Poster contest open to all ages

Learn, engage and advocate! Design a 9×12 poster about how or why all Minnesotans should conserve and protect our sources of drinking water.  What happens upstream affects the waters downstream in Minnesota and beyond. It’s up to all of us to keep it clean and safe, now and in the future. For award details and official rules, visit:

Rules:  All posters must contain the phrase “Upstream, Downstream…Clean, Clean, Clean!” to be eligible. Size of poster must not exceed 9”x12”.  Entries must be postmarked by March 1, 2019 and follow all contest guidelines for consideration. All submissions become the property of H2O for Life and and the MN Department of Health, and will not be returned.  Submit all entries to H2O for Life Poster Contest, 1310 Highway 96E, #235, White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Fridley’s drinking water protection plan revised and ready

The Fridley City Council held a Public Information Meeting (Monday, January 28, 2019) where the updated Part 2 of the Fridley Wellhead Protection Plan was presented for public review and discussion.

The City of Fridley is amending and updating its ten-year Wellhead Protection Plan to protect city drinking water supply wells. The City has completed Part 2 (of two parts) of the Wellhead Protection Plan that includes information pertaining to:

  1. The inventory of potential contaminants of concern within the Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA);
  2. The data that was considered in this portion of the plan;
  3. Issues, problems and concerns within the DWSMA;
  4. Goals, objectives and action strategies to address issues of concern;
  5. A Plan evaluation strategy; and
  6. A contingency strategy in the event of water system disruption.

A copy of the draft Part 2 Plan is available to be viewed at City Hall. The hearing permitted the public to ask questions and comment on the draft Part 2 Plan before being accepted by the Council.

For more information contact Jim Kosluchar, Fridley Public Works Director/City Engineer at 763-572-3550.

What is wellhead protection? Wellhead protection is a way to prevent drinking water from becoming contaminated by managing potential sources of pollution in the area which supplies water to the City’s wells. Much can be done to prevent pollution, such as the wise use of land and chemicals. Public health is protected and the expense of treating polluted water or drilling a new well is avoided.

What is a wellhead protection area? A wellhead protection area is a zone around a public water supply well managed to keep pollutants from rapidly reaching the community’s water supply.  The area that is managed uses easily identifiable landmarks as boundaries (e.g. streets, property lines, ditches) called the Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA).  The wellhead protection area is based on the minimum time (ten years) for a pollutant to reach the well.

Who’s Impacted?
A wellhead protection area includes hundreds to thousands of properties. Residents and businesses within a wellhead protection area are asked to cooperate with your water supplier to effectively protect our water supply without establishing additional ordinances or regulatory programs.

Upper Rum River seeking coordinator services

The Upper Rum River Watershed Management Organization has the objective of properly and efficiently managing natural resources for the long-term good. The URRWMO is seeking a person or agency that will provide watershed management coordinator services through a Request for Proposal (RFP) (link).

Submission and Questions. All Applicants who wish to respond to this RFP must do so by February 15, 2019. All responses should be in writing and one copy should be mailed to: John West, URRWMO Chair, Oak Grove City Hall, 19900 Nightingale Street NW, Oak Grove, MN 55011-9204. In addition, an electronic version should be emailed to

Current and draft URRWMO Management Plans and Reports can be found at: All questions related to this Request for Proposal shall be directed to John West at (612) 414-3513.


Lunch with a scientist, naturalist, or maybe dinner

Who would you prefer to lunch with? A Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve scientist? A Wargo Nature Center naturalist? Or maybe you’d prefer dinner at Springbrook Nature Center to discover what’s new and happening in science, nature and our community.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein

Lunch with a Scientist at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (East Bethel, MN) on the second Tuesday of the month at 11:30 am. (Free, bring your lunch)

  • 1/8/2019 – Eyes on the wild, Caitlin Potter
  • 2/12/2019 – RESCHEDULED – 4/8/2019
  • 3/12/2019 – Winter climate change, Sam Potter
  • 4/8/2019 – Radio telemetry, Dave Mech
  • 4/9/2019 – Prescribed burning, Troy Mielke and Jim Krueger
  • 5/14/2019 – Red-headed woodpeckers, Jim Howitz
  • 6/11/2019 – BioCON, Sarah Hobbie
  • 7/9/2019 – Bison and savanna restoration, Chad Zirbel
  • 8/13/2019 – Soil science, Linda Kinkel
  • 9/10/2019 – Oak savannas, Rebecca Montgomery
  • 10/8/2019 – Biodiversity research, Forest Isbell
  • 11/12/2019 – Nutrient network, Elizabeth Borer and Eric Seabloom
  • 12/10/2019 – Wildlife survey project, Jon Poppele

Lunch with a naturalist at Wargo Nature Center (Lino Lakes, MN) on the second or third Wednesday of the month at 11:30 am. (Free no registration required, bring your lunch)

Discovery Dinner (5:00 pm, $25 per person) at Springbrook Nature Center (Fridley, MN). Lively educational programs with a catered meal for the perfect night out.  Leave the kids at home and enjoy the night with friends or a date.  Registration is required and space is limited.  Call Springbrook at 763-572-3588 to sign up or for more details.

  • 1/12/2019 – StarWatch Party, Mike Lynch, WCCO Radio
  • 2/9/2019 – Electric Vehicles, Jukka Kukkonen, Plugin Connect
  • 3/23/2019 – Reinventing Minnesota’s Bell Museum, Denise Young, Executive Director

Natural Resources Field Trip

Registration is open now for all 4th and 5th Grade Classrooms to the Natural Resource Field Trip where youth can engage in environmental education in a natural, outdoor setting.

When: April 29 – May 3, 2019

Where:  Bunker Hills Regional Park, Andover

How: Visit our informational flyer (PDF) to register online or mail us your registration by filling out the provided registration form: 550 Bunker Lake Boulevard NW, Andover, MN 55304. Email Kim Ferguson or call at 763-324-3495 with registration questions. More registration details provided below. Registration deadline is February 15.

Field Trip Objectives

  • Provides a fun environmental experience in a natural, outdoor setting.
  • Includes information about Minnesota habitat and wildlife at different stations out in nature.
  • Educational topics may include: birds, honey bees, animals, plants, trees, recycling, fish families, reptiles, animal skulls and skeletons, wildlife control and more.
  • If time allows, classes may participate in up to 12 stations.

The Natural Resources Field Trip is coordinated by Anoka County 4-H and funded by an Anoka County Ag Preserves Grant and student fees. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Jy Xiong, 4-H Program Coordinator, or email Kim Ferguson, Support Staff, or call 763-324-3495.

Order Trees and Shrubs Now for Spring Planting

The Anoka Conservation District is accepting preorders for the annual Tree and Shrub Sale.  The District offers a wide variety of native stock, including black cherry trees, mixed oak trees, red maple trees, and white pine trees. The trees and shrubs are sold in bare root seedlings or transplants and most are 10″ to 24″ in height. They may be purchased in bundles of ten for $17, or twenty-five for $30 not including tax.  Native prairie seed and tree aids are also available. You do not need to be an Anoka County resident to order.

The Anoka Conservation District is now accepting preorders for the annual tree and shrub sale.

The Anoka Conservation District is now accepting preorders for the annual tree and shrub sale.

The Tree and Shrub Sale website also contains information about the kinds of trees and shrubs to plant in your particular situation along with planting directions.

You may purchase these trees and shrubs by:

  1. Online ordering,
  2. Mail in an Order Form, or
  3. Order by phone (763-434-2030 x10).

Anoka Co. highway presents its stormwater pollution prevention plan

Jack Forslund (Anoka County Highway Planner) and Meghan Litsey (WSB Environmental Scientist) presents Anoka County’s stormwater pollution minimum control measures

The Anoka County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) outlines how the County will reduce pollution in storm water runoff from highways and county properties. The Plan was presented at a public information meeting (December 4, 2018) where public feedback was welcome and planning staff were available to respond to questions.

A copy of the SWPPP is available for public review a the Anoka County Highway Department Offices (1440 Bunker Lake Blvd. NW, Andover, MN 55304). Written comments may be directed to the “Anoka County Highway Engineer” at the Highway Department offices.

For more information, please feel free to call Meghan Litsey (WSB & Associates, Inc.) 763-287-7155 or Jack Forslund (Anoka County Highway Department) at 763-324-3179.

Homeowner septic and well education webinar

Webinar (click to register)

The University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Program with the Minnesota Department of Health Well Management Program are offering a FREE septic system and private well education webinar (2 hours).

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 1:30 to 3:30pm

This class will cover the basics of how septic systems function, well water testing, and how to help protect your well from contamination sources. It will also provide property owners information on chemicals of emerging concern (CEC) including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and the potential impact on ground and surface water.

Information on proper maintenance of both septic systems and private drinking water systems will be covered to help property owners protect their investments and the environment. See the FACTSHEET for a summary of the septic and well webinar presentation.

Workshop on drinking water protection and environmental health for local officials and realtors

This free threehour workshop on environmental topics is relevant to realtors, appraisers and local government officials (e.g. building officials, community development staff, public works superintendents and reference librarians). 

The workshop will include presentations on:

The workshop will be held at Coon Rapids City Hall (Council Chambers) on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. The workshop is limited to 50 participants.

For more information contact Bart Biernat (7633242407, at Anoka County Environmental Services.

Wellhead protection goes beyond routinely monitoring the quality of water, to protecting the source (groundwater) from pollution. Protecting the source of a community’s drinking water is best achieved through the cooperation of the residents and property owners that drink the water. Public water suppliers are contacting property owners and providing guidance to prevent pollution of the groundwater (aquifer) source of their drinking water.

The Anoka County Municipal Wellhead Protection Group has developed a map application that displays the Drinking Water Supply Management Areas (DWSMA) in Anoka County. A DWSMA outlines a wellhead protection area that is readily identified by landmarks (e.g. property lines, roads, ditches, etc.). Residents and property owners can see if they are in a wellhead protection area. The public water supplier is able to see potential sources of water pollution and well construction reports and unsealing certificates by activating layers in the DWSMA map application.

Your watershed neighborhood

It’s there to see but we don’t recognize it for what it is… a watershed. We know the neighborhood and community where we live. Do you know your watershed neighborhood? A watershed is the area where rain and snow-melt flows-off the land collecting in surface water bodies (e.g. Rum River, Coon Creek, Rice Creek, etc.).

A watershed is based on a natural, rather than a politically-defined area. Where is your creek or river? Where does it come from and where does it go? What’s on the land that could end up in the creek, river or lake?

Water resources are managed by watershed management organizations to maintain clean healthy water bodies. Watersheds Management Organizations are special local government entities that monitor and protect water. All areas of Anoka County are within one of the seven (7) watershed management organizations:

  • Coon Creek Watershed District (CCWD) 763-755-0975
  • Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) 763-398-3070
    • Includes Circle Pines, Lexington and portions of Blaine, Columbus, Columbia Heights.  The RCWD is developing its next 10-year Watershed Management Plan. Residents of the District are invited to submit comments about their priorities and concerns to the Board of Managers. Comments should be submitted to before December 31, 2018.
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) 612-746-4970
    • Include the Cities of Columbia Heights, Fridley and Hilltop.
    • The Mississippi WMO plan sets out goals, strategies and implementation actions based on past studies and current data on the watershed. Go to the Watershed Management Plan (webpage link) for more information.
  • Lower Rum River Watershed Management Organization (LRRWMO)
    • Includes the Cities of Ramsey, Anoka, and portions of Andover.
    • The third generation LRRWMO Watershed Management Plan (webpage link) is being implemented.
  • Upper Rum River Watershed Management Organization (URRWMO)
    • Includes the Cities of St. Francis, Oak Grove, Nowthen, Bethel, and portions of East Bethel.
    • The URRWMO is updating its Watershed Management plan. Residents are encouraged to participate in guiding the URRWMO. Contact Chairman John West (612-414-3513, for more information.
  • Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization (SRWMO) 763-434-2030 x12 Jamie Schurbon
    • Includes Linwood Township and portions of Columbus, East Bethel, and Ham Lake.
    • The SRWMO is updating its Watershed Management Plan setting priorities, measurable goals, a schedule of work, and expected expenditures. The expected completion of the new Plan is December 2019. To learn more or provide input, please visit the Watershed Plan (webpage link). For more information contact Jamie Schurbon (763-434-2030
  • Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization (VLAWMO) 651-204-6070
    • Includes a portion of Lino Lakes.
    • The VLAWMO Watershed Management Plan (webpage link) was updated 2016. The Plan includes management standards and procedures for surface water, wetland, and groundwater issues. The Plan identifies goals, policies, priority concerns, and implementation activities for the Watershed for 2017-2026.

Keep your neighborhood in good shape and the water clean by participating in your watershed management organization’s programs and even serving on a citizen advisory or technical advisory committee.

The Watershed Approach (video series)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has developed a four-part series on the “Watershed Approach” a relatively new process for gauging the health of Minnesota’s waters and taking action to protect or restore them. The series includes:

This series is a great way to learn how local watersheds work.

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