Secrets to success: Cleaner water and healthy landscapes

It shouldn’t be a secret, but you might be surprised to learn that 49% of lakes in Washington County have improving water quality. Trout are surviving and may be reproducing in Brown’s Creek again. Woodbury has cut its annual groundwater use by nearly 35 million gallons in only one year, and Bone Lake in Scandia…

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Aquatic life in Forest Lake – The good, the bad, and the ugly

It was a beautiful night for Arts in the Park; the air was cool, the storm clouds had passed, and a Beatles tribute band was rocking the pavilion. My Forest Lake friends – a damselfly larva and a crawling water beetle – were swimming to the beat of the music in a container full of…

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Celebrating 50 Years of flood prevention and water quality work in Valley Branch Watershed District

Much has changed since the Valley Branch Watershed District was established in 1968. At the time, development had just begun to boom in the eastern suburbs of St. Paul, with new neighborhoods springing up in Oakdale, Maplewood, and the Tri-Lakes area of Lake Elmo. Several years of rainy weather resulted in high lake levels and…

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Upcoming water workshops highlight new resources for teachers and hands-on lessons for kids

Dear Ms. Haydon and Hong: Thank you for the field trip. I think it was ok that we got lost but everyone makes mistakes. I learned a lot about nature and where the water flows and all about different waters and rivers and lakes. I hope you have a great time and have fun exploring…

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Lessons from a garden

Sometimes you think you have a really good idea, like planting vegetable gardens at your office. Full of enthusiasm, you put your family to work and spend an entire day tearing out sod, piecing together scrap lumber, and hauling in dirt. It is hard work but you feel proud. Then it is the next year,…

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Be the change you wish to see in your community: Become a Master Water Steward!

It’s 6:30pm on a Tuesday night and a small group is gathered inside the Scandia Pizzeria to hear neighbor Tom Furey talk about water quality in Bone Lake. Ten years ago, Bone Lake was considered to be one of the worst lakes in Washington County. The water was murky, phosphorus and algae levels were high,…

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Training the next generation to be “Keepers of the Trees”

The sun shines on a May morning and 23 tiny children gather round, faces up-turned, smiling and eager to begin the day. Kim Lawler, a team leader with Tree Trust, and Joan Nichols, a Master Water Steward in-training, stand before the children with a young white oak that the students will soon plant in a…

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Keeping the fish happy in 10,000 lakes

“What percentage of walleyes caught in Minnesota are born wild?” asks DNR Fisheries Chief Don Pereira, as he looks around a room filled with lake association members from Chisago and Washington Counties. A few folks call out numbers – 10%? Maybe 20%? “People talk a lot about fish stocking,” Pereira continues, “but 85% of the…

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Sprinklers running? Better catch them!

75% of homes with automated irrigation systems have at least one broken sprinkler head. Is yours one of them?

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