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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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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