Many helping hands make a strong community

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Fred Rogers Cole Williams was stationed at the historic Grant Town Hall for their annual community clean-up on Saturday, May 4. As a…

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Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District recognizes local Watershed Champions

Jack MacKenzie is a former golf course superintendent with a passion for eco-friendly lawn care and community volunteerism. Craig Mattson operates a cattle farm in southern Chisago County, which employs managed rotational grazing and specially designed fencing to protect wetlands on his property. Though the two might not have much in common, they both care…

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Local school groups release baby trout into Brown’s Creek

“Put your hand over the cup so no one falls out!” Evan Griggs calls out as he leads a dozen 4th and 5th grade students through a tangle of trees to the edge of Brown’s Creek. The students, who hail from St. Jude’s of the Lake in Mahtomedi, have been raising rainbow trout in their…

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Ready, set, GARDEN!

Do you ever wonder how plants can grow so quickly and yet without making a noise? Spring somehow always catches me by surprise even though I’ve spent months waiting and yearning for its arrival. Day after winter day, the world is bleak and gray, and then one morning I step outside and find tulips and…

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Pimp your downspout

Did you ever watch the MTV show Pimp my Ride? In each episode, the team would select a person with a truly awful car and then spend a few days restoring and customizing the vehicle. I could have definitely used their help twenty years ago. My first clunker was a Dodge Omni, which was a…

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Hopping into spring…again

Explore a local wetland or attend a Wonderful Wetlands workshop in Hugo, Oakdale or Lake Elmo The snow is melting again, which means that spring is just around the corner…again. Last weekend, I bundled up to walk the dog through 9-inches of fresh, fallen snow and paused with surprise when I encountered warm-ish air and…

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Master Water Stewards offers a unique “Mini-Training” opportunity in 2019

When Susan Goebel moved to Woodbury a few years ago, she began looking for opportunities to make friends and get involved in her new community. Back in West Bend, Wisconsin, where she had lived for years, she had been a Town Clerk and a Town Supervisor. She worked as a volunteer coordinator, taught classes at…

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Let your hair down and leave the garden beds unmade

You know that voice in your head that’s always nagging and never satisfied? It’s the one reminding you to make your bed because, God forbid, the burglars find a mess of blankets and sheets when they break into your house in the middle of the day. The voice reminds you to put on a jacket…

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Put time on the water to good use this summer: Get free training to become a volunteer AIS Detector

“So much of Minnesota’s culture and recreation is based around the water and enjoying our lakes and rivers,” says Dan Larkin, an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist with the University of Minnesota. “And so, aquatic invasive species and other threats to those habitats really affect people personally.” Over the past ten years, the number of…

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Spring flooding calls for lowered lake levels & volunteer sandbagging

As Minnesota and Wisconsin brace for major flooding along the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, many folks in Washington County have noticed that their driveways, roads and fields are already underwater. According to the National Weather Service, the St. Croix River has a 90% chance of reaching Major Flood Stage, which is 689 ft, and…

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