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Friendship tour wins statewide contest with $25,000 prize

MONTEVIDEO -- A project designed to foster friendly relationships between up-streamers in the Minnesota River Watershed with down-streamers from the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin area has received the most votes in a statewide on-line contest to promote collaboration.

Clean Up the River Environment in Montevideo will receive a $25,000 grant from the Bush Foundation for being the organization that launched the collaboration featured in the contest.

The Bush Foundation launched the InCommons Collaboration Challenge in November. It received 223 entries before narrowing the field to 3 finalists.

Short 4-minute video explanations of the three finalist projects were made and then posted to the Internet where the public was invited to vote over a 10-day period for their favorite collaboration. During that time, more than 3,000 on-line votes were cast. It has not been released how many votes were received by each project, but the Friendship Tour project received the most votes. More than 1,350 views of the Friendship Tour on-line video were recorded on You Tube during the voting period.

CURE worked with the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, based in Red Wing and the Minnesota Ag Water Resources Coalition (a statewide coalition of agricultural organizations), the Minnesota River Board, the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership to sponsor the tours in August and September of 2010.

For more information on the Friendship Tour and to watch the winning video, visit: