The weather was practically perfect last Sunday as roughly 50 volunteers gathered for the 2019 Spring Clean Water Clean-Up held at Fish Point Park in Prior Lake. The annual Spring Clean Water Clean-Up was co-hosted by the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District and the City of Prior Lake.
Volunteers pitched in to remove buckthorn, rake leaves, pick up trash and clean out the park’s iron-enhanced sand filter which catches phosphorus from the 80 acres that funnels through the park before entering Prior Lake. Excessive phosphorus levels can cause algae blooms in lakes and wetlands.
This hard-working group removed 1.8 tons (3600 lbs.) of buckthorn and nearly 1.6 tons (3200 lbs.) of leaves from the park. Volunteers included many neighbors and local community members who helped clean-up the park and protect the water quality in Prior Lake.
Why remove buckthorn and rake leaves? Buckthorn is an invasive, non-native shrub which takes over wooded areas, shading out native woodland plants. 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 phosphorus, which feeds algae. Algae growth is a serious threat to water quality, aquatic life, property values and water recreation.
Many local businesses generously provided door prizes and volunteers were treated to a variety of refreshments, including hotdogs provided by the Prior Lake Association.
Photos from the event can be found on the Watershed District’s Facebook page. Special thanks to Jen Reinders for sharing her photos from the event with us!
Missed out on the fun? The District and the City will be hosting another clean-up this fall. Stay tuned by checking the Watershed District or City websites or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the email notification list.
Photo credit: Jen Reinders