We All Need Food and Water logo with tagline community + solutions = joy

Our Mission

Our mission is to further equity-based environmental education and action through storytelling and building community.

We are currently focusing on climate issues because the climate is the driver of all other ecosystems—and every other human pursuit.

Our Board

Maria Perez

Maria Perez


Maria (she/her/hers) is a mom, a water resources engineer, a conservation biologist, and a climate change fighter. She lives and works in Iowa and she is part of the core team developing a Resilience Plan for her community. Similarly, Maria is a Climate Reality volunteer and has delivered several climate change presentations to diverse audiences. Although originally from Colombia, Maria ties both to her birth country and to Latinos in the U.S. This enables her to reach people that may be more affected by climate change but are not always included in the discussions.

Jan Dubats

Jan Dubats


Jan (she/her/hers) is a retired business owner. She has nearly 60 years of volunteer service under her belt with dozens of organizations. Definitely, so much of experience for someone who drove Meals on Wheels for 50 years. She also received the highest Lions’ International service award. Born and raised on a dairy farm within the village limits, she considers it the best of two worlds. Most importantly, she reports how caring for family, friends and the world were just part of daily life and she sees those values becoming modern once again.


Dena DeGroat

Dena DeGroat


Dena(she/her/hers) is a financial consultant with Thrivent Financial for more than 20 years. She has passion for creating secure and sustainable financial futures for people as they retire. This stems from her former career as a social worker with the elderly. However, prevention and making a difference matter to Dena which is why she loves being a part of WANFAW, where working together for a sustainable planet is fundamental. Dena and her partner reside in New Brighton. She is a mom to three young adults and Nana to an amazing pre-teen.

Louie (Hai) Tran

Louie (Hai) Tran

Louie (he/him/his) is a photojournalist, a social justice activist, as well as an all-around handyman extraordinaire. He is Native to Vietnam and he spent his formative years in refugee camps. Certainly, we are thrilled to have him share his insight in reaching immigrant populations with our nonprofit. To sum up, Louie is a dedicated dad to a dog, two cats, and two reptiles.

Jenn Morrow

Jenn Morrow

Jenn (she/her/hers) received BS in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Water Quality from the University of Minnesota. Currently, she owns and runs Weeds Native Landscaping and Maintenance from her home in St. Paul. She has also volunteered with local environmental nonprofits for 20+ years and has enjoyed almost 30 years of annual trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. Together with her husband, they are the proud owners of a 7.67 kW home solar system and a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.

Our Staff

Dawn Pape

Dawn Pape

Founder and Executive Director

Author and advocate Dawn Pape brings close to 30 years of experience in environmental outreach and education to her role as Executive Director of WANFAW. From helping schools develop nature areas on school grounds, to working with four counties in her role at Rice Creek Watershed District, she also founded the Blue Thumb-Planting for Clean Water® program, educated thousands of children through pollinator puppet shows, and her “Water Heroes” curriculum. Undoubtedly, she has a history of success and leadership. Ms. Pape is passionate about meeting people where they are and building on others’ strengths to move toward a more sustainable, equitable, and loving world.


We All Need Food and Water is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

WANFAW was incorporated in January 2019.  Although we are a young organization, we have an experienced and committed board, a mover and shaker as an executive director, and talented consultants with unique skills to help carry out programming.

Federal Tax ID Number 83-3114852

We are organized exclusively for educational and charitable purposes as well as the prevention of cruelty (such as hunger, starvation, thirst) as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The purpose of this corporation is to:

  • conduct environmental education, informational activities, and to increase public awareness on issues related to protecting our planet’s food and drinking water supplies
  • educate about how agriculture, and the way we transport food from the fields to our plates, is simultaneously a cause, a victim, and a potential solution to climate change.
  • protect pollinators, especially as they are connected to crop pollination
  • conserve and protect water resources, especially drinking water sources
  • foster and protect soils that can also sequester carbon
  • combat and prevent climate change, degradation of surface waters (i.e. lakes and rivers), groundwater, habitat (i.e. native vegetation), and soils that sustain our food and water; and
  • promote growing food sustainably (i.e. reducing carbon footprint, chemical and water use while protecting soils, and teaching gardening skills)
  • increase access to healthy food and clean water for all people

Our Approach

“What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.”

—Alfred Mercier

Our Focus

Our focus is climate education because the climate drives life on this planet. Humans rely on a livable climate to exist.

Additional Programs

We also provide education on other issues that affect our food and water supplies.