Our annual awards tell the story of watershed leadership and innovation. Divided into two categories, each award showcases a key area of collaboration in the pursuit of protecting and improving local water resources.

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Watershed Partner Award:

Municipalities, counties, schools, or state entities who conduct watershed improvement projects in conjunction with a VLAWMO Capital Improvement Project (CIP) or the VLAWMO watershed plan. These projects focus on installations or infrastructure improvements to City/Township policies regarding wetlands, winter maintenance, turf maintenance, municipal water use, MS4 programming, or similar efforts.  Other examples eligible for nomination include sustained maintenance for stormwater best management practices (BMP's) and upgrades to municipal code and policies to improve water conservation and management. Members of City or Township commissions are also eligible for nomination. 

Each water drop award is awarded to a new recipient each year, with winners getting etched into the award to add to the story. Description of the award-winning efforts will be displayed on this web page. Nominations are reviewed and voted on by the VLAWMO Technical Commission (TEC), and presented to the VLAWMO Board of Directors at the end of the year. 

Watershed Partner Award Criteria

Watershed Partner Award Criteria: 

Nominations should relate to one of the following categories:

  • Nomination is a municipality, state, public school, or county entity operating within the VLAWMO watershed. 
  • Capital improvement project or installation.
  • Reference to the VLAWMO water plan or water policy.
  • VLAWMO or watershed-based project partnership.
  • Use of VLAWMO education or website content.
  • Use of VLAWMO programming such as workshops or MS4 programming.
  • Efforts that overlap with VLAWMO as well as neighboring watersheds within the municipality.
  • Other topics or efforts reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the VLAWMO Technical Commission (TEC).

Watershed Partner Award Nomination Form


Watershed Partner Award online form


Watershed Steward Award:

Residents, volunteers, businesses, neighborhood or lake associations, and community groups who have worked independently or with VLAWMO staff to improve water resources or community awareness in water topics such as wetlands, climate change, yard care practices, or other related topics. These nominations focus on use of the VLAWMO cost-share program, residential and neighborhood partnerships, volunteer programs, or community oriented education efforts. 

Watershed Steward Award Criteria

Watershed Steward Award Criteria:

Nominations should relate to one of the following categories:

  • Nomination is a resident, business, or staff member who lives or works in the VLAWMO watershed. 
  • VLWAMO cost-share recipients that have also demonstrated initiative in education on an installation.
  • Coordinating education and outreach that promotes awareness and protection of local water resources.
  • Outstanding and ongoing volunteer efforts with VLAWMO events, watershed education, and/or citizen science monitoring activities. 
  • Neighborhood or community efforts associated with watershed improvement, place-based natural resource awareness, or water conservation practices. Can be related to VLAWMO’s water plan and education and outreach plan.
  • Other topics or efforts reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the VLAWMO Technical Commission (TEC).

Watershed Steward Award Nomination Form


Watershed Steward Award online form


Send completed nomination forms via email or hardcopy to our office within the Vadnais Heights City Hall. Self-nominations are acceptable.


Watershed Award recipient for 2019 and honorable mention.

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This year the award program expanded into two separate awards. Read about the 2020 steward and partner award recipients and their efforts.

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Watershed award recipients for 2021.

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