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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Upcoming water workshops highlight new resources for teachers and hands-on lessons for kids

Dear Ms. Haydon and Hong: Thank you for the field trip. I think it was ok that we got lost but everyone makes mistakes. I learned a lot about nature and where the water flows and all about different waters and rivers and lakes. I hope you have a great time and have fun exploring…

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A New Bridge and Better Habitat Along the Mississippi River

This fall, Washington County and South Washington Watershed District are constructing a new bridge in Grey Cloud Township that will finally restore the natural water flow in Grey Cloud Slough and help to flush out sediment and nutrients that have accumulated over the past 50 years.

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Tracing Lazy Circles in the Sand

Forty species of mussels live in the St. Croix, including five that are listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act: the Higgin’s eye, sheepnose, snuffbox, spectaclecase and winged mapleleaf.

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Gray Skies Got You Down? Turn up the Volume.

The Mississippi River is a flyway for 60% of all the birds in North America and 320 species of birds migrate through the St. Croix River Valley.

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