Explore new options for local farms at Oct. 22 workshop

Perennial crops, conservation grazing, and whole-farm plans Dani Dircks is a licensed general contractor, mother of four, and healthy-living advocate with an entrepreneurial spirit. “Two years ago when my oldest child was in kindergarten, he missed three days of school because he was sick,” Dircks explains. “I had three younger children at home already and…

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Lending a helping hand to Afton’s Trout Brook

South Washington Watershed District partners with Great River Greening and Vail Resorts A coldwater stream flows through the hills of Afton Alps and Afton State Park, bringing life to a valley in the woods. Over the past 150 years, Trout Brook has weathered the rise and fall of logging in region, decades of farming, and…

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Big change for a little lake

Watershed tour highlights projects on Shields Lake Once upon a time, a handsome prince ruled over the Kingdom of Bohemia. Within his family’s estates, Prince Schwarzenberg had elegant palaces, imposing castles, and 20,000 acres of carp ponds. The hardy fish were a symbol of opulent wealth and provided a steady source of delicious, nourishing food…

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A drop in the bucket

The children gathered round, watching in anticipation as Lauren Haydon, an educator with the Washington Conservation District, slowly poured water from a graduated cylinder into smaller and smaller vessels. “Only 3% of all of the water on earth is freshwater,” she explained as she poured. “And of that amount, two-thirds is trapped in glaciers.” She…

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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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