What We Do

What is Sustainability?

Supporting sustainability is the guiding principle at Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center.   Sustainability is a word that people use in many ways, so it’s important to clarify what we mean when we use it here. To paraphrase one widely used definition, a community is sustainable when it meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  Cascade Meadow’s goal is to support community-wide exploration of these ideas.

A Conversation
For Cascade Meadow and the citizens of southeast Minnesota, encouraging sustainability really begins with a conversation about the health and vitality of our communities, which includes physical health, the health of our surrounding environments, and economic and social health as well.  The conversation about sustainable communities in southeast Minnesota must then consider these three aspects: environment, society, and economy. 

So, what shall we talk about first?

Cascade Meadow begins this conversation about sustainability with two important topics: water and energy. Ultimately, sustainable use of both of these resources in southeast Minnesota depends on the literacy of our citizens in these two areas.

What are water and energy literacy?
Understanding water and energy resource issues can be difficult because they’re complex. Our goal is to explain and clarify these complexities, but we seek to do more than simply increase knowledge of the topics. Real literacy also includes awareness of the connections between the manmade systems and the natural systems and how our actions can successfully impact sustainable use of these resources in our everyday lives. 

We invite you to join the conversation! Navigate through the pages listed to the left to discover how Cascade Meadow supports sustainable communities through programs, interactive exhibits, tours, and resource sharing to increase your water and energy literacy.