Goldilocks forecasts the weather

“It should be cooling down to 95° by the time you get here, but we’re still in an extreme drought,” my dad lamented as we discussed my upcoming visit to Pueblo. The weather has been so hot and dry in Colorado this summer that people aren’t even allowed to smoke outside in many places, due…

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Secrets to success: Cleaner water and healthy landscapes

It shouldn’t be a secret, but you might be surprised to learn that 49% of lakes in Washington County have improving water quality. Trout are surviving and may be reproducing in Brown’s Creek again. Woodbury has cut its annual groundwater use by nearly 35 million gallons in only one year, and Bone Lake in Scandia…

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Celebrating 50 Years of flood prevention and water quality work in Valley Branch Watershed District

Much has changed since the Valley Branch Watershed District was established in 1968. At the time, development had just begun to boom in the eastern suburbs of St. Paul, with new neighborhoods springing up in Oakdale, Maplewood, and the Tri-Lakes area of Lake Elmo. Several years of rainy weather resulted in high lake levels and…

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Upcoming water workshops highlight new resources for teachers and hands-on lessons for kids

Dear Ms. Haydon and Hong: Thank you for the field trip. I think it was ok that we got lost but everyone makes mistakes. I learned a lot about nature and where the water flows and all about different waters and rivers and lakes. I hope you have a great time and have fun exploring…

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Be the change you wish to see in your community: Become a Master Water Steward!

It’s 6:30pm on a Tuesday night and a small group is gathered inside the Scandia Pizzeria to hear neighbor Tom Furey talk about water quality in Bone Lake. Ten years ago, Bone Lake was considered to be one of the worst lakes in Washington County. The water was murky, phosphorus and algae levels were high,…

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Training the next generation to be “Keepers of the Trees”

The sun shines on a May morning and 23 tiny children gather round, faces up-turned, smiling and eager to begin the day. Kim Lawler, a team leader with Tree Trust, and Joan Nichols, a Master Water Steward in-training, stand before the children with a young white oak that the students will soon plant in a…

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Celebrating 50 years of Wild and Scenic River protections

Planned events include Spring Gathering, May 11; Namekagon Paddle, June 9-15; Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Aug. 25 The year was 1965, early in the environmental movement, and murmurs of concern from citizen groups around the country were just beginning to translate into protective legislation. An early version of the Clean Air Act had just…

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Saving Bayport’s Perro Creek + “Bike and Boat to Bayport” – May 12 at Lakeside Park

Tiny Perro Creek begins in Valley View Park, a hidden gem tucked between Phil and Tara’s Hideaway, the two Minnesota Correctional Facilities, and the Bayport Fire Department. From Perro Pond, the stream runs downhill 1.8 miles through the neighborhoods of Bayport until it eventually reaches the St. Croix River just north of Bayport Marina. Though…

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When Space Is Tight, Take Stormwater Treatment Underground

Step back in time to 1962, and you’d find Stillwater’s Lily Lake beach crowded with swimmers. Though small, Lily Lake was considered to be one of the deepest and clearest lakes in the Twin Cities area, much like Square and Christmas Lakes, and folks came here from around the region to swim, relax, and enjoy…

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Aquatic Invasives – The Battle Continues

Not so long ago, in a galaxy awfully close to home, the Minnesota legislature allocated $132,169 to Washington County to battle against real life aquatic invasive species (AIS) that creep steadily further into our beloved lakes and rivers each year.

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