April 4, 2020
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April 1, 2020
​Minnesotans are staying at home for two weeks in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19 throughout our communities. However, as the spring sun shines and the snow melts away, many are taking advantage of an important exception to the rule and enjoying a walk in their neighborhoods.
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January 28, 2020
​“Three years ago, if you had told me that I could reduce salt and increase safety, I wouldn’t have believed it,” said Nick Queensland, ground maintenance supervisor at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic. Over the past year, despite one of the snowiest winters on record, he has done just that. Smart salting has substantially reduced his use of rock salt across the Mayo’s 15 miles of sidewalks and 110 acres of paved surfaces. Reducing salt use has helped the environment and the Mayo’s bottom line.
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January 2, 2020
If you take a walk around the streets of White Bear Lake, you might be lucky enough to see a class of fourth-graders from Frassati Catholic Academy singing a song. No, it’s not a Christmas carol they’re singing, it’s a new song in honor of the four storm drains adopted by their school.
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December 5, 2019
In slippery Minnesota winters, safety is certainly the top concern. But over salting sidewalks and parking lots doesn’t provide extra safety, it just damages property and pollutes water. The Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission is launching a “Salt Smart” educational campaign (saltsmart.info) aimed at local establishments about how to keep areas safe using the correct amount of salt.
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November 20, 2019
As leaves fall and the weather turns brisk, Minnesotans know all too well that winter is fast approaching. That thick layer of colorful leaves might be hiding another problem for our streets and waterways: litter.
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October 25, 2019
River Park is one of sixty parks in Brooklyn Park, but it’s the only one that touches the Mississippi River. Within its 42 acres, the landscape includes restored prairie, wetland, and woodlands that border the river.
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September 10, 2019
Has your doctor cautioned you (or a family member) to reduce salt intake? Sadly, despite your best efforts to scrutinize food labels, you may not to avoid some of the salt in your diet unless community-wide efforts are taken to reduce winter over-salting. Surprisingly, some of your salt intake may be coming from your water, not just your food. Thirty percent of metro area drinking water supplies have levels of salt (aka chloride) that exceed water quality standards. These chlorides reach our water supplies through storm water runoff. As snow and ice melt off hard surfaces, salty water runs into storm drains that flow into lakes, streams, wetlands, and seeps into groundwater. Once the salt is dissolved in water, there is no practical way to get the salt out of the water. That means, the best remedy for keeping our drinking water clean is prevention.
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September 4, 2019
Would you consider volunteering 15 minutes, twice a month, for cleaner waterways and healthier communities? Perhaps it sounds like a commitment that small couldn’t make a big impact, but, surprisingly, the simple act of keeping a storm drain clear of debris has a significant impact on our waters. Amazingly, just one pound of phosphorus—locked up in leaves in grass clippings—creates 500 pounds of algae when it gets washed to our lakes and creeks through storm drains! So, it’s easy to understand the significance of this small task.
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August 26, 2019
​In the middle of the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary, a 10’ by 10’ meter plot of ankle-height vegetation is bursting with life. This small section of the 510-acre sanctuary is home to nearly 100 species of plants, including rare and state-endangered species such as lance leaf violets, sundews, and twisted yellow-eyed grass. Thanks to the foresight of Jason Husveth from Critical Connections Ecological Services, the City of Blaine has embarked on a long-term wetland restoration project that’s reviving a landscape nearly lost to time.
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