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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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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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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