Climate/Environmental Action Team

We are committed to supporting activities that strengthen the conservation and protection of natural resources, advance ecological sustainability, and foster harmony between communities and the environment. We empower communities to access grants and other resources, embrace local solutions, and spur innovation in an effort to address the causes and reduce the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.

For 2024, our rotating co-chair schedule is:

  • January-March: Wendy Heck and Nance Purcell
  • April - June: Dave Waldschmidt and Lenny Snellman

Rotary shares an interest in protecting our common legacy: the environment.
Read More:

Lithium Ion Battery Collection

Posted on March 17, 2024 (Read Brochure!)

Saturday, Apr 27, 2024 - 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Pioneer Park - 515 2nd St N - Stillwater, MN

(Rain makeup date: 4.28.24)


As part of Sustainable Stillwater’s Eco Fair 2024, the Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club will be collecting and recycling used lithium ion batteries.

Here’s why:

  1. Critical Minerals Recovery: Recycling recovers valuable critical mineralssuch as nickelzinc, and lithium for use in new batteries.
  2. Reduce Mineral Extraction: Recycling, reduces the need for new mineral extraction.
  3. Fires: Old batteries are more prone to deterioration and damage, which can create issues such as overheating and battery fires.

Read the full brochure, here: Brochure

Rotary Reef Update

Posted on Dec 18, 2023

Thank you again for sponsoring a Rotary Reef- your dedication is a direct support of taking action to save the world’s coral. We are writing to give an update on the reefs. Your reef located at 9.328417 -82.201767 is doing great! Here is an informational video that contains footage of the Rotary Reefs. This increase in fish and living coral would not have been possible without your support! 


As our program has grown and adapted as we stay current with reef restoration science, we have developed Rotary Reefs 2.0, a new version of our program. To keep up with growing knowledge, we have expanded our focus to be not only on establishing Rotary Reef artificial reef structures, but also in the creation and use of our seed bank. This seed bank, which is in partnership with the Caribbean Coral Restoration Center, Inc., is being used to save, propagate, and grow the most resilient strains of coral. Doing so ensures we are putting our time and energy into saving the strongest coral that will do its best to withstand changing water temperatures. 



NexTrex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge

Posted by Wendy Heck on May 10, 2023

Here's some information about the Trex COMMUNITY & UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE Programs where our club will collect and recycle: grocery bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, plastic shipping envelopes, Ziploc-like bags, cereal bags, case overwrap, salt bags, pallet wrap/stretch film, wood pellet bags, produce bags:
Trex® is proud to sponsor local recycling programs in universities and communities throughout the country. If your team can collect more than 500 pounds of plastic refuse in a six-month span (about 40,500 plastic bags), we will donate a high-performance composite bench to your school or community.

  • Choose a six-month collection window
  • Trex® will provide promotional materials and recycling bins
  • A volunteer must weigh and report the collected materials every month before delivering them to one of our participating drop-off retailer locations

Check the brochure for details (click here)
And a video: Plastic bag and film recycling with NexTrex!

Rotary Reef Project

Posted on Nov 29, 2022

To help replace the coral reefs lost to ocean warming and acidification in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago near Panama, Stillwater Sunrise Rotary is joining other Rotary clubs across the globe to purchase one of 118 six-foot mini reefs. Each reef will be seeded with climate resilient coral seeds. This project will help educate children of the importance of reefs, employ locals to help build and place the reefs as well as create an environment that will bring back more fish for the Ngobe Indigenous communities to sell and eat. In addition, 50 rare Alemendro trees, critical to the survival of the threatened Great Green Macaw, will be planted.
Our goal is to purchase one reef at a cost of $1950.  Each reef will include a plaque listing the name of our club and our current club president. In turn our club will receive an online map with the GPS coordinates of our reef, videos detailing the progress of the reef’s development every six months, and a plaque of the Caribbean coral center facility in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Each member of our club will receive a weekly planner that educates on plastic and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle without disposable plastic.
You can see a video of the effort here: (link)

Compost Project

While Washington County Minnesota will be starting curbside pick-up of food waste and other compostable materials sometime in 2023, our club decided that was too long to wait. Food and other organic waste in landfills generates methane, which has 25 times more heat-trapping capability than CO2. By composting wasted food and other organics, methane emissions are significantly reduced. Compost reduces and in some cases eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers.  We provided our members with compostable garbage bags so they can the compostable waste generated at home, to bring to our Tuesday morning meetings.  One or two members would then transport the waste to the nearest collection site.  In less than 8 months, we are approaching 2 tons of compostable waste collected or composted in a backyard composter.  Every ton of waste composted, means almost 150 fewer pounds of methane reduced into the atmosphere.

Ramsey-Grove Pollinator Garden

Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club adopted and began work on the Ramsey-Grove Pollinator Garden in April 2021.  Prior to our adoption, very little upkeep had occurred for several years. The garden is looking great, and we have been working on it regularly.

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