Lending a helping hand to Afton’s Trout Brook

South Washington Watershed District partners with Great River Greening and Vail Resorts A coldwater stream flows through the hills of Afton Alps and Afton State Park, bringing life to a valley in the woods. Over the past 150 years, Trout Brook has weathered the rise and fall of logging in region, decades of farming, and…

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Big change for a little lake

Watershed tour highlights projects on Shields Lake Once upon a time, a handsome prince ruled over the Kingdom of Bohemia. Within his family’s estates, Prince Schwarzenberg had elegant palaces, imposing castles, and 20,000 acres of carp ponds. The hardy fish were a symbol of opulent wealth and provided a steady source of delicious, nourishing food…

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A drop in the bucket

The children gathered round, watching in anticipation as Lauren Haydon, an educator with the Washington Conservation District, slowly poured water from a graduated cylinder into smaller and smaller vessels. “Only 3% of all of the water on earth is freshwater,” she explained as she poured. “And of that amount, two-thirds is trapped in glaciers.” She…

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Brown’s Creek Watershed District sets it sights on 2020

Community festival on Saturday, Sept. 14, 10am-1pm at Brown’s Creek Park in Stillwater On Wednesday, Sept. 11, Brown’s Creek Watershed District (BCWD) held a public meeting to review the district’s proposed 2020 budget and levy. The watershed district manages water resources within 30 square miles of Stillwater and surrounding communities, including Brown’s Creek, Long Lake,…

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Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District celebrates 20 years of water protection

Early conflict led to collaborative, science-based watershed management today It all began with a big box store. The year was 1994, and business in Forest Lake was booming. When construction began on a Walmart store near I35 and Broadway Ave., however, residents six miles north on Comfort Lake noticed a dramatic change.  At the time,…

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Marine residents rally to restore neighborhood stream

It was the weekend after 4th of July and five neighbors in Marine on St. Croix were ready to work. Armed with 1500 native plants, 2000 popsicle sticks, and a cheerful group of friends, family and children, the group tromped into the soggy wild behind their homes and began working to restore a small stream…

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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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