Who Lives in the Watershed?

Who lives in our watershed? To find out, VLAWMO staff is placing remote cameras in various wetlands around the watershed. The types and diversity of plant and animal life help us understand the health of our wetlands. Because wetlands are key to clean, reliable groundwater resources, healthy wetlands are a priority for VLAWMO. 

Residents and businesses can help support our wetlands and their inhabitants, too! Even if you don't live next to a wetland, chances are your property drains to one. The Vadnais Lake Area watershed has over 500 wetlands, all of which act as natural filters for water and air while replenishing groundwater. Here are some ways you can help support healthy wetlands from wherever you are: 

Encourage Native Buffers

Native vegetation grows deeper roots than turfgrass, making it more protective for ponds, lakes, streams, and even wetlands. Native buffers are better at absorbing high water levels, reducing sedimentation into the water resource, and providing valuable habitat for animals and pollinators. VLAWMO can help build or restore buffers through our cost-share program. Click here for our info sheet on buffers. 

Try a low-mow turf

If a lawnmower is the only thing that passes over an area of turf, native vegetation or a low-mow turf variety may be better suited for that spot. 

Build a raingarden 

Raingardens are great ways to restore groundwater while reducing sediments and nutrients going into lakes and wetlands. Our cost-share program is here to help residents and businesses fund raingardens, native plantings, low-mow turf, and more!

Use smart salting 

More salt doesn't melt ice faster, and salt is a permanent pollutant to water and soil. Keep 3" between grains of salt, and sweep up extra when ice is gone. 1/2 of a 12.oz coffee mug is enough for one parking space, but less may be needed depending on conditions. Check out our video on salt use here

Cover up bare soil 

Bare soil is a recipe for erosion and nutrient loss. Be sure to plant base soil with turf or native vegetation - severe cases may be eligible for cost-share funding. 

Irrigate with care

Conserving water helps protect water resources for the future. Irrigation is best done early in the morning to reduce evaporation. Sprinklers should never spray onto pavement. If it's rained recently, watering should be reduced to account for rainfall. 

Mow grass at 3" minimum

Longer grass holds more water, blocks out weeds, and reduces small soil particles from washing off with runoff. Sediment is bad for lakes and wetlands because it chokes out vegetation and carries excess nutrients with it. Less sediment running off the landscape also helps Cities and Townships maintain culverts, storm ponds, and other infrastructure by requiring less dredging. 

To help care for our wetlands and the critters that call them home, check out our water stewardship at home page. 

Recent Posts

Otter Trailcam Footage

A recent glimpse of river otter activity in the watershed.

2023 Watershed Award Recipients

Announcing this year's watershed award recipients! Check out these inspiring stories of local water leadership and partnerships.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Ahi

A White Bear Lake spotlight on a downspout raingarden and shady native planting with an overflow swale and walking path.

Minnesota Water Steward Spotlight: Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol

VLAWMO's new Minnesota Water Steward completes her capstone project on Beetle Rearing at Rice Lake in White Bear Township.

Neighborhood Spotlight: White Bear Town Hall

A special pollinator planting at the historic White Bear Town Hall.

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