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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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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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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Teachers set sail with free workshops on the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers

“Backswimmer, scud, dragonfly nymph, water boatman, another water boatman…” My son had just woken up from a nap and stumbled bleary-eyed to a clearing near the Mississippi River where our group was peering intently at a bucket-full of river water. Within seconds, he was rattling off the names of aquatic invertebrates we’d found, proud to…

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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…

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2019 Brings New Funding for Local Clean Water Work

In 2008, Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to protect and support clean water, healthy habitat, vibrant arts and culture, and beloved parks and trails. Over the past ten years, a sales tax increase of 0.375% has generated more than $2.5 billion, $860 million of which has been used to fund…

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Finding ways to balance farming and clean water

A story of redemption 26 years ago, Brian Axdahl and his father bought an old sod farm near the St. Croix River and plowed the turf under with moldboard plows. The soil was compacted from years of poor management. Lakes formed in the fields whenever it rained, and runoff flowed to the river, carrying sediments…

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Listening for the trees

They say that trees can speak to each other in a language we humans are too busy to hear and too self-absorbed to understand. Peter Wohlleben, a German forester who wrote the now famous book, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, has learned that trees in a forest actually live…

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Valley Creek flows clear on a cold midwinter’s night

As it spins through the galaxy in trajectory around the sun, the Earth leans on its axis, 23.5-degrees. That slightest lean means all the difference between warm summer days, sun on the back and toes in the soft, brown dirt – that and the cold bite of winter, frozen breath before your face and wind…

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It’s all about the bees

Washington Conservation District recognizes Pam Arnold & Laurie Schneider for their conservation efforts The bee is a curious ambassador for the Earth. They are little. They sting. They tiptoe across flowers on insect legs, waving insect antenna, and peering out at the world through kaleidoscoped insect eyes. The females do all of the work, and…

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