An Innovative Approach to Environmental Outreach

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An Innovative Approach to Environmental Outreach

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2015

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The primary goal of the TCEducate educational outreach program is to raise the neighborhood residents’ understanding of environmental issues surrounding the TCE contamination from the former General Mills facility located on the north central edge of the Southeast Como Neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The design of the TCEducate program has multiple educational components for the local residents to either participate in or have access to the information. These components came in the form of lectures, workshops and an interactive map that covered topics such as indoor health risk, superfund process, remediation technologies, industrial history and the local geology and hydrology. The topics were chosen through conversations, surveys, and meetings with residents and community leaders. The purpose of the sessions is to give the residents a broader awareness and understanding of the concepts behind the process of cleaning up TCE, the decisions made by regulators, and the health risks associated with the TCE groundwater contamination from the former General Mills site. Additional publicly available material was generated to increase the effectiveness of the program such as videos and handouts and workshops, various reference materials, and an interactive map of the neighborhood and the industrial neighborhood to the north. The interactive map illustrates spatially the historical information related to the areas industrial history with data points of historical and current industrial businesses, and if applicable, MPCA information. This innovated program has been essential for the concerned residents of the SE Como Neighborhood to become more informed with the environmental risk issues impacting their health and environment that will empower them to participate in the discussion of the General Mills site cleanup decision.

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Conducted on behalf of the Southeast Como Improvement Association TCEducate Educational Outreach Program. Supported by the Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program, a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.

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Sundermann, Charlene. (2015). An Innovative Approach to Environmental Outreach. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/178543.

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