1.0 Introduction and Summary

The Painter Creek subwatershed is located along the northwestern boundary of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD or District) and within the cities of Medina, Orono, Maple Plain, Independence, and Minnetrista.  The subwatershed includes Painter Creek, Katrina Lake, Thies Lake, large areas of undisturbed or low-density development (including Baker Park Reserve), and numerous wetlands.  The upper subwatershed drains to Katrina Lake, which is the headwater of Painter Creek.  Painter Creek, which is comprised mainly of ditches through large wetland and marsh areas connected by relatively short reaches of channel with forested banks, flows 6.2 miles to Jennings Bay.   

Painter Creek conveys high phosphorus and sediment loads to Jennings Bay.   The ecological integrity of Painter Creek is limited by its low gradient, water quality, and the numerous wetlands through which the stream flows.   Little information is available regarding water quality in Katrina Lake or Thies Lake.  Numerous high-value wetlands are present in the subwatershed.

Over the next ten years, the District’s focus in the Painter Creek subwatershed will be on reducing the phosphorus and sediment loading conveyed to Jennings Bay and conserving ecological integrity within the subwatershed.  The following will be particular focus areas:

  • Minimizing impacts on water resources from future development through enhanced regulation that requires higher levels of pollutant removal and increased infiltration of runoff.
  • Constructing a series of wetland restoration and other projects to reduce pollutant loading in Painter Creek.
  • Conserving ecological integrity through Land Conservation Program activities in key conservation areas.
  • Improving ecological integrity in Painter Creek through the improvement of its water quality and stabilization of its banks.
  • Working cooperatively with the DNR, Three Rivers Park District, Hennepin County, private landowners, and other partners to create a conservation corridor that connects high-value resources with Gale Woods and Baker Regional Park Reserves and Lake Minnetonka.