minneapolis Climate Action and Fortune Relief And Youth Empowerment Organization (FRAYEO) received $20,000 to help East Africans reduce their use of single-use plastics and learn about climate change, and the Tangletown Neighborhood Association received a grant for its textile-waste-reduction efforts.