Wood Duck Houses 2015-2016

Every fall, Teresa Burton of the Park Board inspects the two Wood Duck houses on Diamond Lake and prepares them for mating season in the spring. Here is her update for the fall of 2015:

“Both houses were successful this year!  One was picture perfect with down, broken bits of shell, and membranes.  The other house contained broken bits of shell and membranes.   This is great news!  I have included a couple of photos.  One photo is of the box just being opened and the other is the nest contents spread on the ground for counting purposes.  We leave the boxes clean and open for the winter and in the spring we will be adding fresh nesting material and closing the house back up in hopes that the boxes will continue to be used.”

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2015 Buckthorn Bust – 10/24/15

2015 Buckthorn Bust
When
Saturday, October 24, 2015
9:00am - All Ages
Where
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.

Picnic in the Park – 07/30/15

Picnic in the Park
When
Thursday, July 30, 2015
5:30pm - All Ages
Where
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
Visit the Friends of Diamond Lake booth, along with bunches of your neighbors in HPDL at Picnic in the Park. We'll have temporary tattoos for the kids, and all kinds of great info. about Diamond Lake. See you there! For more info, visit the HPDL site at http://hpdl.org/2015/04/picnic-in-the-park-2015/

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Wood Duck Houses

woodduck.DLTeresa Burton, from the Horticulture department of the Minneapolis Park and Rec. Board, is in charge of the installation and monitoring of wood duck houses at Diamond Lake. Here are her comments about the status of the houses this year with a picture of the material taken from one of the nest boxes:

“We put up two pole mounted houses with predator guards in the vicinity of the church on the south side of Diamond Lake last fall to be used (hopefully) this spring.  In the spring we fill the houses with fresh woodchips and then return in the fall to check on the status of the houses, record data, empty, and clean.  We record a variety of different things on each house.  The presence of down, shells, whole eggs, presence of squirrels, wasps, owls, etc.  This year both houses had a number of whole eggs (19 and 11) and no down or shells present.  It would lead us to believe that the boxes this year may have been dump nests.  It is also possible that something happened to the hen but as no down was present the dump nest seems more likely.   Sometimes dump nests happen when there are too few or too many nesting sites in the area.  Conflicting?  I know.  Sometimes things are a mystery. There are many different theories on whether dump nests are good or not so good.  We consider a house used is a house successful.”

The following link gives a more detailed description of Wood Duck activity:   http://www.woodducksociety.com/qanda.htm#A_Wood_Duck_Hen_and_her_Eggs:

Annual Buckthorn Bust – 10/25/14

Annual Buckthorn Bust
When
Saturday, October 25, 2014
9:00am - All Ages
Where
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
Join Friends of Diamond Lake for this annual event to remove buckthorn from the shores of Diamond Lake.

Meet at the Pearl Park parking lot at 9:00am. Training, equipment, and refreshments will be available. Please bring your work gloves.

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Volunteers needed for native planting this Saturday! – 09/27/14

Volunteers needed for native planting this Saturday!
When
Saturday, September 27, 2014
9:00am - 9 am 'til noon or when we finish - All Ages
Where
58th & Portland by Diamond Lake (map)
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
Would you like to see more plant variety and color on the shores of Diamond Lake? We would!

Friends of Diamond Lake (FoDL) is partnering with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to introduce a variety of native plants at 58th and Portland between the upper and lower trails. We are providing the labor and MPRB is supplying the design plan and materials.

Planting Day is Saturday, September 27 from 9 am to noon (or until finished.) The more volunteers we recruit the quicker the work will be done – so please invite your neighbors to join us as we work together to restore, protect and improve Diamond Lake.

Please bring your own work gloves and a small planting trowel. FoDL will provide nutritional support when we gather on the lakeside corner of 58th and Portland at 9 am.

We're looking forward to seeing you and working with you!

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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 »

Not yet on the mailing list? (We can fix that!)

Picnic in the Park – 07/31/14

Picnic in the Park
When
Thursday, July 31, 2014
5:30pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Where
Pearl Park (map)
414 E Diamond Lake Rd
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Other Info
Friends of Diamond Lake will be at the Annual HPDL Picnic in the Park event July 31.

Stop by and say hello! We'll have some cool new hats for sale, and kids get a free temporary tattoo! Really Cool!

Food, Music & more!
5:30 to 8:30 pm

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