Stormwater Pond Enhancement - Construction Begins Soon

Apex Pond in the City of Fridley was originally constructed in 1999 to help control the rate of stormwater runoff entering Springbrook Creek from nearly 90 acres of residential neighborhoods. ACD, in partnership with the City of Fridley and Coon Creek Watershed District (CCWD) identified an opportunity to enhance the water quality treatment capacity of Apex Pond by increasing the pond's storage volume.

Project construction will consist of two phases: 1) maintain the pond by removing accumulated sediment and undesirable vegetation to restore original function, and 2) enhance the pond by increasing the depth to approximately six feet. Mature trees around the pond will be preserved where possible and native vegetation will be used to restore the pond side slopes. A vegetated, level bench will also be incorporated around the perimeter of the pond to provide habitat value and increase safety.

Both Springbrook Creek (County Ditch #17) and the Mississippi River will benefit from the project as the pond outlets to Springbrook, and Springbrook is a tributary to the Mississippi. Total annual reductions to Springbrook and the Mississippi River include 16.80 lbs-TP/yr and 6,617 lbs-TSS/yr. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in early October.

Pond maintenance will be funded by the City of Fridley, and pond enhancement will be funded with a combination of Watershed Based Implementation Funds from the Board of Water and Soil Resources, a CCWD Water Quality Cost-Share Program grant, and the City of Fridley.

You can also check for project updates on the City of Fridley's website: 

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Happy 1st Birthday Rain Gardens

Six curb-cut rain gardens were installed approximately one-year ago and have been capturing runoff and its associated pollutants ever since. With each rainfall, runoff flowing in the street gutter is redirected into the rain gardens via a cut in the curb. Following a rain event, the water that enters the rain gardens is able to soak into the ground, which better mimics the natural hydrology before impervious surfaces (e.g. roofs, driveways, roads, etc.) and storm sewers directed runoff directly to Rice Creek. The rain gardens are able to store water and are filled with native species that were carefully selected for the site-specific conditions (e.g. light, soil type, and moisture).

Cumulatively, the six rain gardens are estimated to infiltrate 455,000 gallons of water, as well as remove 605 pounds of sediment and two pounds of phosphorus loading to Rice Creek annually. The native plants help to maximize infiltration and provide the co-benefit of pollinator habitat. One additional rain garden is located adjacent to a trail entrance into Locke County Park, providing an excellent public education opportunity.

These rain gardens were installed in partnership with the landowners, the City of Fridley, and the Rice Creek Watershed District. ACD provided design services and construction oversight.  

The rain garden shown in the pictures below was planted last summer and as you can see, it didn't look like much at the time. Now, it looks beautiful and is full of flowers which pollinators love! This rain garden captures curbside runoff from 6.5 acres of neighborhood which previously went untreated to the Rum River. The native plant's roots create channels through the soil and reduce compaction, ensuring a maximum amount of water can infiltrate into the ground. The homeowners who worked with ACD to make this rain garden a reality, kept weeds at bay, and provided irrigation for the new plants during drought conditions!

Project funding was from the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy amendment, and the Lower Rum River Watershed Management Organization. To see other rain gardens installed throughout Anoka County, please see the virtual project tour on ACD's website.

For more information on rain gardens in Anoka County contact Mitch Haustein at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 763.434.2030 x150

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Approximately 1,500 feet of severely eroding riverbank in Mississippi River Community Park was stabilized in late 2021. The project included tree clearing, bank reshaping, riprap, erosion control blanket, seeding, and planting of a variety of native plant species.

Since installation, the site has been subjected to high water in 2022 and 2023. Both the riprap on the lower elevations of the bank and the vegetation on the upper elevations have successfully stabilized the site.

Moving forward, you may observe some vegetation maintenance to help the native species establish. Some examples include supplemental planting of native species and mowing to a height of approximately 6" to limit weed species from dispersing seed.

The project was funded by a Clean Water Fund grant, a Watershed Based Funding grant, and match from the City of Anoka. 

For more information about the project contact Mitch Haustein at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 763.434.2030 x150

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Data collection on the Rum River.

ACD staff have been testing the use of sonar to aid with the design of shoreline stabilization projects.

Lake and river bottom elevations are often required when designing projects. Collecting these bottom elevations manually with survey equipment often pose safety risks, limits resolution, and can be time consuming. Automated collection of underwater elevation data is possible with readily available sonar technology and post-processing services. Manually collecting data at the same resolution is infeasible.

A fishing depth finder and transducer combination with active mapping capabilities is necessary for data collection. The equipment can be configured in a portable setup for use in a kayak, canoe, or motorized boat to enable data collection on a variety of waterbodies (e.g. stormwater ponds, lakes, or the Mississippi River). While idling or paddling around the area of interest, data is collected and stored on a memory card and then uploaded to a third-party software for post-processing.

Technology limitations still remain, but the end products provide a picture of the underwater landscape through a variety of file types that are useful for project design, mapping, and inventory work. 

For more information contact Mitch Haustein at 763.434.2030 ext. 150 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Anoka Conservation District staff were invited to provide a presentation at the annual Stearns County Shoreland Workshop. The workshop is required for contractors conducting shoreland work in Stearns County to ensure an understanding of permit requirements and best practices. Stormwater and Shoreland Specialist, Mitch Haustein, provided a 45-minute presentation to approximately 120 attendees. Topics included site prioritization, funding, partnering with landowners, design, permitting, bidding, construction, project closeout, and establishment and maintenance. Lessons learned were also shared throughout the presentation. The presentation was very well received by attendees.

ACD Contact: Mitch Haustein,  763.434.2030 x150, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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