Lake Nokomis Water Quality Improvement Project
In 2001, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) partnered with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to install wetland settling ponds to treat nutrients before they flow into Lake Nokomis. MCWD and MPRB also partnered to install an inflatable weir at the outlet of Lake Nokomis at Minnehaha Creek, to prevent peak stormwater flows from Minnehaha Creek from flowing into Lake Nokomis. MCWD also worked with a commercial fishing company to remove thousands of pounds of invasive common carp from Lake Nokomis. In 2012, MCWD and MPRB renovated the existing weir at Lake Nokomis after new water quality concerns arose.
In the 1990s, neighborhood surveys in the Lake Nokomis area determined that the water quality in Lake Nokomis and Hiawatha was a primary concern for area residents. As a result, the Blue Water Commission (BWC) was conceived in 1996 by three Minneapolis neighborhoods — Hale Page Diamond Lake, Nokomis East, and Standish Ericsson and included the Cities of Minneapolis and Richfield; the MPRB; the MCWD; Hennepin County; the Metropolitan Airports Commission; and environmental groups. From November 1997 through May 1998, the BWC identified the following water problems and concerns: swimmability, fishability, aesthetics, diversity of plants and wildlife, and shoreline environment.
1998 — Blue Water Commission final report and recommendations published
1999 — Design phase begins
2001 — 100% Design Completed
February 2001 — Construction on stormwater ponds begins
October 2001 — Construction on stormwater ponds ends
2001 — Project Completed
By the Numbers
of stormwater treated by three ponds
of wetland created
of invasive carp removed
- Three new wetland settling ponds adjacent to Lake Nokomis
- Two new grit chambers near Lake Nokomis
- Invasive species management and removal (Carp)
- Improved water quality
- Reduce rough fish migration from Minnehaha Creek to Lake Nokomis
Taking care of our city’s natural resources is an important part of the work that both the Park Board and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District do. This project not only helps keep Lake Nokomis a great place to swim, fish, boat and spend time, but also helps keep the water quality healthy.District 5 park commissioner Carol Kummer
The Blue Water Commission (BWC) which instigated this project, included three Minneapolis neighborhoods– Hale Page Diamond Lake, Nokomis East, and Standish Ericsson, the Cities of Minneapolis and Richfield; the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District; Hennepin County; the Metropolitan Airports Commission; and environmental groups. Technical assistance to support the BWC was provided by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board, and a Technical Advisory Committee.
Project Cost: $2,011,500
The BWC was funded by Minneapolis’ Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.