– Our Mission

– Our Goals




Contacting Us


NI Board Meeting

Our Mission

“To inspire, model and teach people to become lifelong stewards of the earth.” Natural Innovations is a community-driven organization committed to assisting individuals and organizations in developing a better understanding of how the health of humans and the environment are interrelated. We are also working to strengthen networking and collaboration among environmental professionals and organizations.
Our focus area: Becker County and beyond – a unique transition zone where prairie lands meet the west-central lakes region of Minnesota.

Our Goals

  • Greater community awareness and understanding of environmental issues
  • Increased access to environmental education information and resources
  • Support of local environmental stewardship
  • Enhanced environmentally focused partnerships

Natural Innovations’ Activities

  • Work with schools to assist with programming, funding, and meeting graduation standards through environmental education and use of outdoor classrooms
  • Provide speaker forums and panel discussions
  • Provide environmental education through radio and newspapers
  • Provide a resource manual to schools and the general community
  • Provide a Web page for education and promotion of community events
  • Promote awareness of the community’s environmental resources
  • Provide incentive and award programs for stewardship activities
  • Provide leadership and networking opportunities
  • Serve as a liaison between partners to maximize resources.

The History of Natural Innovations

In the fall of 2003, a group of volunteers, later to be known as Natural Innovations, held its first informal networking meeting in Detroit Lakes. It was a time for organizations and individuals to express their desire to work together to deepen the impact of environmental education and awareness. In September of 2004, Natural Innovations Inc. was proud to incorporate as a Minnesota nonprofit corporation and classified by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 organization.

Executive Director and Board Members

Volunteer Executive Director – Erika Johnson, Detroit Lakes

President - Kelly Blackledge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Vice President - Daniel Olson, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Treasurer - Denis Mudderman, Citizen Volunteer
Secretary - Sandy Gunderson, Becker County Environmental Services
John Minge, Citizen Volunteer


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Natural Innovations, 17561 Otto Zeck Road, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501



About Natural Innovations