About Us


Scott Walker, Executive Director ( E-mail Scott )
Kate C. Utterback, Associate Director ( E-mail Kate )
Bob Freund
, RPU In-House Educator ( E-mail Bob )
Scott Peterson, Facilities Manager ( E-mail Scott )


Cascade Meadow is proud to partner with several organizations and institutions to offer high quality educational experiences about water, energy, and wetlands.  If you are a school, business, non-profit organization, governmental agency, or other organization whose mission aligns with Cascade Meadow, we invite you to consider collaborating with us! Cascade’s current partners include:

Rochester Public Utilities logo  City of Rochester logo  Zumbro Watershed Partnership logo

  • Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) the city’s electric and water company, contributes its expertise on energy and groundwater-related topics.  Through the partnership, RPU has installed several interactive educational displays:  the Conserve and Save Energy Fun House, the Water Footprint exhibit, and (in partnership with Rochester Public Works) the Water Connections,  All about Aquifers, and Safe Wells, Clean Water exhibits.  RPU also provides an on-site Energy and Groundwater Educator who gives tours of the RPU exhibits and facility, and is available to answer questions. Finally, RPU also  installed the wind and solar power systems on the site supporting the effort to build Cascade Meadow as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building.. Four distinct goals guide RPU’s partnership with Cascade Meadow:
    1. Provide customers with an educational resource for helping them manage their energy use.
    2. Demonstrate market-ready, renewable means of generating electricity.
    3. Communicate and demonstrate possible future means of electricity generation (i.e. smart grid).
    4. Provide visitors with a local forum to gain the most pertinent and relevant information about drinking water, ground water protection, and water conservation.
  • The Rochester Public Works Department, The Rochester Public Works Department (RPW), which is responsible for the city’s storm water infrastructure system and storm water management program, installed the Streets to Waterways exhibit and partnered with RPU and the Rochester Water Reclamation Plant to build the Water Connections exhibit.  RPW’s staff will continue to provide storm water education programming.  There are three goals for its partnership with Cascade Meadow:
    1. Find opportunities to showcase Cascade Meadow’s best practices for storm water management as models for storm water utility customers.
    2. Provide customers with education and public participation activities at Cascade Meadow that make storm water management and water quality issues relevant to their lives.
    3. Partner with Cascade Meadow on real-time monitoring and research projects that advance storm water management and water resource protection practices.
  • Rochester Water Reclamation Plant partnered with RPU and RPW on the Water Connections exhibit and installed the Down the Drain exhibit.
  • The Zumbro Watershed Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving water quality in the Zumbro River Watershed, houses its office at Cascade Meadow and provides watershed-based educational programming. ZWP has also partnered with Cascade Meadow to develop watershed education materials such as the scale watershed aerial image on our exhibit level floor and the engaging watershed scavenger hunt cards (also in partnership with McGhie & Betts Environmental Services).

Please contact us with your ideas about how you can make a contribution to our success!

Awards and Honors


LEED awardPresented in February 2012 to Cascade Meadow: This is the highest level attainable in the LEED certification program. At the time of the award, it was the first project in Rochester and only the ninth in Minnesota to be certified as LEED Platinum.

About LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification:  The LEED Green Building Certification Program was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a third-party verification of sustainable building practices.  The program’s framework identifies sustainable building practices in six key areas:  Sustainable Sites, Materials and Resources, Energy and Atmosphere, Indoor Environmental Quality, Water Efficiency, and Innovation & Design.  In each key area, points are awarded, submitted to the USGBC, and then verified.  The point total determines the LEED certification level that is awarded: Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.


Kinetic Award logoPresented in February 2012 to Kepware Technologies, Inc. for its support of a building automation system at Cascade Meadow.  In order to bring data from power production systems, building power consumption meters, and other building mechanical systems together into one database, Cascade Meadow looked to Integrated Technology Engineering, a local firm, and Kepware. Today data from three separate systems can be monitored from one central dashboard, providing instant information about the energy efficiency of the Center – information that’s shared with visitors to the site and used for educational forums.

About Kinetic Process Innovation Awards: Founded by Kinetic Information LLC in 1996 and sponsored by High Tech Views, the awards recognize innovation in the application of information technology. Awards focus on the business benefits user organizations derive from their technology systems.


Jack RemickPresented in January 2012 to Jack Remick and Cascade Meadow by Olmsted County and Rochester Public Utilities to recognize vision in providing environmental education about sustainable communities, renewable energy systems, water, and wetlands.

About the Environmental Achievement Awards: The awards honor individuals, organizations, schools, and businesses that have made a significant contribution to environmental quality in any of the following categories: renewable efforts, conservation, energy, water, agriculture, education, and other.


ICF Builder Award logoPresented in January 2011 to Cascade Meadow in recognition of its extensive use of insulating concrete forms. The project has also been recognized by the Minnesota Aggregate and Ready-Mix Association and the ICFA as one of the best examples of sustainable concrete construction.

About the ICF Builder Awards:  ICF (Insulating Concrete Forms) Builders present these annual awards in six building categories. ICFs create homes and businesses that are energy-efficient, fire-resistant, sound-proof, and durable.  Properly constructed, they are tornado and hurricane-resistant and stand up to earthquake, fire, and other natural disasters equally well.  Many homes conserve energy so well that heating and cooling costs are reduced by 50-75%.

Get Involved

Cascade Meadow is a place where people in the community can participate! You can DO and you can GIVE. Here’s how:


  • Provide administrative support
  • Be an Education Aid
  • Be an Energy Guru
  • Be a Gallery Guide
  • Be on the Stewardship Squad for one of our natural areas

Call 507-252-8133 for more information.

Contact Us

The Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. There’s a lot to see in our building, so drop by or contact us by phone or e-mail.

2900 19th Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
(507) 252-8133

E-mail addresses:

  • General inquiries – swalker@smumn.edu
  • Kate Utterback, Associate Director – Education Grades 4 -12, Post-Secondary/Higher Ed, School Age Youth Programming, Community Programming
    E-mail Kate

Sign up for our newsletter and to volunteer.


Our mission is to establish Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center as a regional resource for environmental education with an initial focus on energy, water, and wetlands.


We will serve as a catalyst for meaningful and enduring learning that promotes sustainable living now and for future generations by encouraging personal and organizational change, as well as fulfilling environmental careers. This will be accomplished by developing partnerships, relationships and an integrated program of curricula, exhibits, events, seminars, conventions and other resources for students, residents, visitors, and area business, government, education and medical communities.


The intent of Cascade Meadow’s core program is to provide resources to raise the water and energy “literacy” of the citizens of southeast Minnesota. Everything about the facility – its exhibits, physical features, educational programming, even the building itself – is intended to enable citizens to make more informed decisions politically and as consumers of these resources. Programs will focus on:

  • The science of energy and water
  • The ways that societies use and interact with those resources
  • The ways that changes in technology and behavior can result in the sustainable use of those resources

Construction Photos