2015 Buckthorn Bust – 10/24/15

2015 Buckthorn Bust
Saturday, October 24, 2015
9:00am - All Ages
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
No experience necessary! We’ll show you the ropes.
It's a fun way to meet your neighbors and do some instantly gratifying, visible good for Diamond Lake.
Meet at Pearl Park before 9:00 am
We’ll have rolls & hot beverages...
• Remember to dress for the weather.
• Wear work gloves and sturdy shoes or work boots.
• Bring loppers, a straight-sided digging spade, or weed wrench if you can. FoDL will also have some on hand, along with a few pruning saws.

Why the Big Bust?
Buckthorn is a non-native, highly invasive, woody plant that is easily propagated by birds who eat its berries. It crowds out more diverse native plants, limiting wildlife habitat. Our annual efforts to keep the Diamond Lake area buckthorn to a minimum have been very successful, but we need to continue to be vigilant and remove as many of the plants as we can find.

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Fall Lawn Care — Keep it Healthy

Keeping Your Lawn Healthy & Water-Friendly

autumn-red-maple-leavesFall is the best time to fertilize lawns and control weeds. Here are some tips from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District for keeping a healthy fall lawn that looks nice and protects the health of nearby lakes and streams:

Mow – Mow often, leave clippings on the lawn and leave your grass 2.5 to 3 inches high. This strengthens roots and retains moisture for a green, resilient lawn.

Fertilize – Mid-to late October is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Fertilizer provides grass with nutrients for spring growth. Use “zero phosphorus” fertilizer (look for a middle number of 0 on the package). Water your lawn for 1 to 2 hours after application.

Control Weeds – September is the best time to treat dandelions, plantain, clover and creeping Charlie. Limited numbers of weeds should be removed by hand or spot-treated with herbicide.

Sweep up – Sweep up and reuse lawn care products that fall on streets, sidewalks and driveways.

Rake – Rake leaves to keep them out of storm drains and nearby water bodies, where they release phosphorus and other unwanted nutrients. Keep them away from driveways, streets and sidewalks.

What to do with leaves – There are a few water-friendly ways you can get rid of leaves:
* Compost – Recycles nutrients
* Mulch – Use leaves as mulch, either whole or shredded
* Mow – If there is less than 2 inches of leaves on your lawn, leave them in place and make several passes over them with a power mower. This provides your lawn valuable nutrients and makes it look like you just raked!
* Bag – Rake and bag your leaves for pick-up by city crews. Minneapolis and other communities compost bagged leaves.

Tips for Water-Friendly Yard Care

How can you take care of your lawn AND protect our waters?
You might be surprised at just how simple it can be.

rain-on-grassIf you’re working on fall clean-up like most residents, there are some things you should know that can help improve the quality of Diamond Lake and other lakes & streams.

Responsible, low-impact turf care is easy, and generally less expensive than using chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that pollute our lakes and streams.  This article, courtesy of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, provides tips & tricks for ensuring that caring for your little patch of green also cares for the water ecosystems.

Get the scoop before you rake!

Get the Latest Newsletter

Get the latest Friends of Diamond Lake Newsletter

Take a look and see what Friends of Diamond Lake has been up to, what plans are in store, and how you can get involved.

Special thanks go to Melanie Countryman and Leigh Oltmans for editing and layout and to all of the contributors of content and photos.

See all of the newsletters here »

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Birding Outing – 05/17/14

Birding Outing
Saturday, May 17, 2014
8:00am - All Ages
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
THIS SATURDAY! Join other Diamond Lake bird enthusiasts. We will be joining our new resident birder, Mark Mariutto, as he conducts part of the annual Friends of Diamond Lake bird survey. This survey was first done in 2011 and is part of FoDL monitoring of the area's biological diversity and health. Bring your binoculars. We will meet at Pearl Park at 8:00 am.

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2014 FODL Annual Meeting – 05/08/14

2014 FODL Annual Meeting
Thursday, May 8, 2014
6:15pm - 6:15 - Registration; 6:30 Program - All Ages
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info

Join us for these special speakers & timely topics!

“Urban Watersheds in a Changing Climate”
with Professor Sarah E. Hobbie
Climate change can seem like an issue that is out of reach for local citizen reflection and action. Join us for this presentation about the effects of climate change on urban watersheds, like Diamond Lake’s, and actions local residents and policy makers can take to mitigate impact locally.
SARAH E. HOBBIE is professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the influence of changes in atmospheric composition, climate, land use, and plant species composition on nutrient cycling and other ecosystem processes.

“Frog Species in the Diamond Lake Area”
with Brenda Danner
BRENDA DANNER is an Environmental Services Specialist with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

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Birds, Birds, Birds!

Swans on Diamond LakeWe are excited to have an experienced birder to help us again with this year’s inventory our of bird population around Diamond Lake. Mark is a resident of the Tangletown Neighborhood but he has agreed to cross neighborhood lines to help us out. As a long time birder Mark has frequented Diamond Lake in past outings. He will be leading several birding trips to help interested people learn to identify and appreciate the over 70 species of birds that either stop over on the lake as part of their migratory trek north or reside and nest on the lake and its surrounding habit. Specific trip dates are weather dependent and are in the works, so look for the birding expeditions on the website and in email blasts to members. Please be sure we have your preferred email address (see the Newsletter subscription form at the bottom of the page). Watch for upcoming notices in late April, May and June.

Melting Snow: Protect the lakes, rivers (and paws!)

Dog getting paws checked at the Twin Cities Loppet nordic ski race. Photo © Michelle F. Johnson 2011

Sidewalk Salt and Water Quality

As snow and ice melt, it washes into our lakes and the river. The salt and sand sprinkled on hard surfaces, such as sidewalks and driveways, goes with this melting flow and pollutes our lakes, creeks and the river. Once the salt is in the water, there is no way to remove it. Salt is an ongoing threat to water quality.

Just how potent is salt?
The chloride found in one teaspoon of road salt is enough to permanently pollute five gallons of water. Chlorides in high concentrations:

  • negatively impact aquatic organisms
  • harm the structure of aquatic environments by reducing diversity and productivity
  • increase bird deaths
  • damage plants, turf grass, and trees
  • injure the paws of dogs who walk on it

How can you help?

Shovel first
The more snow you can remove from the sidewalk or driveway, the less salt you need. Try to Continue reading

Last Chance for Fall Cleanup!

Water & Debris running into storm drainThe forecast says we have a few days left to button things up before you-know-what, but today’s “Arctic Blast” is a sure sign of the inevitable.  And Judging from the the multitude of paper compost bags lining the curbs on my block this morning, nearly everyone in the neighborhood has been out tending to the last minute chores of fall.

What can you do?

While you’re out there, please consider taking a few minutes to remove debris from a storm drain near you. The street sweeping crews are done for the season, but the trees weren’t, so there are a lot of leaves in the street.

Ten minutes clearing out a storm drain (and maybe even the nearby street) will go a long way toward protecting water quality in Diamond Lake and other lakes and streams. All those leaves, trash, and other gunk eventually end up in the lake, overfeeding vegetation and otherwise polluting the water, making it — without getting too technical — ugly & stinky.

To those who have adopted a storm drain — three cheers!  (Hint: Now’s a great time to check in on your little iron child.)  Friends of Diamond Lake would love to know how it’s going. Please feel free to add your comments at the end of this post.

Button up, clean a storm drain.  Your lake will reward you with cleaner water.

Thanks, and stay warm!

You might also want to check out these simple year-round yard care tips for water quality from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Annual Buckthorn Bust – 10/26/13


Some of the 2012 Buckthorn Bust crew

Some of the 2012 Buckthorn Bust crew

Annual Buckthorn Bust
Saturday, October 26, 2013
9:00am - All Ages
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
9am to noon. Join the crew and make a difference by helping remove invasive Buckthorn around Diamond Lake. We do this annually to help ensure the survival of native plants that support the diverse wildlife who call Diamond Lake home. Meet at the Pearl Park parking lot before 9am for coffee/cocoa, rolls, and instructions. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring work gloves. Straight sided digging spades and loppers are helpful to bring if you have them. We will have weed wrenches, loppers, and saws available.

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