Saturday, May 31, 2014


WATERWORKS by Gordon Prickett  A column for the 6/4/2014 Aitkin Independent Age


Every year at this time - for 18 years - there is a place to learn more about our lakes and rivers in Aitkin County. Because of the ventilation repairs this summer at Rippleside Elementary School, the Rivers and Lakes Fair will be at the Aitkin High School, Saturday, June 14th, from 9 am to 2 pm.

The DNR will have a live fish exhibit with some beauties they have netted nearby. The Audubon Center will bring amphibians and reptiles to meet and interact with fair goers. Lunch and snacks will be available at low cost. Minnow races and the building of bluebird and bat houses will be featured again for kids. Learn about bogs, enhancing shoreline habitat, and preventing the spread of invasive species. There will be a gym full of exhibits to show the many features of our lake country.


Stormwater is rain water that does not soak into the ground during a precipitation event, and typically runs off from hard surfaces like roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and lawns into nearby receiving water bodies.

It carries sediment, pollutants, and nutrients. If not effectively managed, runoff erodes shorelines. One simple way to protect the lake from stormwater effects is to leave a “no-mow” zone of at least 15 feet along the shore, mowing just a path for beach access. This buffer zone of native growth acts to filter and absorb rainfall. Prevention of stormwater runoff can be accomplished by limiting the area of impervious surfaces, installing a rain barrel, and creating a rain garden, berm, or swale.

At the Rivers and Lakes Fair we will show some examples of stormwater treatment in the ACLARA booth.

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