wetland restoration and buffers


In 2011, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) identified a suite of improvements for Long Lake Creek, which flows from Long Lake to Tanager Lake, and drains into Lake Minnetonka’s Browns Bay. Tanager Lake is designated by the state as impaired for its nutrient concentrations. To improve the Long Lake Creek corridor, MCWD partnered with Metropolitan Council Environmental Services to restore a former wastewater treatment pond into a wetland, remove excess sediments, and create a new stream channel to connect with the wetland.

In the 1960s, Long Lake Creek was channelized to construct a wastewater treatment pond (WWTP), but it was decommissioned in 1978. This WWTP had been operating as a stormwater pond since the formal termination of the wastewater facility. MCWD conducted a feasibility study in 2011 that identified several improvements for the Long Lake Creek corridor. The purpose of this project was to improve water quality, increase habitat value, and create additional floodplain storage. The project restored over 10 acres of open space owned by the City of Long Lake, providing numerous benefits to water quality and wildlife habitat.

At a Glance

  • Long Lake
  • Long Lake Creek Subwatershed
  • Status: Complete
  • 2015

MCWD Staff Contact

Josh Wolf



Supporting Materials

Proposed Project Map

Long Lake Creek Roadmap

Project Cost


Project Updates

spring 2024

MCWD, with partnership from the cities of Orono, Long Lake, and Medina, and the Long Lake Creek Waters Association, has created a roadmap with potential projects and opportunities to create water resource benefits in the subwatershed.

Project Timeline

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Planning Phase

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Planning Phase

2007 — The MCWD 2007 Watershed Management Plan identifies Long Lake Creek Corridor as an area for water quality improvement

2011 — MCWD conducts a feasibility study to determine potential projects in the area

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Design Phase

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Design Phase

October 2013 — Public Hearing to determine project design

June 2014 — Project design completed

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Construction Phase

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Construction Phase

January 2015 — Construction begins

May 2015 — Construction complete

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Project completion

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Project Completion

May 2015 — Project complete

By the Numbers



flood storage created



Green space restored

Project Highlights

  • Stream bank restoration
  • Wetland restoration
  • Nutrient pollution reduction
  • New aquatic habitat
  • New stream channel to re-create more natural sinuous flow path
  • Excess sediment removed
  • Wetland and creek reconnected

It’s a good thing for the city. It’s just not something you want in your backyard or your city [abandoned waste water treatment plant].



MCWD worked with the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services to restore a former wastewater treatment pond into a healthy wetland. MCWD and the City of Long Lake entered a cooperative agreement that provided MCWD with land rights to restore sites along the creek corridor.

City of Long Lake, MN logo
Metropolitan Council MN logo


Project Cost: $392,050

Funding for the Long Lake Creek Corridor improvement projects was provided by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.