Land wanted – Must have bugs

I’m standing in the middle of a prairie making a conference call on my cellphone because that’s what working moms do. Every few minutes, I catch a glimpse of my son as he lopes into view, diving into the bee balm and through the black-eyed susans. Then suddenly he appears directly in front of me and,…

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Tales from the Great Lakes: Big waves, clear water, and research on killer bacteria

You can’t swim slowly through waves. Approach the churning water timidly, and it will slam against your face, choke you, and push you backwards towards the land. Neither can you swim over a wave or around a wave. The only path is through. The trick is to swim hard until you get past the break.…

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Enjoying the St. Croix River and working to keep it clean

Picture, if you will, a woman serenely paddling down the St. Croix River on a standup paddleboard with a boy and a dog balanced on either end. The sun is warm, the water is calm, and all is right with the world.     Level: Expert Total time to complete: 5 hours   Instructions Step 1: Pack your car the night before. (No –…

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Long Lake “Water Critters” program offers intergenerational learning and an introduction to The Lakes at Stillwater

Wednesday, July 10, 6-7pm On the outdoor terrace of The Lodge, there is a large fire ring, a dozen oversized deck chairs, and a tranquil view of the wooded lake below. Standing on that terrace, you might think you were at a resort in northern Minnesota, or perhaps a hunting lodge in Montana. In reality,…

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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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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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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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Pimp your downspout

Did you ever watch the MTV show Pimp my Ride? In each episode, the team would select a person with a truly awful car and then spend a few days restoring and customizing the vehicle. I could have definitely used their help twenty years ago. My first clunker was a Dodge Omni, which was a…

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