Conservation Update: Our Watershed, Wildflowers (bees) and Winners!

It’s officially Spring! April has not disappointed us with spring rainfall. The wet weather has given us an ideal opportunity to educate our youth interns and the East Side community on storm drains. We teamed up with the Capital Region Watershed District, and our Conservation interns to promote the Adopt-A-Drain Program, hanging informative signs on 3,000 doors in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. This program encourages residents to clean their local storm drains to keep trash, debris, and chemicals out of our lakes and rivers.

The rain also means wildflowers are starting to bloom and pollinators are returning! We are excited to host bees at our new Rivoli Bluffs site. We have two bee boxes and both queens are laying eggs, while the workers are making combs and storing nectar and pollen.

Our queen bees aren’t the only ones who have been successful this spring. Two of our youth, Chue Kong Pheng Xiong and Gao Joua Lor, who also participated in the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Youth Engagement Program (YEP), won the Sustainable St. Paul Youth Leadership Award. They surveyed 200 students to better understand why teens don’t go outdoors in the winter, and then were successful at getting more teens outside to attend Phalen Freeze Fest this February. They will have another opportunity to encourage more teens to get outdoors this spring with the Take Aim at Summer Fun event May 20th at the DNR Central Region Headquarters from 11-3pm. Participants can try archery, canoeing, fishing, tree climbing and much more!