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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WaterBar offers a unique opportunity to share and hear new stories

“Growing up in Jamaica, my family had a deep connection with the land and the ocean where we lived,” says Angelo Williamson. “When I moved to the United States, I felt a strong sense of identity as a Jamaican. When other people looked at me and saw me as a black, African-American man, that was…

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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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Scientific and Natural Areas protect Minnesota’s natural heritage

A grasshopper perches on a tattered black-eyed susan. Two red and black striped beetles dance a tango atop a lilac spray of vervain. Gentle summer breezes carry the sound of laughter as an impish four-year old boy balances carefully on a time-weathered rock. Around him, the swaying grasses, muted prairie colors, and tumbled down, lichen-covered…

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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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Tips for enjoying the outdoors with kids

The first thing you need to know is that at least one child will become ravenously hungry the instant you’re out of sight of the parking lot. Be prepared to fuel a four hour adventure in the wilderness, even if you are only taking a 30 minute walk in the park. Also, don’t imagine that…

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