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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Campus greening projects planned for Valley Crossing and Crestview Elementary Schools

At Valley Crossing in Woodbury, the school will convert 3.7 acres of turf to oak savanna and revitalize 7.15 acres of existing prairie on site. Crestview Elementary in Cottage Grove will restore 10 acres of degraded woodlands on campus and convert several areas of unused turf to prairie as well. The project is a partnership between South Washington Watershed District and South Washington County School District 833.

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Search for hidden treasure, and sometimes you find goats

Charlie and I excitedly watched our beacon move ever closer to the hidden cache as we hiked down a trail into the woods. 350 feet to go. 300 feet to go. 100 feet to go! Then we heard a plaintive bleat from behind the trees. Had I heard a goat?

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Meandering in the woods

There is an art to meandering in the woods. For Trout Brook and other naturalized streams, the “wiggles” allow for different types of habitat that fish need.

Sometimes people need a pause to wander in the woods as well.

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Ten years of hard work result in big accomplishments for local water, land, and wildlife

The clock strikes midnight as another page turns over on the calendar of life. Goodbye nameless decade; hello roaring ‘20s! This week many of us are thinking about changes in our lives over the past ten years – children born, loved ones lost, new homes, new jobs, vacations, and special events. In the conservation world,…

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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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Goldilocks forecasts the weather

“It should be cooling down to 95° by the time you get here, but we’re still in an extreme drought,” my dad lamented as we discussed my upcoming visit to Pueblo. The weather has been so hot and dry in Colorado this summer that people aren’t even allowed to smoke outside in many places, due…

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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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Planting a Monarch Mile, or Two

In Washington County, local partners have added nearly 20 acres of new pollinator plantings in the past two years, with 25 additional acres coming this year.

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Adapting to a Changing Climate (Or, the Importance of Wearing a Hat in the Rain)

I’ll never forget the time that I got lost running on the trails at Jay Cooke State Park in the pouring rain. My friends and I were up north for a 1980’s style girls-weekend camping trip (more on that another time) and I was training for my second Grandma’s Marathon. Early in the morning, I…

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