Debate over Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline floats quietly through the St. Croix River Valley

Since Aug. 5, Relay for Our Water participants have been transporting water from the Mississippi River headwaters through the state to protest construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline.

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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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River flowing, gathering tears

The Mississippi is like a woman with a basket on her back that grows heavier by the hour. Sometimes I think she gathers our tears as well, as she sweeps through burning cities and past people crying out for justice.

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Minnesota climatologists predict another year of major spring flooding

The National Weather Service and Minnesota Climatology Department are both predicting another wet spring with major flooding in 2020. There is a high chance of flooding on the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, as well as in lakes, ponds, farm fields, and low lying areas. Says Craig Schmidt, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service,…

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Spring flooding calls for lowered lake levels & volunteer sandbagging

As Minnesota and Wisconsin brace for major flooding along the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, many folks in Washington County have noticed that their driveways, roads and fields are already underwater. According to the National Weather Service, the St. Croix River has a 90% chance of reaching Major Flood Stage, which is 689 ft, and…

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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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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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Thankful for toilets that flush

‘Tis the season for gratitude, and this Thanksgiving I’m counting flushing toilets among my many blessings in life. What did people do before toilets were invented? Well, depending on where they lived, they either walked outside to use the outhouse in the freezing cold or did their business in a chamber pot and then dumped…

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South Washington Watershed District celebrates 25 years of flood prevention and habitat restoration

Volunteer event scheduled for Oct. 11 in Woodbury Three years ago, volunteers gathered in a wind-swept field on a rainy spring day to plant 3000 young oak trees for a future oak savanna. The site – located on the border between Woodbury and Cottage Grove – is part of a conservation corridor created by South…

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Stepping off the beaten path and into Mooer’s Park charm

For a big river, the Mississippi can be awfully hard to find. Though it traverses 21 miles of Washington County, from the City of Newport to the St. Croix River confluence in Hastings-Prescott, there are precious few places to access the water as it flows. To find the river here requires a road map and…

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