Coleraine’s stormwater solution focuses on Trout Lake water quality

Itasca SWCD and the city of Coleraine take a watershed approach to protect the lake. Collaborators range from Vandyke Elementary fourth-graders to the Mississippi Headwaters Board to community volunteers and the Blandin Foundation.

An angler fishes from a pier July 20 on Trout Lake in Coleraine, where smoke from Canadian wildfires obscured the view. The water lilies in the foreground, seen from the footbridge spanning the point where lake and stormwater pond meet, are a sign that the pond is filled with sediment. Known as an excellent fishery with good water quality, Trout Lake has seen some fish kills and more algae blooms in recent years. Clean Water Fund grant-supported practices will treat about one-third of the 500-acre watershed. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR
“It was really a great educational event,” Andy Arens, Itasca SWCD manager and water plan coordinator, said of the collaboration with Vandyke Elementary School, which involved 72 fourth-graders, 10 community volunteers, seven teachers, two TSA 8 staff members and two rain gardens.
Springs, precipitation and runoff feed Trout Lake, which flows to Trout Creek and eventually the Mississippi River.
Discussions about how to fund clean-out of a stormwater pond adjacent to Trout Lake in Coleraine led to a Clean Water Fund grant to treat stormwater higher in the watershed. This July 20 view of the pond faces Longyear Park and the city.
Vandyke Elementary School overlooks Trout Lake in Coleraine. Teachers worked fourth-graders’ rain garden planting into lesson plans. On the day of the planting, they learned how residents’ and communities’ water use can affect water supply and quality.
Two rain gardens planted this spring are the first projects Itasca SWCD and its partners completed with a Clean Water Fund grant from BWSR. The view from one of the rain gardens shows Greenway High School. Vandyke Elementary School is across the street.
Andy Arens, Itasca SWCD manager and water plan coordinator, checks on the rain gardens and sediment traps, which reduce how much sediment (and the pollutants it carries) enters Trout Lake.

Project Details

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ mission is to improve and protect the state’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners. www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Our mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.