Online classes for gardeners and nature enthusiasts

Explore new interests, build skills, begin planning for a summer landscaping project at your home, or simply enjoy a few hours of escape from the doldrums of winter.

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Finding joy in the snow

My job is to teach people how to keep water clean, and at times, that feels like a minor concern in the jumble of all that is happening. And yet, it occurs to me also that one reason we work so hard to protect our water and natural resources is to ensure that they are there to douse the flames when the world begins to smolder.

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Frozen fish and salty toes

One growing concern for urban lakes and streams is pollution from winter road salt. Currently, there are 50 lakes and streams in Minnesota that are listed as impaired due to elevated chlorides and another 75 that are “nearly” impaired.

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2021 will bring $2.6 million in new funding for watershed work in the St. Croix region

Just in time for the holidays, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved $12.3 million in Clean Water Fund grants to be used statewide for water quality improvement projects across Minnesota. Locally, partners in the Lower St. Croix watershed will receive $1.4 million in Clean Water grants in addition to $1.2 million already…

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Getting older shouldn’t mean staying indoors

Randy Thoreson, a retired National Park Service employee, has traveled the country advocating for new programs to help get seniors outdoors in nature.

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The healing power of nature

If you’ve ever noticed that you feel happier and more relaxed after spending time outdoors, you won’t be surprised to hear that research shows a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

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In the in between

We’re in the season of in between, both literally and metaphorically. The leaves have fallen but the snow has not. A crisp layer of ice coats the corners of the lakes and rivers, not yet thick enough to support our weight, but cold and sharp enough to keep us from impulsively leaping in for one last swim.

In the time of in between, look for the simple pleasures in life. The magic is still happening, just a little bit more quietly.

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To Bison or to Monet?

Washington County Parks is haying the prairie at Pine Point Regional Park to imitate natural processes that would occur if the land were being grazed by bison.

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New trails highlight major changes at Lake Elmo Park Reserve

This year, Washington County launched a major transformation at Lake Elmo Park Reserve, aided in part by a grant from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund. The park has added a new parking lot and entrance off of Inwood Ave., created new trails, and began work to restore 166 acres of prairie and oak savanna. On the east side of the park near the Nordic Center, Washington County added 2.2 miles of new ski trails.

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