New funding coming soon for bee-friendly yards

Cheryl Seeman is a Master Gardener and bee-lover who lives on Crooked Lake in Andover.  “They call me the Queen Bee,” says Seeman with a laugh, as she leads visitors through her verdant yard and gardens. The lawn is dotted with white clover and dandelion blooms. A wide rain garden borders a curbside city storm…

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Forest Lake Schools chart path to a greener future

Lakes International Language Academy & Forest Lake Area High School both gain recognition for environmental initiatives The fourth grade students at Lakes International Language Academy (LILA) have been learning a lot about water this year. “We have a science unit about matter and have focused on water throughout the year,” explains teacher Roberto Izquierdo. “It…

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Restoring habitat successfully also means learning to live with wildlife again

Two years ago, before my family embarked on a trip-of-a-lifetime to Australia, we sat down for a frank discussion around the dinner table. “Here’s the deal,” I announced, as I looked at my mother, my husband, and especially my then 4-year old son. “There are saltwater crocodiles in tropical northern Queensland, and we need to…

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If those trees could walk

Managing woodlands for a changing climate Deep in the heart of Ecuador’s Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, the trees are slowly walking – very, very slowly. In pursuit of better living conditions, the trees grow new roots that stretch across the forest floor and gradually pull the rest of the tree along behind. These so-called walking palms…

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Salt levels are rising in Minnesota waters and it’s not just winter to blame

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency would like you to think about salt, and not just because we saw snow on May 19. As chloride concentrations continue to rise in lakes, rivers, and groundwater around Minnesota, the agency is working with partners to develop a Statewide Chloride Management Plan that will help to keep our freshwater…

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Many helping hands make a strong community

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Fred Rogers Cole Williams was stationed at the historic Grant Town Hall for their annual community clean-up on Saturday, May 4. As a…

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Local school groups release baby trout into Brown’s Creek

“Put your hand over the cup so no one falls out!” Evan Griggs calls out as he leads a dozen 4th and 5th grade students through a tangle of trees to the edge of Brown’s Creek. The students, who hail from St. Jude’s of the Lake in Mahtomedi, have been raising rainbow trout in their…

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Ready, set, GARDEN!

Do you ever wonder how plants can grow so quickly and yet without making a noise? Spring somehow always catches me by surprise even though I’ve spent months waiting and yearning for its arrival. Day after winter day, the world is bleak and gray, and then one morning I step outside and find tulips and…

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Pimp your downspout

Did you ever watch the MTV show Pimp my Ride? In each episode, the team would select a person with a truly awful car and then spend a few days restoring and customizing the vehicle. I could have definitely used their help twenty years ago. My first clunker was a Dodge Omni, which was a…

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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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