Tracking the health of lakes in Washington County

During 2020, Washington Conservation District monitored water quality on 71 lakes in Washington County. Here’s what recent data tell us about five local lakes.

Read More

What do bugs have to do with it?

One of the best measures of stream health is the amount and biodiversity of macroinvertebrates we can find in the water.

Read More

Online classes for gardeners and nature enthusiasts

Explore new interests, build skills, begin planning for a summer landscaping project at your home, or simply enjoy a few hours of escape from the doldrums of winter.

Read More

Finding joy in the snow

My job is to teach people how to keep water clean, and at times, that feels like a minor concern in the jumble of all that is happening. And yet, it occurs to me also that one reason we work so hard to protect our water and natural resources is to ensure that they are there to douse the flames when the world begins to smolder.

Read More

Frozen fish and salty toes

One growing concern for urban lakes and streams is pollution from winter road salt. Currently, there are 50 lakes and streams in Minnesota that are listed as impaired due to elevated chlorides and another 75 that are “nearly” impaired.

Read More

2021 will bring $2.6 million in new funding for watershed work in the St. Croix region

Just in time for the holidays, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved $12.3 million in Clean Water Fund grants to be used statewide for water quality improvement projects across Minnesota. Locally, partners in the Lower St. Croix watershed will receive $1.4 million in Clean Water grants in addition to $1.2 million already…

Read More

Getting older shouldn’t mean staying indoors

Randy Thoreson, a retired National Park Service employee, has traveled the country advocating for new programs to help get seniors outdoors in nature.

Read More

The healing power of nature

If you’ve ever noticed that you feel happier and more relaxed after spending time outdoors, you won’t be surprised to hear that research shows a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

Read More

In the in between

We’re in the season of in between, both literally and metaphorically. The leaves have fallen but the snow has not. A crisp layer of ice coats the corners of the lakes and rivers, not yet thick enough to support our weight, but cold and sharp enough to keep us from impulsively leaping in for one last swim.

In the time of in between, look for the simple pleasures in life. The magic is still happening, just a little bit more quietly.

Read More