League of Women Voters start convention at learning center

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Judy Zaunbrecht looks at a stuffed Canada Lynx inside the Riverside Park Environmental Learning Center Friday during a visit by the Minnesota League of Women Voters.

NEW ULM — Minnesota League of Women Voters Convention participants

learned about the Minnesota River at the Riverside Park Environmental Learning Center Friday.

Walking in the front door, women got an up close look at a stuffed Canada Lynx, a

rare wildcat in Minnesota, about the size of a bobcat. Visitors were offered a free copy of late LWV member Darby Nelson’s book “For Love of a River: The Minnesota.” Learning Center Curator and nature photographer

Ron Bolduan promotes area history on exhibit in the former Franklin school building. Exhibits include many natural artifacts including bison bones, turtle shells, pelts, scat and track replicas, taxidermy mounts.

The League of Women Voters Upper Mississippi River Region (UMRR) Inter League Organization includes state leagues

in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois.

Organized in 2015, the UMRR focuses on reducing water pollution from excess nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus. Nutrient pollution leads to excess algae growth that poisons water supplies and causes dead zones. Groundwater depletion due to overuse is also a growing

focus of the organization and is a particular concern in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The convention continues Saturday with a 9:30 a.m. keynote address by Valerie Jensen,

JD, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Planned Parenthood North Central States. She writes, speaks and advises

on leadership, diversity-related issues and healthcare disparities.

Jensen has worked locally, nationally and internationally to develop organizations and

the talent within them despite differences and barriers.

Afternoon events include Climate Change Task Force and Youth Civic Engagement Program

reports and direction to the state board.


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