Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Removing trash!

Post contributed by David of Conservation Corps of Minnesota's Youth Outdoors crew:

I think it is safe to say that spring is officially here and in full swing. Yet I’m hesitant to say it, as just last week I was watching a polar bear have a field day rolling around in fresh powder while shoveling off pathways in the zoo, and now I’m explaining the effects of dehydration and heat exhaustion to our youth crews. 

Preparing a raingarden for spring.

The theme for the week was spring cleaning. We traveled around to various rain gardens installed in the Capitol Region Watershed District. We removed garbage that had collected and cut back dead plant growth to make room for new greenery. Why are we concerned with rain gardens you say? Good question. Rain gardens, besides beautifying the surrounding area, help to reduce water pollution by capturing rain water and preventing excess water and pollutants from getting into our lakes and rivers. Want to help improve water quality in your neighborhood? Install a rain garden by your home or team up with neighbors and install one together! This is the perfect time to start, plus there are many plant sales occurring now that can help supply you with all the plants you’d need.
Cleaning out storm grates at Lake Como.

Sometimes rain gardens aren’t enough to capture all the sediment and debris in the streets; luckily there are storm grates to prevent too much debris from getting into our water bodies. This week we cleaned out storm grates that drain into Como Lake. We donned rubber boots and wadded out into the lake cleaning leaves, sediment, and garbage from the drains. It was wet and dirty and we loved it, as it was a beautiful day and we got to spend it at a beautiful place. Perhaps you saw us in the lake, laughing and working hard, come say hi next time, we won’t bite.