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River History Weekend & CURE’s 22nd Annual Meeting

May 1, 2014 @ 5:00 pm - May 4, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

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Estar in el Prairie Photo Essay Exhibit Opening & Reception

Estar in el Prairie7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the K.K. Berge Building, Downtown Granite FallsRetratos de nuestra nueva comunidad Latina: Portraits of Western Minnesota’s Emerging Latino Community. The photo essay exhibit is up through the month of May. Click here to learn more about the project.

University of Minnesota Morris students Jordan Wente and Natalie Hoidal have sought to document the significance of the Latino Culture, and its importance to the rural landscape through black and white photography. From 2000 to 2010, the Latino population in Steven’s County increased by 234%. In order to put faces and stories to this number, we are pairing photographers in the Morris area with Latino members of the community.

Funding for this photo essay exhibit has been made possible in part by Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) through a grant from the Kresge Foundation, The Center for Small Towns, University of Minnesota Morris, Granite Area Arts Council and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation through the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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“Don’t Worry; We’ve Got This” – A Gathering of Rising Leaders

5:30 PM to 10:30 PM at the Granite Falls American Legion, 2nd floor.

Join CURE this Friday evening as we launch CURE’s leadership network targeted at the Millennial Generation. Read CURE’s latest blog post to learn more.

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Action Opportunities

  • 9:00 AM: Stenciling the Storm Drains in Granite Falls led by CURE Member Diana Moe. Painting the storm drains in Granite Falls that lead to the Minnesota River.  Volunteers will meet at 9:00 am at the K.K. Berge Building for team assignments.  Please dress in older clothes and shoes as you will be working with paint. It is expected that this activity will take three hours. This is a great activity for families and youth groups with adult supervision.
  • 10:00 AM: Making Kestrel Bird Houses at the K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls. Volunteers are needed to assist in the making of Kestrel Bird Houses. Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behavior which is to hover at a height of around 10–20 meters (33–66 ft) over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects.  These bird houses will be distributed and put up in the watershed to support the Kestrel population.

BirdingAdventure Opportunities

  • 10:30 AM: Bluebird Birding at Upper Sioux Agency State Park with MN Master Naturalist & CURE Member Jill Haluska. Join Haluska to learn about the bluebirds living at the Upper Sioux Agency State Park. The first part of the session will be inside learning about bluebird habitat and how to select and care for bluebird nest boxes on your own property. The second half of the session will be outside on the bluebird trail. Participants can follow a map or use GPS navigation to find the bluebird houses spread throughout the park. GPS units will be available for those wanting to borrow one. Participants may want to bring their own GPS unit or use a GPS navigation app on their smart phone. Where:  Meet in the Activity Room at the Park Office, USASP, 5908 Highway 67, Granite Falls. Who: All ages, no limit. Activity level: Moderate.

Art Opportunities

  • 11:00 AM: Paint Your Own Minnesota River Catfish led by artist & CURE Member Tamara Isfeld at the K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls. Learning about and appreciating the fish species in the Minnesota River is one of the great gifts the river gives us.  Join Isfeld in learning how to paint a Minnesota River Catfish.  Participants will learn about catfish and how to paint them.  No experience needed – just the desire to learn and a sense of humor.  Participants should wear clothes that can get paint on them. Where: Plaza outside of the K.K. Berge Building, 807 Prentice Street, Granite Falls.  Who:  All ages  (children under 8 should have an adult helper).
  • 1:00 PM: Paint Your Own Minnesota River Sunny led by artist & CURE Member Tamara Isfeld at the K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls. Learning about and appreciating the fish species in the Minnesota River is one of the great gifts the river gives us.  Join Isfeld in learning how to paint a Minnesota River Bluegill or Crappie.  Participants will learn about the Sun Fish family and how to paint them.  No experience needed – just the desire to learn and a sense of humor.  Participants should wear clothes that can get paint on them. Where: Plaza outside of the K.K. Berge Building, 807 Prentice Street. Who:  All ages  (children under 8 should have an adult helper).

Gwen WestermanCultural Opportunities

1:00 PM: An Afternoon with author & poet Gwen Westerman at the K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls. Dr. Gwen Westerman is no stranger to the Minnesota River Valley as she is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Oyate.  The recipient of numerous regional and national awards for her literary works as well as her fiber arts, she will be reading select passages from her latest publication “Following the Blackbirds.” The speaker’s grandmother urges, “Look for blackbirds … they always / go to water.” The recurring image of blackbirds signals an instinct to return to language and land, two elements that are tangled in Westerman’s work.  Westerman teaches at Mankato State University and her husband Glenn Wasicuna live in Good Thundar. Where:  K.K. Berge Gallery, 807 Prentice Street  Who:  All ages, free and open to the public.

Paddling Opportunities

  • Eco-Voyageur Canoe11:00 AM: Safety Training with Wild River Academy at Wegdahl Chippewa County Park. The team from Wild River Academy, Anna Johnson, Nick Ryan and Natalie Warren will provide water safety basics and paddling basics for your river adventures.  Anna is a Wilderness First responder and Nick and Natalie are Wilderness First Aid certified. Where: Wegdahl Chippewa County Park. Who: All ages, free and open to the public. Experience level: Basic to intermediate.
  • 11:45 AM: Light Lunch at Wegdahl Chippewa County Park
  • 12:30 PM: Self-organized Paddle Trips. Stations will be set up at Wegdahl Chippewa County Park for people to gather & meet to paddle other rivers in the Upper MN River Watershed.
  • 1:00 PM: Family Paddle Trip with the Eco-Voyageur Canoe led by Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center (PWELC). Meet at Wegdahl Chippewa County Park. Begin at Prien’s Landing in Montevideo; end at Wegdahl. Where: Check in at Wegdahl Chippewa County Park. Who: All ages. Activity Level: Beginner.
  • 3:00 PM: Family Paddle Trip with Eco-Voyageur Canoe led by PWELC.

Limit of 17 spots per Eco-Voyageur trip. You may reserve your spot by calling Dixie at the CURE Office 877-269-2873.Reservations are required & shuttles will be provided.


CURE’s 22nd Annual Meeting

4 PM to 10 PM at Bootlegger’s Supper Club in Granite Falls


  • $20 for Adult CURE Members
  • $30 for Adult Non-Members
  • $10 for Student/Child CURE Members
  • $20 for Student/Child Non-Members.

225 Person Limit. Registration Required. Steps to register for the Annual Meeting:

  1. Download the 22nd CURE Annual Meeting Registration Form
  2. Fill out the form
  3. You may attach the form to an email and send to  OR you may print it and mail it to 117 South 1st Street, Montevideo, MN 56265 with your payment OR you may stop in the CURE Office between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, to drop off your form and payment.
  4. Having trouble? Please call Dixie Toll Free at 877-269-2873 for help or to register via phone.

Times for the Annual Meeting are approximate.

Paddle ForwardMore about the Paddle Forward Presentation: Last fall, Wild River Academy sponsored eleven young adults to paddle the length of the Mississippi River to engage students in watershed education through an educational model called adventure learning. Through blog posts, pictures, videos, and discussion questions, K-12 schools across the nation followed the Paddle Forward expedition online to learn about our nation’s greatest watershed.

The presentation led by Anna Johnson, Nick Ryan and Natalie Warren consists of adventure stories, speculations and observations of the balance between industry and nature on the Mississippi River, and the hospitality of river communities along the route.

Wild River Academy is a non-profit organization in the Twin Cities dedicated to engaging communities in watershed education and outdoor recreation. The 2014 Paddle Forward trip will take place on the Illinois River next fall.

More about singer/songwriter James Hersch:  For over thirty years acclaimed writer, singer and guitarist James Hersch has been quietly building a repertoire of James Herschwork that puts him squarely on the edge of acoustic music’s importance in North American culture. James has a rare mixture of straight forward musical talent, humor and sensitivity that allows him to create songs that speak to what is common in all of us. James is one of those few performers who allow his listener to experience his music through intimate images which confront and celebrate today’s human condition.

James, a native Minnesotan, has eleven album credits to his name and has become known for his story song releases “BackTracks” and “Innerweather” (strictly acoustic, just James, his voice and his guitar). Hersch has been nominated National NACA Coffeehouse Entertainer of the Year several times and has been a finalist at the international Kerrville Folk Festival. He is a ‘Telly’ award winner for his original soundtrack for the 2009 PBS documentary, “Paving the Way: The National Park to Park Highway”.

James’ reachwithme program has been honored with the Harry Chapin Award for Contributions to Humanity. Possessing a troubadour’s heart, James is asked to talk and sing about music’s power to gather and connect.

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Tamara IsfeldGranite Area Arts Extravaganza

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Prairie’s Edge Casino & Resort Convention Center.Approximately 35 artists from around the Southwestern Minnesota area will be selling and demonstrating their art.  Free & open to the public. Refreshments will be served. This event sponsored by the Granite Area Arts Council and 2014 marks their 7th year hosting this event. Call (320)564-4240 for more information or click here.

Self-organized Paddling Trips

Organize through our Facebook event’s page.


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Weekend Overview Map


May 1, 2014 @ 5:00 pm
May 4, 2014 @ 12:00 pm