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.

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To Bison or to Monet?

Washington County Parks is haying the prairie at Pine Point Regional Park to imitate natural processes that would occur if the land were being grazed by bison.

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New trails highlight major changes at Lake Elmo Park Reserve

This year, Washington County launched a major transformation at Lake Elmo Park Reserve, aided in part by a grant from the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund. The park has added a new parking lot and entrance off of Inwood Ave., created new trails, and began work to restore 166 acres of prairie and oak savanna. On the east side of the park near the Nordic Center, Washington County added 2.2 miles of new ski trails.

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Boy Scouts and Water Stewards help to create outdoor classrooms in Woodbury

South Washington Watershed District created its Campus Greening program two years ago to encourage schools and other large campuses to think holistically about how they can meet stormwater management requirements when expanding buildings and parking areas. At the Lake and Middleton campus, South Washington County Schools (District 844) worked with SWWD to convert 15 acres of turf to prairie, plant 200 trees, and create the two new outdoor classrooms.

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Transformation underway at Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Washington County secured funding through the Outdoor Heritage Fund to restore and improve 166 acres of prairie and oak savanna at Lake Elmo Park Reserve around Eagle Point Lake and in the north end of the park.

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Gophers and muskrats, oh why?

In a native planting or restored prairie, however, gophers should be considered a friend. Yes, the prairie will be bumpy instead of flat, but nature tends to be that way.

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Give me a home where the butterflies roam

On May 11, 1858, the United States of America welcomed its 32nd state to the union – 18 million acres of prairie, 21 million acres of wetlands, 31.5 million acres of forests, and 11,842 lakes, now lovingly known as Minnesota. Over the years, Minnesota has grown and prospered. Settlers drained wetlands to make way for…

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Putting Down Roots in the Prairie

The roots of the leadplant chart a course toward the center of the earth. Thirsty and longing for stability, they branch, spread and burrow further and further into the soil. Encountering a rock or a flat pan of clay, they will pause, turn, and then continue their travels laterally. In sandy soils, where rainwater is…

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Training the next generation to be “Keepers of the Trees”

The sun shines on a May morning and 23 tiny children gather round, faces up-turned, smiling and eager to begin the day. Kim Lawler, a team leader with Tree Trust, and Joan Nichols, a Master Water Steward in-training, stand before the children with a young white oak that the students will soon plant in a…

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Bringing Nature Home

The Rambosek’s bought their home in 1980 when most of Woodbury was still corn fields and open space. Today, their prairie is an oasis of color and life.

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