Cascade Meadow / Visit


There’s a lot to see at Cascade Meadow!

When you visit us, you’ll see interactive exhibits on all of the following topics.

Click on the topic to quickly scroll down to it, or read about them all, but be sure to come and visit to actually experience each one!

Water Exhibits

Water Connections (exhibit no longer at Cascade Meadow)
Water ConnectionsWater is one of the most taken-for-granted and mysterious elements of our daily lives. We turn on a faucet and clean, drinkable water pours out in seemingly limitless quantities. Outside our home, we see ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers containing water of a very different character. Are the two kinds of water connected? Where does our drinking water come from? And what happens to the wastewater that leaves our kitchens and bathrooms every day?

Developed and paid for by Rochester Public Works, Rochester Public Utilities, and the Rochester Water Reclamation Plant, the Water Connections exhibit connects visitors with the different journeys that water takes to supply our lives each day in Rochester. The exhibit explore wastewater, drinking water, and storm water systems.

From Streets to Waterways
The Rochester Public Works Department invites you to discover how our actions on the land affect surface water with this interactive exhibit. Learn why you have waterfront property even if you don’t live near a lake or stream. Discover some pollution culprits and learn how water pollution looks. Become part of the “Keeping it Clean” team – take a pledge for clean water and show others how your are making a difference.

Water Footprint
Each day, Rochester Public Utilities pumps millions of gallons of water for our use. Where does it all go? We know the obvious ways we each use water: cooking, washing, drinking, irrigating, and flushing. But what are the hidden ways water is consumed on our behalf?

Down the Drain
Learn how the different processes at the Rochester Water Reclamation Plant are used to clean our wastewater while recovering energy and nutrients at the same time. The display teaches visitors about the personal actions they can take to help maintain our complex wastewater collection and treatment systems.

Watershed Floor Map
Do you know where the water goes that runs off of your property? This 17-ft floor map looks at the 910,337-acre Zumbro River Watershed where the Cascade Meadow Science Center is located. See if you can find us on the map; Or, take a closer look to see if your home is located in the Zumbro Watershed and follow the path a water drop that falls on your property might take as it makes its way to the Zumbro River and eventually out to the Mississippi River.

All About Aquifers
Water that settles in an underground reservoir of porous rock, sand, or gravel is called an aquifer. Much of our drinking water comes from aquifers, not to mention the water used for agriculture or industry. Because of natural filtration, the water in aquifers is usually cleaner than surface water above. This exhibit will show you how aquifers work, what each rock layer is and does, the difference between surface water and ground water, what aquifers affect your daily life, and what conditions can threaten them.

Wells & Wellheads
Do you know how your water gets to you? Come and learn about old wells and new wells and how they affect the aquifers on which we depend. Learn about how pollutants can endanger the system. And play a game with marbles representing rainwater! Can you get the rainwater to the aquifer safely?

Energy Exhibits

Building Data and Education Kiosk-Currently not available due to construction on site
Interested in how many watts of electricity our wind turbines are generating at that moment? How about how much energy our solar photovoltaic panels produced last month? Step up to the building data and education kiosk to find the answers to these questions and more.

PLEASE NOTE: The Energy Fun House is now located at the Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester.





Wetlands Exhibits

Cascade Meadow Wetlands Contour Map

This touchable map with sculptural details features natural and constructed features such as the building, rain gardens, roads, and parking lot of Cascade Meadow. It also highlights the areas where all seven types of wetlands will be created – and their connection to storm water flow.

Wetlands Mechanical Theater

Wetlands are ecosystems that serve important functions. Over the course of a year, the role that wetlands serve changes with each seasonal change. This fun and interactive mechanical theater helps explain the seasonal cycle: As visitors turn a crank, they see a wetland scene as it goes through a series of changes that highlights its functions throughout the year.


Living with Wetlands

Wetland conservation is not an easy issue as it brings to light the competing demands of development and conservation. In this exhibit visitors can “step into the shoes” of three individuals with different perspectives on wetlands. These individuals include a farmer restoring wetlands on soggy farmland, a wildlife enthusiast using wetlands for recreational hunting, and a commercial developer faced with tough decisions about developing on a wetland area.

Living with wetlands kiosk  A year in a wetland kiosk


The building is currently closed to the public. 



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