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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Boring bureaucracy keeps the water clean

The U.S. EPA created the MS4 Program in 1990 to address the growing threat of stormwater pollution. In Minnesota, the program is administered by the MPCA and applies to roughly 300 cities, townships, counties, watershed districts, and large campuses such as universities, hospitals and prison complexes that operate their own private roads and stormwater drainage systems. This includes more than 20 permit holders in Washington County.

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Amidst tumult of 2020, Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District work continues

CLFLWD continues its work to protect and improve local lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands in Forest Lake and southern Chisago County. The district has completed dozens of clean water projects and is currently updating its 10-year comprehensive watershed management plan, which will guide future work from 2022-2031.

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Boy Scouts and Water Stewards help to create outdoor classrooms in Woodbury

South Washington Watershed District created its Campus Greening program two years ago to encourage schools and other large campuses to think holistically about how they can meet stormwater management requirements when expanding buildings and parking areas. At the Lake and Middleton campus, South Washington County Schools (District 844) worked with SWWD to convert 15 acres of turf to prairie, plant 200 trees, and create the two new outdoor classrooms.

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Water stewards inspire neighbors to take action and adopt storm drains

To date, Twin Cities’ residents have adopted 13,747 storm drains. However, only 530 of those are in Washington County. This fall, the East Metro Water Resource Education Program is encouraging people to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and join the movement to promote clean lakes, rivers and streams. To sign up, go to http://www.Adopt-a-Drain.org.

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Brown’s Creek Watershed District Receives Two National Awards in 2020

This fall, the Brown’s Creek Watershed District will receive awards from the American Water Resources Association and the Water Environment Federation for long-term work to protect Brown’s Creek.

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New rule restricts nitrogen fertilizer application after Sept. 1

Beginning September 1, 2020, Part 1 of the Groundwater Protection Rule goes into effect, restricting the application of nitrogen fertilizer in the fall and on frozen soils in areas with vulnerable groundwater. It applies to approximately 12-13% of Minnesota’s cropland and nearly half of the land in Washington County.

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Tamarack Nature Preserve Park & Boardwalk Reopening Celebration

Smack dab in the middle of bustling, suburban Woodbury, the Tamarack Nature Preserve is a hidden gem containing the southern-most tamarack swamp in Minnesota. A community event Oct. 16-18 will include a virtual tour and water pollution mystery game.

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Fall yard care reminders and tips

Harvest the last of your tomatoes and herbs now before they’re killed by an overnight freeze. Wait to cut down old stems and seed heads until the late spring. Instead of raking leaves, mow your lawn a few times to mulch up the leaves and return nutrients to the soil. If you live on a lake, be sure that you hire a DNR certified contractor to remove your dock this fall.

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Explore the Brown’s Creek Watershed with a virtual tour and scavenger hunt

This fall, Brown’s Creek Watershed District is offering a virtual tour and scavenger hunt to highlight some of the historical features, natural wonders, and stream-improvement projects along the route.

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