For me, my experiences with the Minnesota River are intertwined inextricably with memories of our dog Cocoa, who we lost all too early last summer.
People are no longer content to just plant a pretty garden in their yard. Now they want a garden that stops polluted runoff, attract butterflies and birds, or improves wildlife habitat.
This year, the Washington Conservation District sold nearly 20,000 trees and more than 100 rain barrels.
By splitting the cost of clean water projects with private landowners, watershed organizations are able to stretch grants and public, taxpayer funding further so that they can complete more projects per year. Private landowners, on the other hand, benefit from the design and installation assistance provided by the watersheds and are able to take on planting projects that they may not have been able to do, or afford, on their own.
Although they may look innocent at this stage, the gypsy moth caterpillars are extremely dangerous for trees. They feed for five to six weeks during late spring to mid-summer, during which time each caterpillar can eat up to nine square feet of leaves.