The Power of the Universal Experience

“Look!” I yelled backward into the house as I flung open the front door and ran barefoot out into our yard. “Charlie, Gary, come see!” Across the street a brilliant rainbow arched across the sky, perfectly framing the cross and brick of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Two blocks further down the road, the rainbow poured…

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Give me a home where the butterflies roam

On May 11, 1858, the United States of America welcomed its 32nd state to the union – 18 million acres of prairie, 21 million acres of wetlands, 31.5 million acres of forests, and 11,842 lakes, now lovingly known as Minnesota. Over the years, Minnesota has grown and prospered. Settlers drained wetlands to make way for…

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Long Lake “Water Critters” program offers intergenerational learning and an introduction to The Lakes at Stillwater

Wednesday, July 10, 6-7pm On the outdoor terrace of The Lodge, there is a large fire ring, a dozen oversized deck chairs, and a tranquil view of the wooded lake below. Standing on that terrace, you might think you were at a resort in northern Minnesota, or perhaps a hunting lodge in Montana. In reality,…

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New funding coming soon for bee-friendly yards

Cheryl Seeman is a Master Gardener and bee-lover who lives on Crooked Lake in Andover.  “They call me the Queen Bee,” says Seeman with a laugh, as she leads visitors through her verdant yard and gardens. The lawn is dotted with white clover and dandelion blooms. A wide rain garden borders a curbside city storm…

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Orangutans, sun bears, and elephants – oh my!

Three days in Malaysian Borneo “I think that we are the luckiest people in the world,” my son announced as he tossed me an impish smile from the front of our boat. Yesterday, we’d been thrilled to find a pygmy elephant down by the river’s edge – our guide said it was the first he’d…

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Singapore wows with food, fun, and floral fantasía

While traveling through Southeast Asia, author Angie Hong shares tales from her adventures. There is a towering grove of truffula trees twinkling beside the ocean. Inside two giant glass domes, sweet air carries the scent of orchids, roses, and myriad tropical flowers. There are waterfalls, lush green walls, and even a room full of stalactites…

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Forest Lake Schools chart path to a greener future

Lakes International Language Academy & Forest Lake Area High School both gain recognition for environmental initiatives The fourth grade students at Lakes International Language Academy (LILA) have been learning a lot about water this year. “We have a science unit about matter and have focused on water throughout the year,” explains teacher Roberto Izquierdo. “It…

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Restoring habitat successfully also means learning to live with wildlife again

Two years ago, before my family embarked on a trip-of-a-lifetime to Australia, we sat down for a frank discussion around the dinner table. “Here’s the deal,” I announced, as I looked at my mother, my husband, and especially my then 4-year old son. “There are saltwater crocodiles in tropical northern Queensland, and we need to…

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If those trees could walk

Managing woodlands for a changing climate Deep in the heart of Ecuador’s Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, the trees are slowly walking – very, very slowly. In pursuit of better living conditions, the trees grow new roots that stretch across the forest floor and gradually pull the rest of the tree along behind. These so-called walking palms…

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Salt levels are rising in Minnesota waters and it’s not just winter to blame

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency would like you to think about salt, and not just because we saw snow on May 19. As chloride concentrations continue to rise in lakes, rivers, and groundwater around Minnesota, the agency is working with partners to develop a Statewide Chloride Management Plan that will help to keep our freshwater…

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