In 2019, the City of Apple Valley reconstructed a portion of Johnny Cake Ridge Road. The VRWJPO partnered with the City to install several stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in the road right-of-way and on adjacent public property during the reconstruction. The project is situated between McAndrews Road and 140th Street and lies within the Long and Farquar Lake’s subwatershed.

The original Johnny Cake Ridge Road corridor was constructed in the 1970s before water resource protections were considered for development. Untreated runoff from the corridor enters the storm system before eventually reaching Long and Farquar Lakes. Both Long and Farquar Lakes are impaired due to excess phosphorus. High phosphorous inputs lead to summer algal blooms that last most of the season in Long and Farquar Lakes. Water clarity is often reduced, diminishing aesthetics and recreation and resulting in changing fish and aquatic plant communities.

The new BMPs will reduce phosphorous, sediment, and stormwater runoff volume.

Practices constructed include boulevard raingardens with pollinator plantings, tree trenches, and underground sediment collection devices. The project is anticipated to reduce phosphorus to Long Lake by 8.9 pounds per year, which is about 17 percent of the remaining watershed phosphorus load reduction needed to meet water quality goals from the 2009 Long and Farquar Lakes Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) as modeled in the 2017 Long and Farquar Lakes TMDL Implementations Plan Update.

The overall project design and location features provide opportunities for high quality outreach by the City, VRWJPO, and other local partners. The North Creek Greenway, which runs along this section of Johnny Cake Ridge Road, will bring users into more visible and direct contact with BMPs and attractive native plantings. Future interpretive signs will highlight environmental protection and connect residents to their impact on water resources.

The City of Apple Valley received a Clean Water Fund Grant from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), and local funding from the VRWJPO and the Black Dog Watershed Management Organization.