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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Tamarack Nature Preserve Park & Boardwalk Reopening Celebration

Smack dab in the middle of bustling, suburban Woodbury, the Tamarack Nature Preserve is a hidden gem containing the southern-most tamarack swamp in Minnesota. A community event Oct. 16-18 will include a virtual tour and water pollution mystery game.

Read More

Explore the Brown’s Creek Watershed with a virtual tour and scavenger hunt

This fall, Brown’s Creek Watershed District is offering a virtual tour and scavenger hunt to highlight some of the historical features, natural wonders, and stream-improvement projects along the route.

Read More

A crack in the rock & a beach in the forest

Crystal Spring Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) in Scandia was established just four years ago. It contains a crystalline spring that pours out of the side of a rock wall, deep in an emerald chasm.

Read More

Search for hidden treasure, and sometimes you find goats

Charlie and I excitedly watched our beacon move ever closer to the hidden cache as we hiked down a trail into the woods. 350 feet to go. 300 feet to go. 100 feet to go! Then we heard a plaintive bleat from behind the trees. Had I heard a goat?

Read More

What goes down, must come up

Ask anyone with young kids and they’ll tell you about the strain of parenting in COVID times. With schools, summer camps, and daycare closed, we dance a wiggly cha cha as we attempt to somehow do a full day’s work while simultaneously caring for stir-crazy children who’ve been stuck at home since March.  This summer,…

Read More