Conservation Minnesota

Lake Cornelia Needs Our Help

Bodies of water all over the state are under the growing threat of blue-green algae. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Recently I attended a meeting of the Edina City Council. Among the issues discussed was a new report detailing the current status of Lake Cornelia, which is located right next to Highway 62 and the Edina pool. I was glad to see this issue addressed, after all Lake Cornelia has a number of problems these days including a major break out of toxic blue-green algae that happened this past fall.

There are a number of reasons for this lake’s problems. For one, it lies in a rather large watershed with over 1,000 nearby acres draining directly into it. In addition, this is a pretty built-up part of Edina so the lake receives a lot of pollution run-off from many streets, parking lots, and lawns in the vicinity. Finally, the lake is only seven feet deep at its deepest point making it susceptible to algae blooms like we saw last fall, especially if there is an abundance of phosphate pollution from lawn care products in the pollution run-off.

Put it all together and you get a perfect storm.

In fact, as the Star Tribune recently pointed out, the lake’s issues have even garnered the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency which has added the lake’s north basin to its “impaired waters list” due to these sorts of ongoing problems.

The good news is that we at Conservation Minnesota are well positioned to help improve the situation. To begin, there are 31 home owners directly on the lake and many more in its water basin. By working with these people to adopt best practices when it comes to reducing runoff pollution we could see some major improvements in water quality in the lake over time. More over the lake itself lies inside the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District meaning there are many opportunities for collaboration when it comes to things like lake management and planning over the long term. Finally, we can communicate directly with Conservation Minnesota’s 600 plus members in the City of Edina both to raise awareness around the issue and try and get more people involved with cleaning up the lake.

I look forward to meeting with representatives from the city and other agencies involved over the next few months to try and find ways for Conservation Minnesota to get our members more involved when it comes to improving Lake Cornelia, as well as working with Conservation Minnesota’s members and other concerned residents to try and find out how to address the lake’s problems. After all, helping out with these sorts of issues is what my job as a community coordinator is all about.

If you would like to help me in these efforts, please contact me at

About John Anderson

John Anderson
John Anderson has a name that screams Minnesotan (despite the fact that he was born in Berkley, California). His resume includes a stint as a census worker that allowed him to learn a great deal about the way people choose to interact with the government. Anderson serves as Regional Manager in the west metro. In this role he works with community leaders and people who want to protect Minnesota’s Great Outdoors throughout the region. A 2006 graduate of Northwestern University, a day spent riding his bike in Minnehaha Park is his version of perfection.
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