The last lake in the Spring and Prior chain of lakes, Lower Prior Lake is an important recreational and ecological resource within the region. Unlike the other two lakes in the chain, it remains clean, clear and off the Impaired Waters list and the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District (PLSLWD) and the City of Prior Lake want to keep it that way. The District coordinated efforts with the City to install a water quality improvement project at Indian Ridge Park in Prior Lake as part of the ongoing effort to maintain good water quality in Lower Prior Lake. The project at Indian Ridge Park was finished in November.
The project re-shaped an unused grassy area (above; before project) on the east side of Indian Ridge Park to create a shallow depression with gentle slopes (below; after project completion). When it rains, this area now receives stormwater from the surrounding neighborhood and can fill up to roughly a foot in depth for a short period of time – usually one to two days. This will provide time for pollutants to slowly settle out of the water and be captured by the biomaterial mixed with sand which lies hidden beneath the grass before the stormwater makes its way to Lower Prior Lake. This area has been planted with low maintenance turf grass to allow for passive use. Vegetation will continue becoming established once the snow melts in the spring.
This project complements the recently completed project at nearby Fish Point Park. The project at Indian Ridge Park will help to filter out some of the pollutants from the stormwater before it reaches the water quality features that were installed at Fish Point Park, creating a “treatment train” that will help to improve the water quality of Lower Prior Lake.
Funding for this project came from the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District, the City of Prior Lake and a Clean Water Partnership Grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.