Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

What’s being done about the trash on Lake Hiawatha?

Posted on 27 August 2018 by calvin

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
Sean Connaughty, Standish resident and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) volunteer steward of Lake Hiawatha, continues to push for a solution to the large amount of trash that drains into the lake.
Since 2015, he’s picked up 4,500 pounds of trash from the lake. That doesn’t include the amount others have picked up.

Connaughty, who also serves on the MPRB Hiawatha Golf Course Community Advisory Committee, plans to continue working with the community and various agencies to help design and develop a new wetland complex and mitigation system for the north pipe storm sewer.

Photo left: Since 2015, Standish resident Sean Connaughty has picked up 4,500 pounds of trash from the lake. That doesn’t include the amount others have picked up. Connaughty, who also serves on the MPRB Hiawatha Golf Course Community Advisory Committee, plans to continue working with the community and various agencies to help design and develop a new wetland complex and mitigation system for the north pipe storm sewer which drains 920 acres of Minneapolis storm sewers into the lake without trash mitigation. (Photo submitted)

Here’s how he envisions an effective mitigation system.

“It must deal with the following pollutants: trash, sediment and waterborne pollutants including chemicals and phosphorous,” Connaughty said. “An effective mitigation system will use limited mechanical intervention to capture trash. It will also slow stormwater flow out of the pipe by using meanders, stream branching, and pond dilution to reduce velocity and drop sediment. Wetlands capture, absorb and transform pollutants.

“Restoring wetlands on the property will also return some of the flood storage capacity to the land that was removed in 1929 when the creek was straightened, the lake dredged and the wetlands filled in to make Hiawatha Golf Course. Restoring wetlands to portions of the property will also reduce the impact of future floods on nearby homes (as shown in recent flood models created by Barr engineering).

“The result of all this work will be a massive improvement in water quality for Lake Hiawatha,” Connaughty said.
He continued, “No longer will 920 acres of South Minneapolis dump its pollution directly into Lake Hiawatha. The newly inundated wetland spaces that aren’t usable for golf will provide new habitat and areas of public access for nongolfers.”

Connaughty also plans to work with the community to design a public art space that is integrated into the natural spaces that are created in these new wetland areas.

 

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