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1.0 Introduction and Summary

The Lake Virginia subwatershed is located along the southeastern boundary of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD or District) and within the cities of Victoria, Chanhassen and Shorewood.  The subwatershed includes Lakes Minnewashta and Virginia and numerous wetlands.  Lake Minnewashta Regional Park is located along the northeastern shore of Lake Minnewashta, and the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is located in the southern subwatershed.  Other smaller lakes of interest include Lake St. Joe and Tamarack Lake. 

The water quality in Lake Minnewashta is very good, while Lake Virginia falls short of its total phosphorus goal and is the subject of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study to develop a plan to reduce nutrient loading impairing its water quality.  No goals were established for the other lakes, and limited data is available to assess their water quality.   The sport fishery in Lakes Minnewashta and Virginia are good, while the other lakes are dominated by panfish and rough fish.  Several high-value wetlands are present in the subwatershed.

Over the next ten years, the District's focus in the Lake Virginia subwatershed will be on protecting and improving water quality in the lakes and conserving ecological integrity within the subwatershed.  The following will be particular focus areas:

  • Minimizing impacts on water resources, especially Tamarack Lake, from future development through enhanced regulation that requires higher levels of pollutant removal and increased infiltration of runoff.
  • Improving water quality in Lake Virginia through regulation and treatment of runoff.
  • Conserving ecological integrity through Land Conservation Program activities in key conservation areas.