Hold the Salt Please!
It's on the roads, it's in home water softeners—and increasingly it's in lakes and streams. Here are some things you can do to fight chloride pollution in our lakes and streams.
When clearing winter walks/driveways consider the following:
Shovel early and often. The more snow and ice you remove, the less salt you’ll need.
Sprinkle sparsely. Leave 3 inches between salt grains.
Go lean. A coffee mug is adequate for a 20-foot driveway or 10 sidewalk squares.
Use a tool. A handheld spreader can apply salt consistently.
Wait for warmer weather. When ground temperatures are below 15 degrees, it’s too cold for ordinary sodium chloride to work.
Use the right de-icer. Calcium chloride works at much lower temperatures than sodium chloride.
Sweep up extra salt. If it is visible on dry pavement, it is not doing anything and will be washed into water bodies.
Click here for an in-depth article on Chloride written by board member Pat Wulff.
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Winter sunset from 3Rivers Park
photo credit: Barbara Zadeh
Fun on the Ice
The middle of winter may have you dreaming of the warm summer sun and boating on the lake, but it doesn’t have to be dreary. There are plenty of activities to keep you active and happy all winter long. And Lake Independence is a great place to recreate in the winter.
Walk the Lake
Get your boots on and hit the water, errr…, ice! Enjoy a nice walk on the lake while it is fully frozen. Be sure to wait until the ice is thick enough to support weight. The MN DNR recommends at least 4 inches of solid ice. For extra grip, add traction devices to the bottoms of your boots and/or grab some hiking poles to help prevent slipping.
There comes a perfect time of year when the ice on the lake is thick but we haven’t had much snowfall. And if this winter is one of those perfect years, that means a lot of space for ice skating. Some homeowners with lakeshore property will even clear a patch just for skating.
Cross-country skiing is a great aerobic activity that keeps you active during the cold winter months. Don’t have your own skis? That’s OK! Three Rivers Park District rents ski gear at the Baker National Golf Course, which also offers groomed ski trails.
Ice fishing is a favorite pastime in winter. Whether you have an ice house or just a comfortable camp chair you can plop on the ice, ice fishing is a great way to pass the time. There are several “hot spots” around the lake that are popular for winter fishing. *Hint: look for the clusters of ice houses!
Have another idea for winter fun? Share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook page.