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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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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Tread lightly or the plants might eat you

They tried to drain the swamp, but the swamp fought back and won. For years, northern Minnesota residents struggled in vain to drain a vast peat bog stretching 500 square miles across the land. Between 1910 and 1916, they spent millions of dollars and dug more than 1500 miles of ditches to redirect water from…

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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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Take Me to the River offers fresh opportunities to enjoy art and nature

Last week, I had a day off of work and wanted to do something fun with my son, spend some time outside, maybe see some art. Also, the dog needed a walk.   With luck, a solution presented itself in the form of the Franconia Sculpture Park, located just south of Hwy 8 on Hwy…

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In the battle against aquatic invasive species (AIS), key weapons include research, inspections & early detection

Last month, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) announced nine new research projects scheduled to begin this summer. Included in the list are two projects aimed at controlling common carp – one to develop carp removal strategies that utilize social behaviors and one to explore a herpesvirus that could act as a potential…

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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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