When it rains or snows, the water that doesn’t infiltrate the soil becomes stormwater runoff, flowing over roads, parking lots, and rooftops into lakes and rivers. It frequently carries pollutants with it, such as pet waste, excess fertilizer, and road salt. These are a big threat to lakes and rivers and can cause algae blooms, flooding, or other nuisance conditions. (Learn more about stormwater issues in the Minnesota Stormwater Manual.)
Native gardens, rain gardens, and stabilized shorelines are best management practices that can help water soak in and filter stormwater runoff.
Dakota County Soil & Water Conservation District holds a workshop called Landscaping for Clean Water to educate homeowners on planning, purchasing and planting a native garden, rain garden, or stabilizing shorelines. Find out more and sign up for their workshops here.
Additionally, some cities in the watershed, such as Apple Valley, offer cost shares for residents to implement water quality and conservation measures. Check what your city can offer.