Nearly 50 volunteers worked up a sweat while cleaning up Sand Point Beach Park in Prior Lake on Oct. 28. The annual Fall Clean Water Clean-Up was hosted by the City of Prior Lake and the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District.
Volunteers pitched in to rake leaves and pull buckthorn to help keep Prior Lake clean and local Scouts planted over 50 shrubs at the park around the newly retrofitted stormwater ponds and water-cleaning iron-enhanced sand filter. Volunteers included many neighbors, local community members and local Scout Troop 339 and Pack 339. Many local businesses generously provided door prizes and volunteers were treated to refreshments, including donuts donated by Edelweiss Bakery.
Volunteers removed a truckload of buckthorn and raked over 2.5 tons of leaves. Excellent work in only a couple hours, many hands makes light work! Many photos from the event are posted on the Watershed District’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PLSLWD/
Why rake up leaves & remove buckthorn? Leaves and other organic matter are carried by stormwater into storm drains and end up in lakes and streams. Once in the waterbodies they release the nutrient phosphorus, which feeds algae. Algae growth is a serious threat to water quality, aquatic life, property values and water recreation. Buckthorn is an invasive, non-native shrub that takes over wooded areas, by outcompeting native woodland plants which leads to more soil erosion and degraded wildlife habitat.
Buckthorn is quite obvious this time of year, as it’s one of the few things in the woods that is still green. If you have buckthorn in your backyard that you would like to remove, now is a good time! The City of Prior Lake even has buckthorn pullers available for residents to borrow at no cost. To check out a puller, contact Barb at the Maintenance Center at 952-447-9896.
Missed out on the fun? The District and the City will be hosting another clean-up next spring. Stay tuned by checking the Watershed District or City websites or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the email notification list.