J Winkelman Minneapolis Feb 13, 2012 17:45 pm

Minnesota is used to dealing with a lot of winter and is a leader in figuring out how to use less salt while keeping roads, parking lots and sidewalks safe. Effective approaches are changing the culture.

Some of the tools we use to target different audiences with custom salt reduction strategies are listed below. Please feel free to link to and use these materials to help keep our waters clean.

A new 15 min video for homeowners airing on YouTube.com called Improved Winter Maintenance: Good Choices for Clean Water. This was developed in 2011 to be aired on cable TV stations in the Twin Cities Metro Area.

A 19 min video, also on YouTube.com called "Winter Maintenance for Small Sites" made for those doing custodial and maintenance applications of salt (including business owners, front desk staff etc - anyone who has access to a bucket of salt near the front door). This video was created with the University of Minnesota and is currently used as part of the job orientation for all full time and seasonal staff in the Landcare unit. View it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOGhC0O-EfU

The main feature of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Road Salt Reduction Program is a Level 1 certification program for applicators. Thousands are now certified in the state and the training is being used in other states as well. An incentive for both the public and private sectors is marketing their certification in Winter Best Practices. The PCA website is a hosts a lot of information, including training manuals and the videos mentioned above. Visit http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/about-mpca/mpca-events-and-training/road-salt-education-program.html?nav=1.

Lastly the annual Road Salt Symposium, hosted by the Freshwater Society www.freshwatersociety.org is the place to go to hear about new research, case studies and inspiring stories and rewards for changes being made.

J Winkelman
Education and Outreach Manager
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
United States