Rain Gardens can improve water quality

Have you ever thought about installing a rain garden on your property, but you didn’t know where to start? I’ve thought about putting a rain garden in my backyard this spring – in an area that gets a lot of runoff and is near a stormwater pond. Fortunately, I know exactly where to go for information on how to do it. The Oakdale Environmental Management Commission has put together a simple educational packet with rain garden standards and design examples, and it is available for the asking.


Washington County campgrounds open May 1

The Washington County Parks will open campgrounds at Lake Elmo Park Reserve and St. Croix Bluffs on Friday, May 1.


State health officials offer six simple steps to make summer swimming safe

A few basic precautions can help keep families healthy and happy at the pool and beach.


New Keller opens new vistas but reflects its past

The new Keller Golf Clubhouse, at 18,800 square feet and already open for special events, is located at 2166 Maplewood Drive and again a familar sight along Highway 61. The renovated golf course is planned to open at the end of June. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Looking up at the new Keller Lake Golf Course clubhouse as you drive along U.S. Highway 61 in Maplewood, you will hardly notice any differences. It was meant to be that way.
Even the brand new pro shop is located in the same place, and its exterior also appears unchanged.  
I stopped by Keller recently and met with Allison Winters, communications associate with the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department.


Dig out with common sense

Stress, strains, accidents and other dangerous conditions often accompany a snowstorm.


DNR reminds parents of ice danger to children

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is warning parents to keep an eye on their children when they near a pond or other body of water where only a thin coating of ice may have formed.
Last winter season, six people died after falling through the ice.


Why care about water quality?

Did you know that the quality of water in your community can impact your property value? It’s true. Studies have indicated a direct correlation between quality of water and property values. After all, would you rather live in a neighborhood with clean, clear waters or one that has ponds full of blue-green algae?
Now, I’d like to think that everyone cares about the quality of our ponds, lakes and wetlands just because it’s the right thing to do. But I am a realist, and I know that this isn’t the case. But perhaps knowing that good water quality has an impact on one’s pocketbook – through increased property values – might spring some people into action!


A wild time on the High Plains

Writer Mary Lee Hagert’s son Kevin stands atop a craggy butte in majestic Theodore Roosevelt National Park. (photos by Mary Lee Hagert/Review)

I’ve just returned from the Wild West, and I’m not referring to the re-enactment of 1890s gunslingers shooting up Main Street in Deadwood, S.D.
No, I mean the new Wild West, the one that’s cropped up more than a century after the days when drifters got into quick-draw duels on the Dakota Territory’s High Plains.
A vacation in the Dakotas wasn’t on my family’s radar a month ago. But after discovering all the campsites were reserved at our top choice -- Rocky Mountain National Park -- we weren’t sure where to go.


Take advantage of parks, trails

Minnesotans have a great love for the outdoors. In the summer, anyone can drive around the neighborhood and see kids playing outside and families enjoying the beautiful weather. Walk past one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and you’ll see boats and jet skis cruising the lake and people of all ages grilling, relaxing and enjoying the beach. The warm summer months allow us to forget about the cold winter that is right around the corner.
Minnesota is home to 76 state parks and recreational areas. They range from the northern tip in Minnesota (Garden Island State Park) to the Iowa border (Lake Louise State Park) from Wisconsin to the Dakotas, and everywhere in between. They feature camping, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and any number of other activities. They offer something for everybody.
However, it isn’t necessary to travel far to find access to beautiful parks and outdoor recreation. We have a number of options right in our own backyard. Here is a list of parks in our area:


Keep eyes safe during fun in the sun

It‘s summertime, which means the days are longer and people are enjoying more time outdoors. But, along with risks to your skin, UV rays can be dangerous for your eyes. Studies show that exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer.
UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or indoor artificial rays, can damage the eye‘s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers UV light can pose to their vision, and this can lead to potentially blinding eye diseases.


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