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MCWD conducts prescribed burn in Long Lake

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) is conducting a prescribed burn in Long Lake on Monday, February 9, 2015 as part of a restoration project.  The burn will take place at a former wastewater treatment pond next to Long Lake Creek.

 In partnership with the Met Council and the City of Long Lake, MCWD is restoring a wetland that had been ditched and drained for use as wastewater treatment pond.  Excess sediments will be removed and the pond will be restored to a wetland and reconnected to Long Lake Creek.  This project is part of a larger restoration effort to improve the water quality in Tanager Lake, which is impaired for excess nutrients and drains to Lake Minnetonka.

 Prescribed burning is the practice of setting fires in a controlled setting to stimulate new vegetation and discourage invasive species from taking hold.  In a natural environment, sporadic wildfires clear the landscape for such new growth to occur.  But with urban development, opportunities for those wildfires have diminished.  Prescribed burns mimic the effect of naturally-occurring wildfires without the dangers associated with such events.

 MCWD, in cooperation with the Cities of Long Lake and Orono, has alerted neighboring residents of the burns, which will be conducted by fire control crews from Prairie Restorations, Inc. equipped with fire management gear.  After the burns is complete, MCWD will excavate the pond and install a combination of native plants and shrubs.  Excavation work will be completed prior to spring and the vegetation work will continue throughout 2015.