The hills [will soon be] alive with the sound of music

It is never a secret when my son and I go for a walk. You can hear us coming from at least a block away. I’m usually singing because I consider myself to be either Julie Andrews or June Carter, depending on the day. Charlie is tripping along behind me in oversized boots replacing all…

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Feedback from local communities helps to shape Lower St. Croix 10-Year Watershed Plan

Learn more: Feb. 20 in North Branch or March 2 in Stillwater Over the past two years, 15 local government partners in Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington Counties have been working to create a shared watershed plan to guide collaborative work in the Lower St. Croix region for the next 10 years. Known as…

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2020 Brings $1.9 Million in New Clean Water Funds to the Lower St. Croix area

On January 22, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved $13.9 million in Clean Water Fund grants to improve water quality in lakes, streams, and groundwater aquifers across the state. Forest Lake emerged as a big winner in this round of funding, with the Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District securing two…

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Ten years of hard work result in big accomplishments for local water, land, and wildlife

The clock strikes midnight as another page turns over on the calendar of life. Goodbye nameless decade; hello roaring ‘20s! This week many of us are thinking about changes in our lives over the past ten years – children born, loved ones lost, new homes, new jobs, vacations, and special events. In the conservation world,…

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Master Water Stewards lend a helping hand to local lakes and streams

Everyone has pet peeves. It drives me crazy when people throw bottles and cans away in the garbage – especially when the recycling container is literally right there. I also hate finding dirty socks on my kitchen counter. Or when I have to perform evasive maneuvers to avoid getting trampled by people looking at their…

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Volunteers work to restore Fairy Falls with help from the Stillwater Area Community Foundation

Nestled deep in the woods on the north side of Stillwater, Fairy Falls is a well-loved and well-guarded local secret. Unless someone tells you where to go, you’d never think to park on the side of the road and hike through the brambles on an unmarked trail in search of a cascading waterfall, steep gorge…

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St. Croix River impairment underscores need for continued work

Three weeks ago, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced its intention to declare a stretch of the St. Croix River from Taylor’s Falls to Stillwater impaired due to excess phosphorus. In the wake of this news, many local residents have asked who is to blame and what can be done to restore our treasured…

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Salting the Earth

Dec. 2 presentation will highlight impacts of road salt on local water resources When the City of Carthage fell at the end of the Third Punic War, 146 BC, victorious Romans pulled Phoenecian ships out of the harbor and set them on fire before moving through the city, house to house, rounding up and selling…

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Surprising sources of mercury in Minnesota lakes

DEAR WATERSHED EXPERT: What is the leading cause of water pollution in Minnesota? DEAR WONDERING WATER-LOVER: You might be surprised to learn that mercury from the air is, by far, the leading source of pollution in our lakes and rivers. Ninety-nine percent of the mercury in our lakes and rivers comes from atmospheric deposition. This…

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Underground and out of mind?

November 13 workshop will address septic systems, private wells, and other groundwater topics Nearly 140 years ago, Minneapolis first began pumping from the Mississippi River to provide drinking water for the city’s growing population. At the time, the river was a dumping ground for human sewage, garbage, and carcasses from the local slaughterhouses. Thousands of…

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