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Volunteer Opportunities

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Adopt A Water

The ADOPT A WATER program is a public services program for volunteers to pick up litter along shorelines of lakes, wetlands, ponds, etc. within Carver County.  It provides an opportunity for citizens to make a personal contribution towards keeping Carver County’s waters a “litter” bit better.  Individuals, community groups, churches, businesses and more can ADOPT A WATER by picking up trash along the shorelines twice a year.

To view more information, please read the ADOPT A WATER flyer.

Thank you to our current volunteers. Thank you to;

  • Northern Star Co. for adopting a section of East Chaska Creek. Northern Star Co's Green Team cleaned up 300 lbs of trash October 2011.
  • Prairie Village Apartments in Waconia who adopted the stormwater pond located near their buildings.
  • Carver Coyotes 4H Club for adopting Grace Lake in Chaska. They cleaned up 4 bags of trash and one large slide on April 19th, 2012.
  • Central Sunshiners 4H Club in NYA for adopting Lake Brand. They cleaned up 6 bags of trash on April 22nd, 2012.
  • Ekstrom Family from NYA for adopting Barnes Lake. They cleaned up 2 bags of trash from around the lake on April 22nd, 2012.




Central Sunshiners 2013

Northern Star Inc. 2011

Community Clean Ups for Water Quality

On Oct. 23rd 2010 join your Community in battling algae and other water quality pollutant by participating in Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality. This is a one day event that ask individuals, groups, and organizations to clean up their streets from leaves, grass clippings and other sources of phosphorus (leading cause of algae and lake greening).

Stormdrain leaves 

Stream Health Evaluation Partnership (SHEP)

Carver County began their first SHEP program in the fall of 2009. SHEP trains citizens on biomonitoring in streams using a physical habitat assessment and macro-invertebrates. Macro-invertebrates are small stream dwelling bugs whose presence and/or absence can help identify a stream's health. The SHEP team  monitors two sites near Chaska, MN and is looking to expand to 4 sites in 2013. To view more information about the SHEP program- SHEP brochure. Learn more about biological monitoring and watch this demonstration.

We are always looking for more volunteers. Contact Madeline Seveland at mseveland@co.carver.mn.us or 952-361-1026 if you'd like more information or to sign up for the upcoming season. 

The 2013 SHEP Team final report is available here. The report contains information on the sites, the habitat evaluation and the water quality evaluation.

View photos from sampling day! photo 1  photo 2   photo 3  photo 4  photo 5  photo 6



Rapids Lake Education Center Volunteers
National Wildlife Refuge logoFwscolor

Environmental Education Assistant - assist staff with environmental education programs for students in grades K-6. For more information click here.

Volunteer Wildlife Refuge Ranger - assist visitor services with day-to-day administrative office functions. For more information click here.

Volunteer Stream Monitoring Partnership (VSMP)

Similar to SHEP but focused more on metro area. SHEP was developed to go statewide. See the links below to view more information.

 dip net  Bevens  scud  





Citizen Lake Monitoring Program

This program requires minimal volunteer time but provides necessary water quality data which is essential for managing Minnesota's water resources. Volunteers collect secchi depths once a week during summer in a designated spot. For more information, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Citizen Lake Monitoring Program. To volunteer or receive information specific to Carver County contact Greg Aamodt at 952-361-1804 or gaamodt@co.carver.mn.us

 clear secchi  secchimodel  turbidsecchi








Citizen Assisted Lake Monitoring Program (CAMP)

This program is similar to the CLMP but more involved. Volunteers collect water quality samples, secchi disk depths, and provide a physical assessment of the lake's condition. CAMP is run through Metropolitan Council. To volunteer or receive information specific to Carver County contact Greg Aamodt at 952-361-1804 or gaamodt@co.carver.mn.us 

 secchi  water sample bottle  IMG






Form a Lake, Stream, or Watershed Association.

Citizen led groups known as stream, lake or watershed associations encourage taking action for lakes and stream protection and preservation. These organizations can meet frequently or minimally depending on their agenda. This is a wonderful way for citizens to get involved and learn about the water body influencing their every day life, and a wonderful opportunity to improve or preserve these natural resources.
These associations an important part of water resource protection in Minnesota as they have the ability to influence policies affecting water resources and increase education for future generations.

Think about gathering your neighbors to increase interaction with each other and share goals to protect, preserve, and increase knowledge about water resources.

Now your lake or river association can apply to be a Star Lake or Star River, see how!

Keep Our Waters Clean by Following These Easy Steps.

How you can Help!

If you are interested in volunteering or have questions you can contact Madeline Seveland at 952-361-1026 or mseveland@co.carver.mn.us