Congrats to Jonn Olson, Friend of Martin Lake!

Friend of Martin Lake 2024 recipient Jonn Olson (center) with Martin Lakers Association President John Mattila (right) and Vice President Mike Smith (left).

Jonn Olson was the recipient of the annual "Friend of Martin Lake" award at the May 2024 annual meeting of the Martin Lakers Association. Jonn, along with the Linwood Township maintenance crew, was instrumental during spring 2023 flooding. They helped ensure water continued to flow when bogs were threatening to clog water structures. Jonn is a Linwood Township Supervisor and member of the Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization. The Friend of Martin Lake award originated in the early 2000's, when ACD presented it to the Martin Lakers Association. It has been a traveling annual award ever since.

For more information contact Jamie Schurbon, Watershed Project Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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ACD Host Chainsaw Training

This past month, ACD and partner staff completed an 8 hour chainsaw safety training course. The skills and safety tips learned will be applied while clearing large buckthorn, cutting cedar trees for streambank stabilization projects, and while addressing other natural resource concerns that come our way. Winter is an ideal time to cut or trim oak and ash trees without the high risk of spreading oak wilt and emerald ash borer diseases. If you plan to cut trees on your property this season, remember the following tree felling rules:

Hazards- Survey the area to identify and remove any potential hazards.
Hinge- Create a hinge for safe and predictable felling. See an example notch here.
Escape- Have 2 escape routes at 45 degrees from your cutting direction.
Lean- Analyze the tree from all angles to ensure you understand its weight distribution and lean direction.
Plan- Have a plan to complete a safe and predictable cut. Click here to learn how to execute the bore cut.

Having the right training and equipment can spare you from serious harm when using a chainsaw. Take the time to educate yourself on proper safety equipment and risk management strategies. Safe cutting! You can read a description of the training course here or contact Logan Olson, Restoration Technician, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Living Large on a Small Lake

Minnesota boasts an impressive 12,208 lakes, as classified by the Minnesota DNR. Among them, 8,402, or roughly 69%, are classified as 'natural environment lakes.' Anoka County is home to several natural environment lakes including Fawn, South Coon, and Island Lakes.

What defines a natural environment lake? These are the smaller, shallower lakes, typically less than 150 acres in size and less than 15 feet deep. They come with numerous developmental constraints and are particularly sensitive to disturbance. With lakeshore properties in high demand across Minnesota, many natural environment lakes are now being earmarked for development. However, it's important to note that the lakeshore experience offered by these lakes might not align with the typical desires for boating or swimming that potential buyers often have.

Learn more about natural lakes on November 8th through a webinar featuring Joe Bischoff, an aquatic ecologist at Barr Engineering Co. Joe will delve into the intricacies and benefits of natural environment lakes. Additionally, some of the ongoing local conservation efforts to monitor and protect natural environment lakes will be highlighted.

Register today at tinyurl.com/small-lakes

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Root Weevils Released at Anoka Nature Preserve for Biocontrol

At the beginning of August, we released 100 root boring weevils to help control a population of spotted knapweed at the Anoka Nature Preserve (ANP), in the City of Anoka. Spotted knapweed is an invasive plant native to Eurasia that is spreading across Minnesota. It releases a toxin that threatens nearby plants, giving it the tools to outcompete and dominate, and thereby decreasing biodiversity. 

Root boring weevils are a method of biocontrol that target knapweed without affecting surrounding native plants. As larvae, root weevils burrow into the roots of spotted knapweed and feed on them throughout winter and spring, leaving the plants dead or weakened. The weevils we released at ANP were adults who will lay their eggs at the base of the plants through early fall and hopefully begin to weaken the population of spotted knapweed within the preserve.

ANP was a promising candidate for root weevils biocontrol because the site has a large, dense population of spotted knapweed, and the weevils will not be disturbed by mowing or other land management activities. It can take several years to see the effects of the weevils, and the site will be monitored to see if they have been established. The weevils were provided by Monika Chandler from the MN Department of Agriculture, who delivered them in a sealed paper cup where they were kept refrigerated or in a portable cooler until the time of their release later in the afternoon. 

Article and photos provided by Sally Herman, Seasonal Technician with ACD  

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Shallow Lakes Don’t “Stink”

Okay – the decay of organic materials in oxygen-poor shallow waters doesn't smell great. While this can worsen when nutrient pollution triggers excess algae growth, it is an otherwise natural process. Odor is a small price to pay for the vast benefits we receive from shallow lakes and wetlands; they retain floodwater and pollutants present in runoff, recharge groundwater, and provide fish and wildlife habitat that supports bountiful opportunities for hunting, fishing, bird-watching, and other outdoor recreation.

For many, the word "lake" triggers a vision of clear and deep water ideal for swimming and boating. However, over 5,000 of Minnesota's lakes larger than 50 acres are actually shallow lakes that are less than 15 feet deep and dominated by wetland habitat. In shallow lakes, sunlight reaching the lakebed, combined with readily available nutrients, increases the growth of aquatic plants. Shallow water also allows for more abundant emergent vegetation such as bulrush and  cattails, which can extend well beyond the shoreline and even become dominant, especially during periods of drought. Mucky lakebed conditions are produced as large quantities of organic materials die, settle to the bottom, and decompose over time.

Shallow lakes can exist in one of two states: clear or turbid. Clear shallow lakes are dominated by submerged vegetation, which often grows densely and can reach the water's surface. These aquatic plants are a source of food and habitat for fish and wildlife such as amphibians, waterfowl, and invertebrates at the base of both aquatic and terrestrial food webs. On the flip side, turbid shallow lakes are dominated by algae, which clouds up the water and restricts the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation. Turbid lakes typically support fewer fish and wildlife due to the lack of habitat provided by aquatic plants. 

Depiction of a clear, plant-dominated shallow lake versus a turbid, algae- dominated shallow lake. Image credit: Martin Scheffer, 2001.

Many shallow lakes are impacted by human activity, particularly those that are on the receiving end of stormwater and agricultural drainage networks. However, even the most impacted shallow lakes  are still valuable and can surprise us, as the recent plant inventory of Highland Lake in Columbia Heights proved when an uncommon pondweed species was found.

Check out MNDNR Shallow Lakes Program for more information about shallow lakes. Also, here's a great video produced by Ramsey- Washington Metro Watershed District about Minnesota's shallow lakes.

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Disposing of Household Hazardous Waste

Unusable or unwanted chemicals are considered hazardous waste when their disposal poses an environmental or health threat. When disposed of in the garbage, down the drain or on the ground, some household chemicals can threaten our environment, harm garbage collectors or hurt you. Most household hazardous wastes are hazardous because they are flammable, corrosive or toxic.

Characteristic words indicate the type of hazard posed by a product - flammable, corrosive or toxic. Look for the signal words on the label. Signal words - caution, warning, danger, poison - indicate the product's degree of hazard. The facility accepts household hazardous waste from residents of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties. Businesses, schools and other organizations may NOT use the HHW facility. There is no charge to use the site. Bring identification, such as a driver's license, as proof of residency.
For more information on hazardous waste, contact the Anoka County Hazardous Waste Facility. Below is a brief list of just some of the accepted household items.  

  • Aerosol Cans
  • Antifreeze
  • Driveway sealer
  • Fluorescent and HID bulbs and CFLs
  • Gasoline and other fuels
  • Household batteries (alkaline, lithium ion, cell phone, power tool
  • Lead and lead tackle
  • Mercury
  • Paint (liquid only)
  • Paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Propane tanks
  • Used motor oil
  • Used oil filters
  • Varnish
  • Wood preservatives
  • Other household products 

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Empowering Individuals Towards Sustainable Behavior

It can sometimes feel that the individual actions you make in your daily life cannot combat the massive environmental crisis facing our planet. The scale of action that needs to occur to curb climate change can feel overwhelming and give the impression that individual choices don't make a difference, so what's the point. This type of thinking is incorrect and unproductive. Although decisions we make as individuals may seem like a slow route to a more sustainable planet, these actions are what allow for larger scale social progress.

The MPCA developed an exceptional report: The Psychology of Sustainable Behavior, tips for empowering people to take environmentally positive action. This report focuses on the ideas behind why it is difficult for us as humans to change our behavior even when we know the negative environmental impacts. The MPCA provides insight into how to motivate and empower sustainable actions with the goal of creating social conditions where sustainable choices are the more appealing and natural choice. There are a few arguments to why individual sustainability matters and why it is a crucial component to overall social change.

  • "Small changes do add up." - When small changes are made by many individuals, or when one individual makes many small changes, it begins to add up to make a significant difference.
  • "Personal changes are the gateways to public change." - All the work put towards influencing individual change helps pave the way and provides the building blocks for future policy changes.
  • "Understanding individual motivations help create a new frame." - Gaining insight into how individuals think about environmental problems and sustainability provides the framework to develop new effective ways to talk about environmental issues and can engage a broader segment of the population.
  • "Individual change makes sustainable behavior normal." - The more that people see other people living a certain way and talking about things a certain way, the more they come to accept it as a normal way to be and live.

Check out the full MPCA report on influencing sustainable behavior below. 

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“Our Riverbank Connection” Animated Video

Recent extreme flooding has highlighted the dynamic and powerful nature of flowing water. If you live on a river or even a smaller stream, you've likely witnessed these characteristics and their impacts firsthand. With flood waters receding, now is a great time to assess the condition of your riverbank and consider stewardship and stabilization approaches that will help protect your property and the water you live on. Fortunately, we've created a brand new resource to help guide you through this process – the "Our Riverbank Connection" animated video!

Living by a creek, stream, or river provides many benefits and a unique opportunity to support water quality and wildlife. It also comes with some challenges such as erosion, which can eat away at your land over time. In this video, you will learn how to create a river-friendly lawn and riverbank that also protects your property by reducing or repairing losses from erosion. Video topics include:

  • Recommended lawn care practices
  • Signs of erosion and factors that may make your bank more susceptible to it
  • Creating a well-vegetated bank
  • Bank stabilization approaches to address active erosion
  • Project planning and construction – what to expect

Watch "Our Riverbank Connection" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et9wLuIrRuA

Want to learn more about streams and rivers and how you can help them, even if you don't live on their banks? Watch Part 1 of the "Our River" Installment – "Our River Connection" – here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdQEcmLyQJI 

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The Lasting Impact of Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

The Anoka Conservation District (ACD) has been a long-time partner of Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa (CCMI) and this tradition continues in 2023. This year, ACD was awarded 32 CCMI crew days to be used towards implementing streambank stabilization practices along the Rum River in Anoka County. Crews are deployed, a week or more at a time, to a specific project site. ACD will act as the project host to coordinate projects, provide equipment and materials, and utilize ACD's expertise for extensive on-site training and education.

The majority of Corpsmembers are recent college graduates and these field crew positions provide members the opportunity to learn how soil and water conservation districts and other professional organizations operate. ACD strives to provide in-depth training on project installation, project goals, site identification, and touch on other critical aspects of a project. Additionally, extensive time in the field allows ACD staff get to know the Corpsmembers and contribute insight into their professional development and growth within their career path.

CCMI field crews serve the greater outdoors by restoring habitat, managing natural resources, and occasionally responding to natural disasters or emergency needs of a community. The Field Crew program prioritizes personal and professional growth while teaching hands-on conservation skills in the field. Corpsmembers develop technical skills throughout their term while completing challenging and impactful conservation projects. Many projects are performed in partnership with public land management agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources, US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, cities, counties, and trail associations.

Working in a field crew blends hard work, community service, and environmental stewardship while also gaining additional life-long skills. Corpsmembers often have a transformational experience during their term, leaving them feeling more prepared for whatever comes next. 

Visit the Conservation Corps website to learn more about the organization and available career opportunities. 

https://conservationcorps.org/programs/field-crews/ 

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Minnesota Gets New LiDAR Data

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. The landscape is mapped by laser pulses projected from a low-flying airplane. These pulses bounce back to a sensor which records the location of the airplane, the angle of the pulse, and the time it takes the light to bounce back. Using that information, the system is able to create a point cloud of the landscape. This point cloud is then converted into modeled surface of the ground called a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). This model can be used to map terrain features like water flow paths and drainage areas, geologic features, infrastructure, and many others.

The first generation of LiDAR data in Minnesota was collected from 2008-2012. Since then, the landscape has changed in untold ways, and technology has dramatically improved for collecting more dense and accurate data. Because of this, the 3D Geomatics Committee of the State's Geospatial Advisory Council set out to coordinate the collection of Generation 2 LiDAR in Minnesota. This effort is currently underway in partnership with the USGS as the lead data collection entity nationally, and counties and other local partners as the ultimate data recipients. Generation 2 LiDAR data collection started in 2021. Anoka County data was collected in 2022, and will be available in 2023.

This new data will allow us to map watercourses, drainage areas, and floodways in much higher resolution and with more accurate and recent data from the landscape. We'll also be able to assess eroding slopes like those along riverbanks for height, steepness, and stability without having to traverse them with survey gear. Because the new data is so robust, it is also opening up possibilities for forestry and vegetation surveys, very detailed mapping of infrastructure, and untold uses yet to be implemented or even thought of.

For more information about this incredibly useful public data, visit the Minnesota LiDAR Hub online at: https://lidarhub-minnesota.hub.arcgis.com/ 

LiDAR produced Digital Elevation Model (DEM) left, aerial photography right, along a river in Minnesota.
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Garlic Mustard Pull at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard Pull at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
May 16th, from 9:00 am - 11:00 am


Join ACD and Cedar Creek staff to remove an invasive Garlic Mustard patch from the interior of Cedar Creek property. Bring bug spray, water bottle, long pants and hiking boots as we walk to the site. Utilize this on-hands training to learn more about how to identify and remove garlic mustard.

Work tools and other supplies will be provided.

For more information visit the event page or contact
Carrie Taylor at 763-434-2030 ext. 190 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Lunch with a Scientist Series

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
May 9th from 11:30 – 1:00

Carrie Taylor, Restoration Ecologist with the Anoka Conservation District, will discuss how to identify and control invasive species. 
Come in person or join online. In-person attendees will also complete a short hike at the Cedar Creek Science Reserve.

For more information visit the event page or contact Carrie Taylor at 763-434-2030 ext. 190 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
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SHORELINE STABILIZATION PRESENTATION

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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Anoka-Ramsey Community College provides helping hands for rare plants and rare habitats

ACD staff have been collaborating with Professor Kristen Genet to create hands-on learning opportunities for an Anoka-Ramsey Community College Ecology class. The class learned about rare plants, rare habitats and the invasive species that threaten them, and provided service through their learning. The class got out to plant native grasses and wildflowers to create a dry prairie pollinator garden in a Coon Rapids park. They also conducted rare plant surveys to help guide rare plant rescue planting densities and removed buckthorn that was starting to grow into areas with rare plants. Thanks to Kristen Genet and students for all their contributions!  

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The Oxbows of the Rum River

The Rum River in Isanti County


When allowed to wander freely, rivers flowing throughout a gently sloped landscape form a snakelike meandering path. This occurs as the fastest moving waters erode banks along the outer bends, and slower moving waters deposit sediment along the inner bends. Over many years, these processes cause the meanders to curve more intensely, causing the river to eventually loop back onto itself and cut a straight path through the narrow slice of land that remains. Now disconnected from the river, the C-shaped meander scar is called an oxbow.

To watch these processes in action, check out this video: Why Do Rivers Curve?

A quick glance at aerial imagery reveals numerous oxbow wetlands alongside the Rum River. They are rich in plant and animal life, serving as a "nursery" for fish, invertebrates, and amphibians in their early life stages while providing habitat for countless migratory bird species. These oxbows also improve water quality and reduce flooding by capturing water and the contaminants it carries following large storm events.

To learn more about the importance of oxbow wetlands and their utility in water resource management, read the Nature Conservancy's article on the topic here: What is an Oxbow? 

Aerial photos of a Rum River meander in Ramsey captured in 1991, 2003, and 2021 (left-right). Notice the increasingly thin sliver of land at the base of the curve, which eventually transitions to a river cut-through.
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The Rules of Recreational Boating

Recreational boating has do's and don'ts and an overall etiquette accepted behavior on and around the water. Best boating practices are about safe behavior, as well as what's socially accepted. Here are the top 10 rules to respectful boating developed by the Minnesota DNR to help you navigate the boating world.

  1. Respect the ramp. Good boating etiquette starts before you enter the water - at the dock. Prepare your boat and equipment before getting into position to launch. Anything else is disrespectful to fellow boaters.
  2. Own your wake. The fastest way to make the wrong kinds of waves is to literally throw a big, obtrusive wave at another boat, swimmer, angler or shoreline owner. This is much more than being a nuisance or disrupting others' experience on the water. It's dangerous to those unable to tolerate a large wake. Stay at least 200 feet from the shoreline and other boaters.
  3. Keep the tunes in check. Sound is amplified over the water, so keep the music at a decent level. Not only is it a disturbance to others but the operator may not hear the spotter.
  4. Pack in. Pack out. Seems like common sense, right? Yet shorelines are still lined with trash being thrown overboard. Take care of the body of water you love and dispose of any trash you have. Do not throw it overboard!
  5. Slow your roll. Does the body of water you're on have a speed limit or slow-no-wake restriction? It's your responsibility to know it and respect it. You are responsible for any damage you cause to other people's property.
  6. Rules of the road. Become familiar with waterway markers and navigation rules, which dictate how you operate your vessel in order to prevent collision.
  7. Be prepared. If you are the captain, you need to be prepared with the safety rules for your craft and make your guests aware as well. Know state and local laws for the body of water you're on. Set a good example by always wearing a life jacket and have enough life jackets for each person onboard. Beyond that, make sure to have the appropriate fit.
  8. Fuel and go. At the fuel dock, get fuel, pay your bill and move out of the way. If you need to buy additional supplies, relocate your boat. Don't forget to run your blower before starting.
  9. Anchoring and mooring. Enter an anchorage or mooring area at a slow speed. Don't create a wake that will disrupt other anchored boats. The first boat sets the tone. Mimic how they tie off, how much line you use and how much distance you allow between you and other boats. The busier the boat, the more space you should give yourself.
  10. Be polite – give a wave. When passing another boat, give a little wave hello. Boating is all about having fun and being part of the boating community. Embrace it, enjoy it, and share it for generations to come.

Remember, these are guidelines and should not serve as a replacement for learning the rules, regulations and laws for your local body of water. Whether you're a novice or veteran boater, learn more by taking a boating safety course. 

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Rain Gardens in the City of Fridley

Six rain gardens are being installed at residential lots in the Rice Creek Terrace neighborhood in the City of Fridley. These rain gardens are being placed at high priority locations to intercept and treat stormwater before it enters Rice Creek. The locations were identified during a Lower Rice Creek Stormwater Retrofit Analysis conducted by ACD in partnership with the City and the Rice Creek Watershed District. The rain gardens are being funded by the RCWD's water quality cost share program and the City of Fridley. Landowners have all agreed to long-term maintenance of the gardens to ensure optimal and continuing stormwater treatment. 

A rain garden under construction in the Rice Creek Terrace neighborhood, City of Fridley

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. All six rain gardens will be vegetated with native plants to maximize infiltration and provide the co-benefit of pollinator habitat. Additionally, one rain garden will be located immediately adjacent to a trail entrance into Locke County Park, providing an excellent public education opportunity.

Watch for additional updates as construction is finalized. To see other rain gardens already installed throughout Anoka County, please see the virtual project tour on ACD's website. 

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Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Trainings

If you are looking to develop your knowledge of the outdoors this summer, consider the Minnesota Outdoors Skills and Stewardship webinar series being offered by the Minnesota DNR. The webinars take place every Wednesday through the month of August and are less than an hour long. These training webinars are structured towards the general public and can be beneficial for someone who is brand new to a topic or for someone who is experienced but is looking for a refresher. Each weekly webinar covers a different topic. Topics range from "Forging on the North Shore" and "How to Harvest Wild Rice" to "New Deer Regulations" and "Smallmouth Bass River Fishing".

This training series is unique because attendees get the opportunity to learn from some of the top professionals in the state who are leading experts within their field. For people who are busy, this is a great way to learn new skills without having to commit a ton of time and resources. You can also access previously recorded webinars providing you hours of fantastic resources.

Sign up today and give one a try! Follow the link below to view the upcoming training schedule and get access to past webinars.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishwildlife/outreach/index.html 

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Biomonitoring with Area High Schools

Each spring and fall, ACD staff teaches area high school students about collecting macroinvertebrates to track water quality in Anoka County streams. This lesson is educational and fun for students, while providing ACD with data to track water quality over time through the streams' biota. Biological organisms that can be used to track the health of the environment they live in are called biological indicators (or bioindicators for short).

Macroinvertebrates, the larval forms of many common insects, are a great biological indicator for stream health in particular. They also live in lakes and wetlands. Many people don't realize that common insects like dragonflies, mayflies, black flies, and many others spend the majority of their lives as larval forms in the water. These larvae have varying tolerance levels to pollution, meaning some need very clean water to survive, while others can survive in either clean or polluted water. By tracking the populations of these organisms over time, we can gauge changes in water quality by assessing population shifts and known tolerance levels. This provides a valuable supplemental dataset to water quality samples collected periodically. Because these organisms spend months to years in the water, they give a more comprehensive long term look at water quality than water samples collected at random times can alone. 

Anoka High School students sorting through Rum River samples for macroinvertebrates, May 2022

For the past 24 years, ACD has partnered with numerous schools and groups in Anoka County to collect macroinvertebrates. We currently partner with the Upper and Lower Rum River Watershed Management Organizations, the St. Francis American Legion, and the Rice Creek Watershed District to fund this monitoring with classes from four schools. Anoka High School and St. Francis High School classes monitor the Rum River near their schools, Totino-Grace High School classes monitor Rice Creek in Fridley, and the Forest Lake Area Learning Center monitors Clearwater Creek in Centerville. We also plan to take a new class from Blaine High School out in the fall of 2022 to monitor Coon Creek in Coon Rapids.

Over time, this program has taught thousands of Anoka County students about stream water quality, biological indicators, and work in the environmental sciences, all while getting them out of the classroom and into a stream. 

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New Outreach Collaborative Builds Lasting Partnerships in Anoka County

Investment in water education is vital for the continued health of the environment and people. By building strong new partnerships, the Water Resource Outreach Collaborative (WROC) in Anoka County is doing just that.

The purpose of this shared outreach and engagement partnership is to inform community residents, businesses, staff, and decision-makers about issues affecting local waterbodies and groundwater resources. Through enhancement of existing outreach programming and collaborative development of new programming, WROC engages people in activities and individual behavior changes that will positively impact the health of our surface and groundwater.

Through collaboration, WROC partners are able to maximize the effectiveness of their water outreach. Partners benefit from regular resource sharing, consistent messaging, and reduced duplication of effort. Outreach efficiency is maximized because partners are able to pool their resources to develop professional materials with minimal financial stress on any one organization. Many water health outreach topics are common between partners, so having a centralized group to facilitate delivery of those topics has proven vital. Finally, through increased communication between partners, there is greater cross-coordination and promotion of events, thus extending the reach of individual partner programs.

Since January 2019, Anoka County's Water Resource Outreach Collaborative has created new resources including a Conservation Resource Library and a brochure, display, and animated video on groundwater. In addition, the Collaborative has had a presence at 40 community outreach events throughout the county and facilitated or collaborated with partners to host 22 workshops, presentations, and trainings. Notable activities from the past year include presenting to over 630 5th graders in 7 schools in the county, hosting the best-attended private well and septic system training in with 58 attendees compared to 8-12 attendees in previous years, and hosting two smart salting trainings for 85 road maintenance staff from several previously untrained municipalities including Oak Grove, Columbus, Nowthen, Linwood Township, St. Francis, and Ramsey.

In the future, the Anoka County Water Resource Outreach Collaborative will continue partnering to reach new and diverse audiences with messages of water health and conservation. The WROC partnership is an investment in the future of water education in our area. Prioritizing public education is critical to empowering everyone to act as water stewards and create a healthier world for future generations.

The Water Resource Outreach Collaborative (WROC) is a fledgling partnership of cities and watershed management organizations in Anoka County dedicated to working together for efficient and effective public education about water health in our area. It is currently funded with a Watershed Based Funding grant through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and is facilitated by the Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, Emily Johnson, who works out of the Anoka Conservation District office. Contact Emily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Learn more here: Water Resource Outreach Collaborative

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