Earth Day Cleanup – Diamond Lake – 05/12/18

Earth Day Cleanup - Diamond Lake
When
Saturday, May 12, 2018
9:30am - All Ages
Where
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 12! Join FoDL at the annual MPRB Earth Day Cleanup. It's easy to get involved in Earth Day Cleanup 2018. No pre-registration is required! Arrive between 9:30 am and noon, bring a pair of gloves to pick up trash, and check in at the registration table. A site coordinator will provide you with gloves (if you did not bring any) and bags, and instruct you where to go and where to leave trash.

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Annual Meeting – 04/19/18

Annual Meeting
When
Thursday, April 19, 2018
6:30pm - All Ages
Where
5760 Portland Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Other Info
Join friends and neighbors for the FoDL Annual Meeting at Diamond Lake Lutheran Church!

Learn about pollinators!

GUEST SPEAKER: Minneapolis Ward 11 City Council Member Jeremy Schroeder.
FEATURED SPEAKER: JoAnne Sabin, Master Gardener and Beekeeper on Pollinators and Pollinator Habitat

To get YOUR Pollinator Garden off to a quick start, win one of 4 door prizes:
$35 gift certificate to Tangletown Gardens

About JoAnne:
JoAnne Sabin’s love of gardens, nature, and nutrition led her to become a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener in 2004 and a beekeeper in 2005. She has been teaching gardening and honeybee related topics throughout Minnesota since 2004, including presentations at garden expos, garden clubs, beekeeping groups, schools, community education, master gardener meetings, and both the Dakota County Fair and the Minnesota State Fair. She has been gardening in Minnesota for 30 years. Her other interests include photography, camping, and volleyball.

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Frog Identification Training – 03/27/18

Frog Identification Training
When
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
6:30pm - All Ages
Where
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
Melanie Countryman, Friends of Diamond Lake board member and Master Naturalist, will talk about the frog species found in our area and help us to learn to identify them by their characteristic calls. We will also discuss the results from last year’s frog survey that Friends of Diamond Lake volunteers conducted around the lake.

Everyone is welcome — present and future frog survey volunteers and anyone, young or old, with an interest in these fascinating creatures. If you plan to participate in this year’s survey and have a smart phone, bring it to the meeting and we will set you up to automatically enter frog data from your phone.

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2017 Invasive Species Bust – 11/04/17

2017 Invasive Species Bust
When
Saturday, November 4, 2017
9:00am - All Ages
Where
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
BUST THOSE INVASIVES!
Join the Crew!

Volunteer efforts to clean up buckthorn around Diamond Lake have been so successful that there is minimal buckthorn to clean up in public areas this year. So, we will be removing honeysuckle and grapevines in addition to buckthorn.

• Meet at Pearl Park before 9:00 am.
• Tools, training, and refreshments will be provided.
• Bring work gloves and wear work boots or sturdy shoes.

Why the Big Bust?
Invasives including buckthorn, honeysuckle, oriental bittersweet, and grapevines crowd out more diverse native plants, limiting wildlife habitat. Our continued vigilance in removing as many of the invasive plants as we can find pays off!

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2nd Annual On-the-water Cleanup & Bird Watching Event – 05/13/17

2nd Annual On-the-water Cleanup & Bird Watching Event
When
Saturday, May 13, 2017
10:00am - All Ages
Where
Diamond Lake - Shore Behind Diamond Lake Lutheran Church (map)
5760 Portland Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Other Info
Bring your canoe or kayak and help us clean up trash around the lake on Saturday morning, May 13. And, in the process, observe the wonderful array of birds that either call our lake home or that stop here on their north-south migration route.

This year’s lake cleanup will be jointly sponsored by Friends of Diamond Lake and Hale Page Diamond Lake (HPDL) Community Organization.

Meet in the Diamond Lake Lutheran Church Parking lot and put in from there.

Event runs 10 am to noon.

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Annual Meeting – 04/06/17

Annual Meeting
When
Thursday, April 6, 2017
6:30pm - Registration begins at 6:15 - All Ages
Where
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
Hear the most recent research findings on the lake’s water quality, plants and animals.

We will also celebrate the successes of the Diamond Lake Blooming Alleys for Clean Water project. We will share the stormwater capture projects—installed by 29 homeowners on four blocks in our watershed—that improve water quality, create inviting community spaces, and increase habitat for pollinators.

We also want to salute everyone in our community who is helping to restore and protect the water quality of Diamond Lake by planting raingardens, installing permeable pavers, cleaning leaves and garbage out of storm drains and the street, picking up after pets, and making many other positive contributions. These impressive community efforts demonstrate how combined actions of individuals and organizations make a positive impact on Diamond Lake!

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Blooming Alleys for Clean Water

Improving Water Quality and Neighborhood Esthetics

The recent Diamond Lake Blooming Alleys for Clean Water project built on the previous partnership of Metro Blooms and the Friends of Diamond Lake and successes in the Go Blue! Community Makeover project.

Over the past two years, Diamond Lake Blooming Alleys for Clean Water engaged residents on targeted blocks in the Diamond Lake watershed to install new stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) on their properties. Installations were placed to create the biggest impact in improving both water quality and neighborhood aesthetics. In several cases, neighbors partnered across properties to capture stormwater runoff.

Impressive accomplishments

As you walk through the participating alleys you will see some of the new raingardens, permeable pavement and native plantings installed as part of this program.

Raingarden at 56xx - 11th Avenue South in MinneapolisAbove: New Raingarden at 5616 11th Avenue South

 

We celebrate the 29 homeowners on four blocks in the Diamond Lake watershed who installed 51 new features through Diamond Lake Blooming Alleys for Clean Water. This includes 17 permeable pavement systems, 15 raingardens, 6 planted swales and 13 native plantings.

We also celebrate all who made this possible by creating the plans, assisting with plantings, and providing all of the other expertise and effort that went into these BMPs. That’s a lot of community action!

Why is this important?

These features help to infiltrate and clean stormwater runoff before it enters Diamond Lake and Minnehaha Creek. Runoff from alleyways is often the most polluted stormwater to flow into lakes and streams because it picks up oil, fertilizer, salt, pet waste and debris as it flows off garages, over driveways and down the alley to the storm sewer.

Measurable impacts

These new features will keep one pound of phosphorus and 264 pounds of sediment from washing into Diamond Lake each year. On average, they will also reduce the volume of stormwater runoff flowing into the lake by 408,076 gallons yearly!

These beautified alleys not only help improve water quality, they also create inviting community spaces. The new native plants also provide valuable habitat for native bees and butterflies throughout the neighborhood.

Positive actions through partnerships

These installations were made possible through partnerships between neighborhood residents, Folwell Middle School students, Friends of Diamond Lake, Metro Blooms, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Hennepin County, and Freshwater Society Master Water Stewards.

Students from Folwell Middle School helped to plant the Blooming Alleys around Diamond Lake

Above: Students from Folwell Middle School helped to plant the Blooming Alleys around Diamond Lake

 

Next steps

If you would like more information about how to implement these practices in your own yard, visit the resources section of the FoDL website.

Diamond Lake Watershed - Blooming Alleys map

 

 

Diamond Lake Watershed - Blooming Alleys map


Thanks to Laura Scholl, Environmental Project Director, Metro Blooms, for providing information for this article.

Wood Duck Box Successes!

Wood Duck BoxTeresa Burton, who is in charge of Wood Duck box monitoring for the Minneapolis Park Board had the following comments about this year’s activity in the boxes around Diamond Lake:

Great news: both houses were successful! One house had down, shells, and membranes…only 2 unhatched eggs and the other had shells and membranes and 5 unhatched eggs. What is very interesting is that for the last two years both houses had successful hatches but the same box had no down either year.
Just to recap: 2014 (first year): Unhatched eggs only. Used by hen but possible dump nest? 2015: Down (1 house), eggs, membranes, a few unhatched eggs in each. Success! 2016: Down(1 house), eggs, membranes, fewer unhatched eggs. Success! 

Monitoring the Health of Diamond Lake

Since 2008, Diamond Lake has been part of an annual monitoring program called WHEP (Wetland Health Evaluation Program), which monitors wetlands throughout Hennepin County. The monitoring follows a rigorous protocol to give results that are comparable year-to-year. Both shoreline plants and water macroinvertebrates (such as dragonflies, snails, water boatman, and leeches) are sampled, the plant varieties are catalogued and the macroinvertebrates are categorized by species and number.

Diamond Lake appears as a lake on maps but its shallow depth and vegetation place it in the DNR’s classification as a Type 4 wetland. At a maximum of 5.8 feet and average depth of 3.2 feet, Diamond Lake biologically functions like a wetland and its health is more accurately measured by using wetland metrics than lake metrics.

The macroinvertebrates in particular are biomarkers of the water body’s health. Some are more tolerant of poor water quality and others are found primarily in water of higher quality. Over the past nine years of monitoring, two general observations can be made:

  1. The shoreline vegetation has shown a lack of diversity with increases in the quantity of invasive plants. This is at least partially due to the presence of muskrats breaking up cattail beds and allowing new plant species to become established.
  2. The macroinvertebrates have shown some increase in diversity with more of the ‘bugs’ being those that are found in higher quality water bodies.

The trend in macroinvertebrate findings is encouraging. Diamond Lake will always face water quality challenges because it is a small 55-acre body of water dependent on stormwater runoff from over 900 acres of urban development, including highways, streets, driveways, alleys and lawns.

Mature trees, rain gardens, and pervious paver surfaces can all help to improve the water quality of Diamond Lake by controlling the sediment and nutrients flowing into the lake.