Feeling parched in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

According to the University of Minnesota, approximately 20% of all treated drinking water in the Twin Cities metro area is used outdoors, with a majority of this being used on lawns and landscapes.

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Intersex fish and cocaine shrimp

Scientists lay the blame for these strange phenomena on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pharmaceutical compounds, such as pesticides, medications, and even common household products like shampoo.

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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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A crack in the rock & a beach in the forest

Crystal Spring Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) in Scandia was established just four years ago. It contains a crystalline spring that pours out of the side of a rock wall, deep in an emerald chasm.

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What goes down, must come up

Ask anyone with young kids and they’ll tell you about the strain of parenting in COVID times. With schools, summer camps, and daycare closed, we dance a wiggly cha cha as we attempt to somehow do a full day’s work while simultaneously caring for stir-crazy children who’ve been stuck at home since March.  This summer,…

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Green Lands, Blue Waters – A new menu for Minnesota farmers?

Do you like Kernza® and jam? Would you eat it in a boat? Would you eat it with a goat? Would you try it drenched in milk, ground to flour, or brewed as beer? Kansas-based nonprofit, The Land Institute, has spent more than 40 years researching and developing new farming strategies to protect soil and…

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Underground and out of mind?

November 13 workshop will address septic systems, private wells, and other groundwater topics Nearly 140 years ago, Minneapolis first began pumping from the Mississippi River to provide drinking water for the city’s growing population. At the time, the river was a dumping ground for human sewage, garbage, and carcasses from the local slaughterhouses. Thousands of…

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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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Land wanted – Must have bugs

I’m standing in the middle of a prairie making a conference call on my cellphone because that’s what working moms do. Every few minutes, I catch a glimpse of my son as he lopes into view, diving into the bee balm and through the black-eyed susans. Then suddenly he appears directly in front of me and,…

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Tip-toeing through the Tamaracks

If you sit very quietly in the middle of a tamarack fen and close your eyes, you can hear a goose honking in the distance, a red-winged blackbird trilling from the cattails, and 24 little kids, desperately trying to be still. Woodbury’s Tamarack Nature Preserve is the southern-most tamarack swamp in Minnesota and a jewel…

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