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201 4th Street SE, Room 108
Rochester, MN  55904

Phone:  507-328-2440

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Silver Lake in the Autumn
paved trail-fall
Quarry Hill Confluence
Silver Lake and trail-fall
Zumbro River

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Get outside and learn about stormwater management in person! These interpretive trails and exhibits highlight stormwater best management practices and interesting facets of Rochester's water history.

In this section:

Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center

There is a lot to see at Cascade Meadow, including the indoor Water Exhibits and the outdoor Stormwater Trail!

Water Exhibits

  • Water Connections: Water is one of the most taken-for-granted and mysterious elements of our daily lives. We turn on a faucet and clean, drinkable water pours out in seemingly limitless quantities. Outside our home, we see ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers containing water of a very different character. Are the two kinds of water connected? Where does our drinking water come from? And what happens to the wastewater that leaves our kitchens and bathrooms every day? Developed and paid for by Rochester Public Works, Rochester Public Utilities, and the Rochester Water Reclamation Plant, the Water Connections exhibit connects visitors with the different journeys that water takes to supply our lives each day in Rochester. The exhibit explores wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater systems.
  • From Streets to Waterways: Discover how your actions on the land affect surface water in this interactive exhibit. Learn why you have waterfront property even if you don’t live near a lake or stream. Discover some pollution culprits and learn how water pollution looks. Become part of the “Keeping it Clean” team - take a pledge for clean water and show others how your are making a difference.
  • Watershed Floor Map: Do you know where the water goes that runs off of your property? This 17-ft floor map looks at the 910,337-acre Zumbro River Watershed where the Cascade Meadow Science Center is located. Take a close look to see if your home is located in the Zumbro Watershed and follow the path a water drop that falls on your property might take as it makes its way to the Zumbro River and eventually out to the Mississippi River.

The Stormwater Trail

Sustainable care of stormwater means slowing it and soaking it in on our site. Follow this trail around the Cascade Meadow building to see how stormwater is managed using pervious pavements, a bio-retention cell system, native plantings, green roofs, and additional landscape designs. Please note that Cascade Meadow does not allow dogs on their trails. The exclusion of pets will protect the waters of Cascade Creek and protect the growing wildlife population in the wetlands.

Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center is located at 2900 19th Street NW in Rochester. Visit their website for more information.

Silver Lake Stormwater Trail

The Silver Lake Stormwater Trail, installed in the spring of 2015, explores the history, water connections, and management practices surrounding Silver Lake. The twelve interpretive signs will circumnavigate Silver Lake and cover the following topics: Canada Geese, Enhancing Urban Habitats, Floating Wetlands, Flooding in Rochester, History of Silver Lake, Invasive Species, Minnesota Mussels, Native Plant Management, Native Shorelines, Rapid Runoff, Stormwater Treatment, and Water Connections.

Silver Lake Sign - Stormwater Treatment

Stormwater Treatment sign at Silver Lake

Quarry Hill Water Story Trail

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Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) Native Plant Interpretive Garden

The garden at RCTC was established during the Fall of 2013 by the Environmental Science Program and has been expanded and developed in subsequent years. The interpretive garden is located on the Main Campus of the University Center Rochester. Click the link to learn more about the Native Plant Interpretive Garden and plan a visit.