Restoring Hardwood Creek in Lino Lakes and Hugo

Hardwood Creek is a valuable natural feature to residents and property owners in Lino Lakes. But in 2002 the creek was found impaired because pollution had reduced oxygen in the water so that fish and aquatic insect populations were falling or even missing. Hardwood Creek flows through Hugo into Lino Lakes and empties into Peltier Lake.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Rice Creek Watershed District have partnered with Anoka and Washington Counties and the Cities of Lino Lakes and Hugo to find solutions that restore the natural quality of Hardwood Creek.

ERODING SOILS  A study determined that eroding soils were destroying important stream habitat and lowering dissolved oxygen making Hardwood Creek uninhabitable for many species of fish. The MPCA and RCWD took steps to address these problems. First Step – eroding stream banks were stabilized using logs, native plants and grasses. Second Step – a section of the creek was reconnected to the original meandering path. By “re-meandering” the creek, speed of water flow was slowed therefore reducing erosion and the amount of dirt washing into Hardwood Creek during rain events. Nutrient pollutants (e.g. lawn fertilizer) bind to dirt particles that can pollute the water when washed into the creek. Nutrients lower the level of dissolved oxygen in water.

Hardwood Creek Restoration (step 2)

The Third Step – is up to members of the community. Landowners adjacent or near Hardwood Creek are asked to work with the Rice Creek Watershed District to improve the quality of water that runs off their land and into the creek or storm water sewers that drain into the creek.

For more information or to learn how you can help restore Hardwood Creek contact the Rice Creek Watershed District at 763-398-3070 or see the links below about controlling soil erosion and protecting the quality of surface water.

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