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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Feedback from local communities helps to shape Lower St. Croix 10-Year Watershed Plan

Learn more: Feb. 20 in North Branch or March 2 in Stillwater Over the past two years, 15 local government partners in Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington Counties have been working to create a shared watershed plan to guide collaborative work in the Lower St. Croix region for the next 10 years. Known as…

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2020 Brings $1.9 Million in New Clean Water Funds to the Lower St. Croix area

On January 22, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources approved $13.9 million in Clean Water Fund grants to improve water quality in lakes, streams, and groundwater aquifers across the state. Forest Lake emerged as a big winner in this round of funding, with the Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District securing two…

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Nurturing the Wild

Design with Nature Conference: Sat., Feb. 29 in St. Paul “What is that over there?” “It’s the wild,” said the mole. “Don’t fear it.” “Imagine how we would be if we were less afraid.” – Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse A friend gave us a new book for Christmas…

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St. Croix River impairment underscores need for continued work

Three weeks ago, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced its intention to declare a stretch of the St. Croix River from Taylor’s Falls to Stillwater impaired due to excess phosphorus. In the wake of this news, many local residents have asked who is to blame and what can be done to restore our treasured…

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Enjoying the St. Croix River and working to keep it clean

Picture, if you will, a woman serenely paddling down the St. Croix River on a standup paddleboard with a boy and a dog balanced on either end. The sun is warm, the water is calm, and all is right with the world.     Level: Expert Total time to complete: 5 hours   Instructions Step 1: Pack your car the night before. (No –…

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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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2019 Brings New Funding for Local Clean Water Work

In 2008, Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to protect and support clean water, healthy habitat, vibrant arts and culture, and beloved parks and trails. Over the past ten years, a sales tax increase of 0.375% has generated more than $2.5 billion, $860 million of which has been used to fund…

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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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