Browse the project pages listed below to decide which one to do. For each, you'll find success stories, step-by-step instructions, and direct links to videos, curriculum, equipment, and people needed for that project. Or, research community needs and resources, then create your own project.

Popular Service-Learning Projects

  • Clean Up Trash - Pick up trash along waterways to protect wildlife and make it more pleasant to swim, boat, or hike. When people see such a sign of care, they tend to take better care of a place.
  • Stencil Storm Drains - Street runoff flows untreated into lakes, streams, and wetlands. Use stencils to paint "Do Not Dump! Drains to Lake" (Stream or Wetland) next to storm drains. Then leaflet houses to communicate simple tips to prevent pollution.
  • Test Soil for Nutrient Content - Though most Minnesota lawns have plenty of phosphorus, many home owners still fertilize with it. Yet too much phosphorus causes algae blooms in lakes and rivers. Test soils, then report results to homes and businesses.
  • Compost Leaves and Grass - Leaves and grass clippings are a major source of polluting phosphorus in lakes and rivers. Help residents properly dispose of yard wastes.
  • Habitat Action - Plan, plant, and maintain a rainwater garden or other native habitat area to prevent erosion, slow runoff, increase infiltration into the ground, and support wildlife. Requires a long-term commitment, yet provides long-term educational opportunities.
  • Monitor Water Quality - Volunteer monitors help public agencies watch water quality in Minnesota's many lakes and streams. Join monitoring networks for training, equipment, and materials.
  • Educate the Public - Protecting lakes, streams and wetlands must involve everyone through simple acts such as picking up after pets and keeping grass clippings out of the street. Every pollution prevention project should communicate this message.
Pollution Prevention Project Guide
Since 1994, Cairn & Associates has helped hundreds of Minnesota teachers and youth workers to organize water quality protection projects involving thousands of students. Based on these experiences, the Pollution Prevention Project Guide offers step-by-step instructions for how to organize some of the most popular projects. The Guide contains much more detailed tips and ideas than what is given on the project pages listed above. Access the entire Guide on-line, or download it free as PDF files.

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