Fossils, glaciers, and the water we drink

Groundwater provides 100 percent of the drinking water for people in Washington County and 70 percent of the drinking water in Minnesota.

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Give me a home where the bees and butterflies roam

A native plant revival is underway and Lawns to Legumes grants are here to help.

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Fifty-three Minnesota lakes and streams to be de-listed in 2022

Local lakes scheduled to be delisted next year include East Boot (May Twp), Echo (Mahtomedi), Hay and Jellums (Scandia), Lily and South Twin (Stillwater), and Plaisted (Hugo).

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PFAS contamination works its way to the St. Croix River

Six water bodies in Washington County will likely be added to the state’s impaired waters list due to perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS), also known as the “forever chemical.” The affected waters include Tanners Lake (Oakdale), Eagle Point wetland and H.J. Brown Pond (Lake Elmo Park Reserve), Clear Lake (City of Forest Lake) and the St. Croix River/Lake St. Croix from Taylors Falls to Prescott.

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Wetland in your yard?

Wetlands protect nearby homes from flooding and help to reduce shoreline erosion along the edges of rivers and lakes. If you have a wetland on or near your property, however, you may need to make some changes in your landscaping and seasonal yard care. 

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Rich Fen, Poor Bog

Bogs are acidic and nutrient-poor for plant growth. Fens are rich in nutrients and are alkaline. The Tamarack Nature Preserve is unique because it has characteristics of both.

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Salt a growing problem for Minnesota’s water

Overall, the MPCA has determined that road salt is responsible for 42% of the chloride in groundwater, lakes and streams. Two other major sources of chloride that are less well-known include agricultural fertilizers (23% of the total chloride) and water softeners, which account for up to 65% of the chloride discharged from municipal wastewater treatment plants.

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Channeling a life-long passion for water protection toward community change in Forest Lake

Curt Sparks would love to see more people in the community get involved in lake and watershed stewardship, whether it is by joining the watershed district’s citizen advisory committee, participating in activities led by one of the local lakes associations, or merely adopting a storm drain in their neighborhood.

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Street Sweepers to the Rescue

Cities use street sweepers to maintain a tidy appearance, but these machines can also be an important and cost-effective tool for reducing stormwater pollution.

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