New trails highlight major changes at Lake Elmo Park Reserve

This year, Washington County launched a major transformation at Lake Elmo Park Reserve, aided in part by a grant from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund. The park has added a new parking lot and entrance off of Inwood Ave., created new trails, and began work to restore 166 acres of prairie and oak savanna. On the east side of the park near the Nordic Center, Washington County added 2.2 miles of new ski trails.

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Transformation underway at Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Washington County secured funding through the Outdoor Heritage Fund to restore and improve 166 acres of prairie and oak savanna at Lake Elmo Park Reserve around Eagle Point Lake and in the north end of the park.

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Gophers and muskrats, oh why?

In a native planting or restored prairie, however, gophers should be considered a friend. Yes, the prairie will be bumpy instead of flat, but nature tends to be that way.

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A Modern Day Tale of Tortoise and Hare

As I rounded the corner, I hit the gas and pedaled harder knowing the other bike was probably close behind. Perhaps he’d seen pigtails sticking out from beneath my helmet and thought it would be easy to catch a girl. Little did he know that I am quick like a rabbit.

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500 Frogs a Croaking

On the third week of coronavirus my true love gave to me, 500 frogs a croaking, four [dozen] calling birds, three rich fens, two mourning doves, and a partridge in the Great Plains. It is Saturday, which means two days of rest away from video conferences, working remotely, homeschooling, and tending home. So, we run…

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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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Ode to a an old dead log

Driving down a country road last week, I turned to gaze at a lone tree in the west that always stands so firmly, silhouetted against the evening sky. On this night, however, one half of the tree lay sprawled across a nearby farm field, toppled over by wind or age. “How sad,” I thought to…

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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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Within Warner Nature Center, pristine lakes and wildlife corridors

“Dear Loyal Supporters, I’m writing to inform you that the Warner Nature Center will be closing and winding down operations by the end of the year.” With those words, Alison Rempel Brown, President and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota, broke the news to staff and volunteers that a 52-year tradition will be coming…

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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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