On Friday, November 1st, a group of 25 Prior Lake High School students from the EcoTeam volunteered to improve water quality in a local neighborhood. The students from the PLHS EcoTeam gathered at Memorial Park in Prior Lake to clean up leaves and other organic debris from the park. The group of students gathered 3,440 pounds of leaves and the City of Prior Lake disposed of the organic debris by using one of their specialized vacuum trucks.
Without the cleanup, the leaves could have washed down the storm drains and emptied directly into Prior Lake. Leaves, grass clippings, and other organic debris contain phosphorus, which is a pollutant to our lakes and rivers. When leaves and organic debris decay, they provide excess nutrients that feed algae growth. Excessive algae blooms reduce the amount of oxygen available wildlife and block vital sunlight for plants in the water.
Even though the City regularly sweeps the streets in the fall, it is important for residents to do their part and help prevent leaves and other organic debris from going into our nearby water resources. If you’d like to organize your own neighborhood leaf raking event, contact Meghan Litsey, Outreach Specialist.