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

Guest Writer: River Otter Research

Claire Benson from the UMN College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Science shares her research on River Otters, parasites, and their environmental connections.

Presenting the Otter Spotter Initiative

A storymap of the otters found in the watershed, with opportunities to be involved with the spotting efforts.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Marlette Family

A look at a large raingarden blended into a native planting, complete with rainbarrels and wet basement solutions.

Volunteer Spotlight: Buckthorn Reflections

A guest blog entry reflecting on fieldwork service removing invasive buckthorn at a key watershed site.

Watershed Award Recipients: 2020

Presenting this year's watershed award winners and celebrating Marty Long's years of service on the VLAWMO Board of Directors.

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