September 26, 2011; Source: Fridley, Minn. Patch | More and more groups are learning to tap the resources of their members in order to gather information and deepen relationships. We wrote about MoveOn’s crowdsourced crumbling-infrastructure photo collage yesterday. Now, the Freshwater Society, based in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, has announced “Work for Water,” a contest that will award two prizes of $500 each to the two people who come up with the best short-term strategies to prevent the pollution of water caused by leaves, grass or soil that has been washed into the streets and then into waterways. The contest is right in line with Freshwater’s mission, which is to educate and inspire people to value, conserve and protect all water resources.

Anyone 18 years of age or older can enter, but it appears that Freshwater is also encouraging submissions by groups like scout troops, lake associations, and neighborhood block clubs. We love this idea and think it could be replicated in many fields.Ruth McCambridge