Calling all Watershed Champions

Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District debuts award program & schedules workshops for the spring

Seeking award nominations

Do you know someone in the community who has gone out of their way to protect local lakes and waterways? Perhaps it is the neighbor who transformed their yard with native plants and raingardens to reduce runoff pollution. Maybe it is a business or organization working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. This spring, the Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District is launching a new Watershed Champion Award and they are looking for nominations from the public to help them select the first award recipients.

The purpose of the Watershed Champion Award is to honor individuals, businesses, organizations and communities who help the watershed district to protect and improve water resources. Examples of “good deeds” include educating the public, enacting water-friendly public policy, restoring shoreline and wetland areas, planting raingardens, or even establishing conservation easements to protect natural resources.

Submit your nominations on-line by March 1 at (nomination forms can also be mailed). Award recipients will be recognized at the CLFLWD State of the Watershed meeting in April.

Learn how to create a beautiful, water-friendly yard at an upcoming spring workshop: April 4 in Wyoming, April 11 in Cottage Grove, April 25 in Hugo, May 16 in Lake Elmo, or May 23 in Oakdale.

Spring workshops offer advice on water-friendly lawns and landscaping

If you’re tired of the winter cold and snow, begin your spring daydreaming with a lawn or landscaping workshop taught by local experts.

Jack MacKenzie, a former golf course superintendent and current member of the CLFLWD citizen advisory committee will be leading Turf Talks on March 2, April 6 and May 4 at the CLFLWD office (44 Lake Street South, Forest Lake). Attend one of the free seminars to learn how to get a better looking lawn without harming local lakes or groundwater resources. Each Turf Talk will consist of two sessions. From 8-9:30am, MacKenzie will discuss mowing, irrigation, weed control and plant protectants. A second session from 10-11:30am will explore soil testing, fertilizers, and equipment calibration. People are welcome to attend one or both sessions on any of the three dates. Register on-line.

There are 40.5 million acres of lawn in the U.S. Smart sprinkling can save lots of water.
Learn how to get a healthy lawn without hurting the environment at a Turf Talk, taught by Jack MacKenzie.

The watershed district will also host a Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water workshop on Thursday, April 4, 6-7:30pm at the Wyoming Area Library (26855 Forest Blvd, Wyoming, MN). Learn how to transform your yard with native gardens, raingardens, shoreline plantings, and turf alternatives that add beauty, provide habitat, and help to protect water resources. During the workshop, landscaping experts from Chisago Soil and Water Conservation District and the East Metro Water Resource Education Program will share photos to inspire your creativity and will talk about resources to help you get started with clean water planting projects. Learn about grants available through the Comfort Lake – Forest Lake and Rice Creek Watershed Districts and sign-up for a free site visit with staff from the Chisago or Washington Conservation Districts. Workshop presenters will also talk about a new program designed to help rural and agricultural landowners create conservation plans for their properties. These plans can help to guide habitat management and restoration, address erosion or drainage concerns, or identify financial assistance for conservation efforts. Register for this free workshop at: