If you take delight in fishing, boating or wading about with your kids in Eden Prairie lakes or creeks – or if you have been alarmed by goose poop, milfoil and carp – you can make a difference by joining one of the advisory committees that serve local watershed districts.
Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek, Nine Mile Creek and Lower Minnesota River Watershed Districts are accepting applications for their respective Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC). Members are appointed for a year by each district’s Board of Managers; the size of and openings on each committee varies with the district.
Meetings are held quarterly except for the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek committee which meets monthly. CAC members are not paid but can qualify for compensation for expenses when attending pre-approved seminars and conferences.
Application forms are available online (see links below), but deadlines are approaching. The deadline for the Nine Mile Creek application is noon on Monday January 4, 2021. The Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek application is due January 15, 2021, and the Lower Minnesota River application date is open.
Duties of the advisory committees
Citizen Advisory Committees regularly review and comment on a variety of water smart projects and programs run by watershed district staff and managers. They partner with other local governments, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and federal agencies to protect and improve lakes, creeks, wetlands and aquifers and to reduce invasive species, pollution, erosion and flooding. The districts also run shoreline, creek bank and native plant restoration and aeration projects and sponsor educational programs and distribute grants to homeowners and others for projects such as rainwater gardens.
The mission of the committees is to assist watershed district decision-making and to share broader community concerns with the district’s staff, boards of managers and technical advisors. Applicants can serve only the watershed district within which they live.
District boundaries are wiggly-squiggly because they are determined by the flow of rainwater from lawns, driveways, parking lots and storm sewers into filtration ponds and/or wetlands into a creek and its associated lakes and ponds. Your neighbor might be in a different district if snow that falls on her lawn melts and flows toward Purgatory Creek whereas the March ice that melts on your driveway ends up in Nine Mile Creek. Each district website provides a map (see below for links).
Generally in Eden Prairie, the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek district embraces neighborhoods along Riley and Purgatory Creeks including Rice Marsh Lake, Lake Riley, Duck Lake, Round Lake, Mitchell Lake, Red Rock Lake, Purgatory Recreation Area, Lake Idlewild and Starring Lake.
The Nine Mile Creek district includes Birch Island Lake, Bryant Lake, Lake Smetana and the Anderson Lakes. The Eden Prairie reach of the Lower Minnesota River Valley water district includes the southern-facing bluff lands, and the lakes, woods and croplands along the river.
Each of our watershed districts serves the scenic open spaces that are protected and managed by the City and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along the Minnesota River.
Citizen Advisory Committee info, maps and application forms
Nine Mile Creek Watershed Application due noon, Mon. Jan. 4, 2021 http://lowermnriverwd.org/about/citizen-advisory-committe Questions to: 952-658-9104, firstname.lastname@example.orgRiley
Bluff Creek Watershed District Application due Friday Jan. 15, 2021 www.rpbcwd.org/apply-cac Questions to: 952-607-6481, email@example.com
Lower Minnesota River Watershed District No application due date https://lowermnriverwd.org/about/citizen-advisory-committee Questions to: 763-545-4659 or 612-306-5802, firstname.lastname@example.org