In 2008, MCWD restored a wetland adjacent to Painter Creek. This wetland restoration project involved excavating a new channel meander to direct flows from Painter Creek across the wetland to improve nutrient removal. To allow the new channel meander to function, an existing weir was also lowered, and a new weir was installed near County Road 26 to allow water to flow into the new meander. The restored wetlands now filter excess nutrients that flow in Painter Creek toward Lake Minnetonka’s Jennings Bay.  

Jennings Bay of Lake Minnetonka is listed as impaired because of excess nutrients coming from Painter Creek. The lower levels of Painter Creek are also impaired from E. coli bacteria. Studies have shown that dissolved phosphorus plays a key role in the poor water quality of Jennings Bay. Recognizing that traditional methods of pollutant reduction would not be effective in reducing loading from the dissolved form of phosphorus, the wetland restoration was proposed to restore a natural system in this previously ditched area of the watershed.

At a Glance

  • Minnetrista
  • Painter Creek Subwatershed
  • Status: Complete
  • 2009

MCWD Staff Contact

Josh Wolf



Project Cost


Project Timeline

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Planning Phase

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Planning Phase

August 2002 – Project feasibility study conducted

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Design Phase

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Design Phase

May 2005 Project design authorized

March 2006 Final design approved

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Construction Phase

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Construction Phase

September 2008 — Construction begins

March 2010 — Construction ends

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Project completion

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Project Completion

March 2010 — Project complete

By the Numbers



of streambank habitat restored

Project Highlights

  • Excavation of a new channel to direct water across the wetland 
  • Lowering of the existing weir  
  • Installation of a new weir at Highway 26 that directs water through the new channel 
  • Vegetation restoration
  • Habitat restoration
  • Improved water quality in Painter Creek


The Painter Creek Restoration Project was implemented solely by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.


Project Cost: $200,558

The Painter Creek Restoration Project was funded entirely by MCWD.