News Release | Minneapolis Parks Foundation Invites Minneapolis to “Book It to the Watershed” this Summer

August 8, 2019 by Janette Law

Starting August 10th, look for new water-themed books in 31 Little Free Libraries throughout Minneapolis parks, supported in part by the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

Minneapolis, Minn. – As Minneapolitans dive into summer with visits to our lakes and pools, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation has stocked 31 Little Free Libraries in Minneapolis parks with 420 books aimed at teaching young readers and their adults about the value of caring for and conserving the region’s vital lakes, rivers and wetlands. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) is supporting this project with a Stewardship Fund grant.

The little lending libraries in Minneapolis Parks are “take one, leave one” free book exchanges. The Parks Foundation and MWMO together chose 10 water-themed children’s titles for this summer’s “Book It to the Watershed” effort:

  • 10 Things You Can Do to Save Water, by Jenny Mason
  • Cosas Que Peudes Hacer Para Ahorrar Agua, by Jenny Mason
  • A Drop in the Ocean: The Story of Water, by Jacqui Bailey
  • A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder, by Walter Wick
  • All the Way to the Ocean, by Joel Harper
  • At the Waterworks (Magic School Bus series), by Joanna Cole
  • De Camino al Oceano, by Joel Harper
  • Saving Water, by Rebecca Olien
  • Water Isn’t Wasted! How Does Water Become Safe to Drink? (The Story of Sanitation), by Riley Flynn and Kelly Barnhill
  • Why Should We Save Water, by Tony Stead

“It’s more important than ever to tell the story of water to our youngest generations so we can all work toward preserving and protecting this precious element,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, which believes parks have the power to connect us, heal us, and make us whole. “Reading together is a powerful way for adults to bond with kids while having fun and encouraging learning. In that way, we’re delighted that by stocking little libraries in the parks with water-themed books we’re helping to renew connections between people and create an affinity for the natural world.”

Community members can look for the MWMO-stamped books in 29 parks, chosen because they’re located within the MWMO’s watershed district:

  • North: Farview, Folwell, Harrison, Loring, Perkins Hill, North Commons;
  • Northeast-Southeast: Audubon, Beltrami, Bottineau, Logan, Jackson Square, Luxton, Van Cleve, Waite Park, Windom;
  • Southwest: Fuller, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.;
  • Upper South: Brackett, Coyle/Currie, East Phillips, Elliot, Hiawatha School, Longfellow, Matthews, Peavey, Phillips, Stewart;
  • Lower South: Central

The Parks Foundation also distributed an additional 1,000+ children’s and adult books to all 55 free lending libraries in Minneapolis Parks.

About Little Free Libraries in Minneapolis Parks

In 2017, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation launched “Book It to the Parks,” a partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, The Minneapolis Foundation, and Minnesota Public Radio to install free lending libraries at all 50 Minneapolis recreation centers. Today, there are 55 little libraries at 53 locations across the city – including Longfellow House and Victory Prairie Dog Park. The Parks Foundation made an additional commitment to provide maintenance for the “little house”-style book displays and to help keep them stocked with engaging, culturally relevant reading material in multiple languages.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation transforms human lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. Since 2003, the Parks Foundation has raised more than $20 million for transformative parks projects in Minneapolis. Currently, the Parks Foundation co-leads the RiverFirst Initiative with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects. The Parks Foundation also supports innovative Minneapolis parks projects, including Little Free Libraries® at all recreation centers, through equity funding, and champions world-class design through its Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Learn more at MplsParksFoundation.org.

About the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization works to protect and improve water quality, habitat and natural resources in an urban watershed that drains directly into the Mississippi River. We are a joint-powers local government unit and one of approximately three dozen watershed organizations in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. We partner with our member communities to invest in green infrastructure, monitor water quality, and promote good environmental stewardship.

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