Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Sale

Order a Compost Bin & Rain Barrel

The Recycling Association of Minnesota has partnered with Green Lights Recycling (Blaine) to provide Anoka County residents with rain barrels and compost bins at low cost. For more information, call the Recycling Association of Minnesota at (651) 641-4589 or email beth@recycleminnesota.org

TO ORDER click here 

PICK UP your rain barrel and/or compost bin 4-7PM on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at:

Green Lights Recycling
10040 Davenport St NE, Blaine, MN 55449

Rain Catcher Rain Barrel ( $79 plus tax)

  • The large opening and flat back design allow for easy installation and placement of the downspout while the spoke and wheel pattern in the top of the barrel keeps it child and pet safe.
  • The overflow connection at the back of the barrel allows excess water to flow down and underneath the barrel to direct it away from foundations.
  • Spigots on the side of the barrel allow you to connect multiple Rain Catcher barrels in-series for easy expansion of your rain water storage capacity.
  • The aluminum mesh screen keeps out debris and mosquitoes to keep the water clear and keep your family safe from insect borne illnesses.

Place them around your home to catch fresh chlorine-free water as it pours from your downspouts – Water that would otherwise make its way into storm sewers only to be wasted. Rain barrels not only save you money but lessen the strain on water resources.

Home Composter Compost Bin $64 plus tax*

*Anoka County residents can get this bin for only $44 plus tax! To receive the discounted price, pre-order online at RecycleMinnesota.org and enter promo code Anoka.

• Made of sturdy, yet lightweight, 100% recycled plastic materials
• Two-piece construction for easy transporting and turning of materials
• Large capacity: 17 cu. ft.
• Wide opening at the top – easy to add and view materials
• Lockable lid to deter animals
• Sliding doors on each side to monitor status of compost

National Wildlife Week in Anoka County

National Wildlife Week (March 12th through the 16th) is designed around teaching and connecting kids to the awesome wonders of wildlife.

IN ANOKA COUNTY. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources oversees nearly twenty thousand acres (31 square miles) of land conserved within seven Wildlife Management Areas (WMA):

For more information contact the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or email info.dnr@state.mn.us.

The Anoka Conservation District encourages property owners to “branch out for wildlife” through their tree and shrub sale.  Click on the on-line ordering and payment webpage to see the variety of plants available or call ACD at (763) 434-2030.


Because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk isn’t just based on history, it’s also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to construction and development.

Although many floods are caused by huge storms like hurricanes, more floods occur every day from small, localized events, such as a typical afternoon thunderstorm. No matter where you live, it is important to remember that just a few inches of water in a home can cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Determine your Flood Risk at FloodSmart.gov  Is your property in a high risk or moderate to low risk area? Knowing your flood profile will help you understand your risk of financial loss. Simply enter your property address to see your relative risk, find links to flood maps, and other flood insurance community resources.

Flood maps determine your level of risk. You can also view current flood maps at FEMA’s Map Store. FEMA is producing new digitized flood maps for hundreds of communities. These new maps will reflect changes in floodplains caused by new development and natural forces.

Other Flood Precautions People Should Take
Being FloodSmart includes protecting your property before floods occur. Be sure that major appliances, electric switchboxes, outlets and heating equipment are well above potential flood levels. Install floating drain plugs and sewer system backflow valves to help prevent flood drain overflow.

Drinking water protection grants for small public systems

ANNOUNCEMENT (link). The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announces the availability of funding to support the protection of drinking water at noncommunity transient public water system (PWS) that include water wells that serve a restaurant, hotel or office building. Non-community transient systems serve at least 25 people at least 60 days of the year, but do not serve the same 25 people over that period of time. Source water protection activities that are funded under this grant program must support measures that address a potential contamination source that presents a high risk to a source of drinking water as determined by the Minnesota Department of Health.

GRANT AWARDS (link). The total amount of funding that is available under this notice is $75,000. The minimum amount for any grant is $250 and the maximum amount is $10,000 and requires an equal cost share. However, when more than one qualifying non-community transient PWS apply under the same grant request, the cap amount will be increased by as much as $10,000 for each additional PWS up to a maximum grant amount of $30,000.

ELIGIBILITY. A source water protection non-community transient competitive grant is intended to support implementation of the source water protection measures that address a potential source of contamination exhibiting a high risk that is recognized by MDH either 1) in a sanitary survey or 2) through corrective actions relating to monitoring for a contaminant that may result in an acute public health concern.

Applications for this grant program are accepted between Friday September 1, 2017 8:00 a.m. and Friday March 30, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT. Kris Wenner, Source Water Protection Grant Coordinator (Health.SWPgrants@state.mn.us) subject line of email:  Attention Kris Wenner.

25BY25 top concerns for water quality improvement

Governor Mark Dayton has released a report of the 25BY25 town hall meetings, held last year, that asked Minnesotans what are their top concerns about the state’s water quality. The report identifies nine main themes:

  • Education, communication and engagement
  • Reducing runoff by holding more water on the land
  • Working together across levels of government and with the public
  • Locally led watershed planning
  • Pollutants and drinking water
  • Salt pollution
  • Septic systems
  • Funding
  • Incentives and regulation

The Know The Flow website is a coordinated effort of Anoka County agencies, Cities, Watershed Management Organizations and non-government organizations to address local water challenges. Our water resources supply us with safe drinking water; healthy fish; and safe swimming beaches. The coordination of local agencies through these collaborative efforts improve the efficiency of the various programs by encouraging residents and landowners to use best methods to prevent water pollution and keep local water resources sustainable for the next generation.

Register for the 2018 Metro Area Children’s Water Festival

Attention Twin Cities 4th grade teachers!

Registration is open to attend the 2018 Metro Area Children’s Water Festival that will take place on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The Festival will include over 1,400 metropolitan area students (plus home-school students) to learn a most important lesson: WATER CONNECTS EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING ON EARTH.

The purpose of the festival is to raise participants understanding of how water makes everyday life possible. Through understanding the water cycle, and its importance to natural resources, participants learn to appreciate our natural environment and apply conservation measures for sustained water resources. Classes will be selected from the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

The 2018 annual Metro Area Children’s Water Festival is the 21st festival that is held on the last Wednesday of September. Over twenty-six thousand students have attended previous festivals. Many have children of their own. The sponsors of the Festival intend to develop a metropolitan community that recognizes the importance of clean and sustainable water resources.

4th Grade Standards. This festival is geared to fourth grade students to match the Minnesota Science Standards for water lessons that are part of the education benchmarks.

Parents of homeschool children are encouraged to register for the lottery drawing that is open to all 4th grade level students.

To register for the 2015 Metro Children’s Water Festival please fill out the Registration Form and submit according to the instructions. The deadline for registration is March 16, 2018. For more information contact Bart Biernat (763-324-4207, Bart.Biernat@co.anoka.mn.us).

Watch the Metro Children’s Water Festival (YouTube; 4:47) to see what happens at the festival

International Day of Women & Girls in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in ScienceA gender gap persists in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. Women have made tremendous progress increasing their participation in the science and engineering fields. The International Day of Women and Girls in Science inspires all women that they can be the scientist that changes the world.

Whose your favorite female scientist? In Anoka County, the women making our communities a safer and better place to live, work and play includes:

  • Caitlin Barale Potter (Outreach Coordinator, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Res.)
  • Beth Carreno (Communications Coordinator, Rice Creek Watershed Dist.)
  • Justine Dauphinais (Water Quality Coordinator, Coon Creek Watershed Dist.)
  • Dawn Doening (Information & Education Coordinator, Coon Creek Watershed Dist.)
  • Kate Drewery (Hydrologist, Anoka area, MN Department of Natural Resources)
  • Melinda “Mindy” Erickson (Hydrologist, US Geological Survey – MN)
  • Kaci Fisher (Environmental Compliance, Hakanson Anderson Inc.)
  • Lisa Gilliland (Supervisor, Wargo Nature Center – Anoka Co. Parks)
  • Jessi Gurr (President, Iceberg Web Design)
  • Diane Hankee (Engineer, City of Lino Lakes)
  • Rebecca Haug (Water Resources Manager, City of Blaine)
  • Kathryn Jones (Project Manager, HDR, Inc)
  • Jean Keeley (Engineer, City of Blaine)
  • Sarah Lloyd (Engineer, Bolton & Menk)
  • Joan McKearnan (Science Instructor, Anoka-Ramsey Community College)
  • Lauren Sampedro (Water Resources Specialist, Rice Creek Watershed Dist.)
  • Carley Schmidt (Environmental Health Specialist, Anoka County)
  • Laura Schmidt (Hazardous Waste Specialist, Anoka County)
  • Colleen Sinclair (Recycling Coordinator, City of Coon Rapids)
  • Carrie Taylor (Nature Restoration Specialist, Anoka Conservation Dist.)
  • Amy Ulbricht (Commercial Waste Specialist, Anoka County)
  • Laurel Woodruff (Research Geologist, US Geological Survey – MN)
  • Becky Wozney (Wetland Specialist, Anoka Conservation Dist.)

Check out the Women’s Environmental Network for information on local events for women scientists.


Coon Creek Watershed Board of Managers Vacancy

The mission of the Coon Creek Watershed District (CCWD) is to manage groundwater and surface water drainage systems to prevent property damage, maintain hydrologic balance and protect water quality for the safety and enjoyment of citizens and the preservation and enhancement of wildlife habitat.

The CCWD is administered by a five (5) member Board of Managers. Manager Westlund’s term of service will expire on May 27, 2018. Persons residing within the CCWD (please review the notice and map) may submit their name for consideration to fill the vacancy by March 28, 2018.

If you are interested in serving, you may wish to contact your City Clerk to request to be placed on a list of nominations submitted by your City to the Anoka County Board of Commissioners, the appointing authority.

If your City is not nominating candidates, persons interested in being appointed to serve may submit their names for consideration directly to the Anoka County Board of Commissioners (Commissioner District Map).

A nominee must also be eligible to vote in the district and not be a public officer of the county, state or federal government.

The Water Bar is open to the community for water

Water Bar & Pubic Studio

(featured in the Minnesota Department of Health WATERLINE)

Water Bar – a combination of water, art, and social infrastructure that has been a hit across the state – is located in a new storefront at 2518 Central Avenue NE in Minneapolis.  With watertenders serving water from various cities, Water Bar has been on site in many locations, including the State Fair and the annual conference of the Minnesota Section of American Water Works Association.

Every Saturday the Water Bar is open and serving free tap water from around the metro and beyond.

Stop in, slow down, really taste water, think about where it comes from, and our connection to it. Volunteer Water Tenders answer questions, ask questions, and help make connections. Spend time with the current exhibition or spread out your supplies and make some art of your own. You never know who you’ll run into at Water Bar.

What Water Bar Does

ARTS & CULTUREcollaborate with other artists and arts-based organizations to develop public art projects and programs at the intersection of culture and environmental education, engagement and advocacy.

ENVIRONMENTcollaborate with water and environmental advocacy organizations to host and staff Water Bar pop-ups, and to develop other creative strategies for engaging existing and new environmental advocates.

EDUCATIONwork with educators, administrators, and students to create transformative learning experiences. We emphasize methods drawn from arts-based community development, participatory research, and service learning.

BUSINESSwork with a range of businesses to develop their understanding and commitment to water quality and environmental protection, designing engagement projects with and for employees, customers and communities.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT ORGANIZATIONSdevelop projects that engage local residents in community-based planning, policy and education for environment and community resilience.

Find out how you can:  Volunteer  –  Invest  –  Partner  –  Create

Wargo Nature Center photo contest

Wargo Nature Center would like to display creative photography involving the natural world around us. This contest will run from January 27th – April 30th. All submissions will be online and winners will be notified May 8, 2018.

Enter online. You must be a MN resident. Submit up to 2 digital color photos. Must be your original photo, no copyrighted photos. Photos must be taken in Minnesota; Anoka County preferred but not required. All Ages (parent must sign for minors). Categories Include: Nature scenery, Wildlife, Wildflowers, People enjoying nature (you will be responsible for permission) Any submissions including the following will be disqualified: Captive wildlife or domestic animals, inappropriate content.

at Wargo Nature Center will review submissions. The top six photos will receive a Wargo Nature Center T-shirt, water bottle, and have their photo displayed at the Center.

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