Do’s and Don’ts of Spring Gardening

With too much time on his hands during the past few weeks, one friend’s husband gave their seven-year old a Mohawk haircut. Another started tearing down portions of the ceiling in their entryway to install new lighting. (Actually, that was the same guy.) People have been decorating their windows and fences with paint and sidewalk…

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The day the kingdom rested

Once upon a time, there was a great big busy kingdom that was marvelously filled with magic. Rocks split open, allowing crystal clear water to pour out for the villagers to drink; trees oozed with liquid that turned to sugar when it was cooked; and tiny crystals fell from the sky every winter, covering the…

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A walk in the woods, a planted seed, new skills to learn

We went to the woods on Sunday afternoon to enjoy fresh air, warm sun reaching through frostbitten air, and no other humans in sight. For the dog, it was just like any other day. She had no idea that the world was turning upside down as she galloped across the blackened prairie, still charred from…

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Wet basement? Sorry, no app for that.

The sun is out, the snow is melting, and someday soon you may go downstairs and discover that your basement is wet. What should you do? First, it is important to determine why your basement is wet. When we first bought our 1870s home in Stillwater, water poured into the basement every time it rained.…

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The hills [will soon be] alive with the sound of music

It is never a secret when my son and I go for a walk. You can hear us coming from at least a block away. I’m usually singing because I consider myself to be either Julie Andrews or June Carter, depending on the day. Charlie is tripping along behind me in oversized boots replacing all…

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Minnesota climatologists predict another year of major spring flooding

The National Weather Service and Minnesota Climatology Department are both predicting another wet spring with major flooding in 2020. There is a high chance of flooding on the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, as well as in lakes, ponds, farm fields, and low lying areas. Says Craig Schmidt, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service,…

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Feedback from local communities helps to shape Lower St. Croix 10-Year Watershed Plan

Learn more: Feb. 20 in North Branch or March 2 in Stillwater Over the past two years, 15 local government partners in Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington Counties have been working to create a shared watershed plan to guide collaborative work in the Lower St. Croix region for the next 10 years. Known as…

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2020 Brings $1.9 Million in New Clean Water Funds to the Lower St. Croix area

On January 22, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved $13.9 million in Clean Water Fund grants to improve water quality in lakes, streams, and groundwater aquifers across the state. Forest Lake emerged as a big winner in this round of funding, with the Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District securing two…

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Nurturing the Wild

Design with Nature Conference: Sat., Feb. 29 in St. Paul “What is that over there?” “It’s the wild,” said the mole. “Don’t fear it.” “Imagine how we would be if we were less afraid.” – Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse A friend gave us a new book for Christmas…

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Ode to a an old dead log

Driving down a country road last week, I turned to gaze at a lone tree in the west that always stands so firmly, silhouetted against the evening sky. On this night, however, one half of the tree lay sprawled across a nearby farm field, toppled over by wind or age. “How sad,” I thought to…

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