Good Neighbor News – November 2019 – Yard Care Tips, Community Cleanups and More

The Good Neighbor News is a monthly email newsletter with eco-friendly yard care tips, community cleanup opportunities, and stories of good environmental stewardship from around the watershed. Click here to subscribe.

Columbia Heights Key Club members raking leaves.
Columbia Heights Key Club members raking leaves.

Good Neighbors of the Month

Columbia Heights Key Club Rakes Up Leaves and Gratitude

Seventeen Columbia Heights High School Key Club members and their advisers recently braved snow and cold temps to rake up leaves in several Columbia Heights yards, assisting residents who struggle to perform this task. Besides tidying up neighborhoods, the students kept leaves from blocking stormdrains and causing localized flooding. Their efforts also stopped this organic material from flowing through stormsewer pipes into water bodies, where it can deplete oxygen for aquatic life and foster algae in the Mississippi Watershed. Key Club is a service club dedicated to developing leadership qualities in high school students directing student led community service opportunities.

How to Remove Ice without Salt

First-person view of a person shoveling snow.It sure seems like winter came early this year! Residents, businesses and city public works departments are already spreading salt and other deicing chemicals on our streets and sidewalks to try to keep away the ice. But did you know much of that salt will end up in our rivers and lakes?

In fact, many Minnesota waterbodies are contaminated with chloride. This chemical, which is toxic to fish and aquatic plants, comes from the salt and deicers we use on paved surfaces in the winter. The MWMO works with local governments and private contractors to help them implement smart salting tools and techniques that cut down on chloride pollution — and you can do your part at home, too!

Help protect our waters by learning how to remove ice without salt this coming winter. Learn the science behind when salt works and when it doesn’t, when to use sand instead of salt, and what tools can help make scraping and shoveling easier. And find brochures, posters and other tools you can share with neighbors and friends.

Learn More on Our Website

Don’t Forget to Winterize Your Rainbarrel

Man pointing at rainbarrels.
Image: Clean Water Minnesota

The dropping temperatures are a sure sign that it is time to get your rainbarrels ready for winter. Take these five easy steps — ideally before to the first hard freeze — to protect your rainbarrel from damage.

  1. Disconnect your rainbarrel from your downspouts.
  2. Drain the rainbarrel to prevent freezing and cracking. Start by opening all spigots. Once drained, turn the barrel upside down to empty it completely.
  3. Remove hoses and spigots, which split easily if left outside during Minnesota winters, and take them inside.
  4. Take this opportunity to rinse out your rainbarrel and wash off the filter screen of the debris that accumulated over the summer and fall.
  5. Store the barrel inside or under a tarp. You can reattach your rainbarrel after the last hard freeze in the spring.

Upcoming Events

Holiday on 44th (Webber-Camden)

Friday, December 6, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Stop by the MWMO table at this annual North Minneapolis event, where ordinary city street turns into a twinkling wonderland. From music and crafts at Patrick Henry High School to face painters and magicians at Loring Community School, the street sparkles with cheer. Details…

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