Park Nicollet honored for smart salt use
Longtime MCWD partner Park Nicollet Health Services was recently honored at the annual Road Salt symposium for the company's proactive work to reduce the use of road salt. Over-application of road salt is one of the major threats facing water quality in the Twin Cities -- the chloride is harmful to fish and wildlife and can impact drinking water. Worse yet, once the chloride is in the water, there is effectively no way to remove it.
Park Nicollet has worked diligently the past few years to reduce the use of salt at its 36 facilities across the metro. It has increased training for its snow removal professionals (including attending MCWD's workshops on road salt use), increased pre-treatment, invested in new equipment, and increased site monitoring.
The company reports its reduced its use of salt by 45 percent in 2014-2015 and by an additional 28% this past winter. The beauty of reducing salt use is it doesn't just benefit the environment -- it also saves money and has reduced the amount of landscape damage caused on Park Nicollet proprites by more than 75 percent -- all without compromising safety.
Park Nicollet has also shown its commitment to a healthy environment by working with MCWD on a restoration of Minnehaha Creek behind its Methodist Hospital facility, which catalyzed the Minnehaha Creek Greenway project. We are currently working with Methodist Hospital to improve the wetlands on site, improve ecological diversity, and solve flooding issues that threatened access to the hospital's loading docks.