One June 10th I was lucky enough to be able to attend a fairly unique new project focusing on improving the water quality of Carmel Pond in the City of Eden Prairie.
A group of neighbors who live on Carmel Pond had partnered with the Nine Mile Creek Watershed district to purchase three “floating islands” in an effort to help improve the pond’s unfortunately poor water quality. These floating islands are made of a nontoxic, recycled material and were anchored in the pond next to three homeowners’ shoreline after being planted with a number of aquatic plants.
While in many ways this is a test project to see how effective these floating islands could be in improving water quality, the theory behind them is simple enough. The aquatic plants growing in the islands will send their roots down deep into the water of the pond and help to filter out a lot of the nutrients and run off in the pond which have contributed to the pond’s water quality issues.
As Conservation Minnesota’s coordinator for the Eden Prairie area I had been working with a group of volunteers to both help with this project as well as help get the word out about it to the broader community.
The good news is the project was a huge success! Despite happening on June 10th, one of the hottest days so far this summer, we were able to get all of the islands planted, launched, and anchored within a few hours. In addition, a few interested Eden Prairie residents also showed up to learn more about the project.
Nine Mile Creek Watershed District worked with Barr Engineering to test the water quality before the project launch to know where the pond was and will continue to test throughout the summer. Having good data is vital to knowing how effective this project was, and how other similar projects could be. When we have the data back this fall I will be sure to share an update.
While sometimes cleaning up troubled bodies of water here in Minnesota can seem like a pretty daunting task, one thing I have learned by participating in projects like this is that when organizations like governmental bodies, organizations like Conservation Minnesota, and concerned Minnesotans work together we can accomplish big things.
So if you’re interested in pursuing a similar project in your area please get in contact me at JohnA@ConservationMinnesota.org or 612.767.1571 today!