Hopping into spring…again

Explore a local wetland or attend a Wonderful Wetlands workshop in Hugo, Oakdale or Lake Elmo The snow is melting again, which means that spring is just around the corner…again. Last weekend, I bundled up to walk the dog through 9-inches of fresh, fallen snow and paused with surprise when I encountered warm-ish air and…

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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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Let your hair down and leave the garden beds unmade

You know that voice in your head that’s always nagging and never satisfied? It’s the one reminding you to make your bed because, God forbid, the burglars find a mess of blankets and sheets when they break into your house in the middle of the day. The voice reminds you to put on a jacket…

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Put time on the water to good use this summer: Get free training to become a volunteer AIS Detector

“So much of Minnesota’s culture and recreation is based around the water and enjoying our lakes and rivers,” says Dan Larkin, an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist with the University of Minnesota. “And so, aquatic invasive species and other threats to those habitats really affect people personally.” Over the past ten years, the number of…

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Jump into spring with a Planting for Clean Water or Wetlands workshop

Workshops to be held in Wyoming, Hugo, Oakdale, Lake Elmo, and Cottage Grove After buying a home on Bone Lake a few years ago, Tom Furey downloaded the Score Your Shore tool from the Minnesota DNR website and set to work to learn more about his new property. From conversations with the Comfort Lake –…

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Teachers set sail with free workshops on the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers

“Backswimmer, scud, dragonfly nymph, water boatman, another water boatman…” My son had just woken up from a nap and stumbled bleary-eyed to a clearing near the Mississippi River where our group was peering intently at a bucket-full of river water. Within seconds, he was rattling off the names of aquatic invertebrates we’d found, proud to…

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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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Designing with nature, braiding science with beauty

I was asked, “So, why do you want to study botany?” And I answered, “Because goldenrod and asters are so beautiful together, and I want to know why. I want to know why these stand together. Why do they grow together and look so beautiful when they could grow apart?” “That’s not science,” he said.…

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