MWMO Newsletter - February 2021 - Project Updates, Smart Salting Tips, Grant Application Deadlines and More

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization


Burning a pile of buckthorn at Columbia Golf Course.

Invasive Species Removal, Controlled Burns Wrap Up at Columbia Golf Course and Park

Habitat restoration work is underway at Columbia Park and the northern part of Columbia Golf Course. This week, workers from Landbridge Ecological finished clearing European Buckthorn and other invasive woody species in preparation for native seeding in the spring. You may have seen the controlled burning of a number of buckthorn brush piles.

Learn why buckthorn must always be removed or burned, and how restoration work will continue in the spring, in our latest blog post.

How to Mitigate Stubborn Sidewalk Ice in Extreme Cold Temperatures

Close-up picture of an ice chisel.

This month’s intense cold snap has made removing ice from sidewalks and driveways trickier than usual. That’s because rock salt and other deicing products often fail to work in extreme low temperatures.

There are no environmentally friendly ice-melt products, in spite of some manufacturers’ claims. And with the frigid temperatures lingering for weeks, many chemical deicers won’t work anyway.

Here are some tools and techniques you can use to keep your high-traffic paved areas ice-free without spreading around harmful and ineffective chemical deicers:

You can find even more tips, along with some startling facts about chloride pollution, on our blog.

Mini Maintenance Workshop: Moving Toward Spring

Tired of winter? Start looking ahead toward spring and sign up for our April 1 workshop on spring yard care. The program is free, but registration is required.

Planning and Community Grants - Info Sessions

A woman and child cleaning a stormdrain.

Do you have a project idea to improve water quality and habitat in your community? The MWMO has recently opened both our Community and Planning Grants for new applications.

Join us for one of our online information sessions, where you can find out more about the grant programs, network with others, and ask questions:

Grant Application Deadlines

Planning Grant applications are due March 12, 2021, and Community Grant applications are due April 2, 2021. Visit our Stewardship Fund page for more information.

Upcoming Professional Trainings

MnDOT snow plow spreading salt

The MWMO is sponsoring the following training opportunities for land-care professionals. Participants have the option to take a test to become certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Smart Salting Level 2

Tuesday, March 2, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Online)

This online, interactive workshop is designed to help winter maintenance leadership - public works managers, supervisors, business owners and other lead staff - assess their salt use and take steps to minimize it.

Turfgrass Maintenance with Reduced Environmental Impacts

Tuesday, March 23, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Online)

The summer turfgrass maintenance training focuses on best management practices (BMPs) for lawn/turf care maintenance. These practices will help you save time and money while protecting local lakes, rivers and habitat.

Featured Project

Old Bassett Creek Tunnel Cleanout

A worker clearing sediment from a stormtunnel.

Since 2012, the MWMO has worked with the City of Minneapolis to remove decades’ worth of accumulated sediment and debris from the Old Bassett Creek Tunnel, which runs beneath Downtown and North Minneapolis.

The goal of this multi-phase project is to prevent the accumulated sediment and its pollutants from being mobilized and flushed into the Mississippi River.

Last year, workers removed 800 tons of sediment from an 853-linear-foot section of the tunnel. In 2018, 935 tons of sediment was removed from a different section.

You can find details about the cleanout efforts as well as the history of the project on our website.

MWMO in the News

MWMO Executive Director Doug Snyder recently spoke with the Mill City Times about a variety of MWMO programs and community partnerships. He also sat down for a video interview for a recent episode of Milling About with Brianna Rose, which you can watch on YouTube.