What We Can Do to Help Restore Easter Lake
Diminishing Water Quality Since 1967 – Since its creation in 1967, Easter Lake has faced diminishing water quality as development in the area has increased. Overtime we have changed the landscape in the Easter Lake Watershed from prairie to farmland to a predominantly urban landscape. Through these changes we have altered hydrology significantly decreasing the landscape’s ability to effectively manage rainfall and flooding events.
Increasing Stormwater- Decreasing Water Quality – The urban landscape is ruled by impervious surfaces such as streets, parking lots, rooftops, and highly compacted soils. These impervious surfaces generate enormous amounts of stormwater runoff that flows off our houses, parking lots and streets into storm drains which lead directly into our streams and lakes. As stormwater travels it picks up pollutants and trash that are eventually deposited into the nearest stream or lake. Additionally, during summer months stormwater can be heated as it travels over hot concrete surfaces causing thermal pollution which can be harmful to fish and other aquatic species.
Urban stormwater runoff is also harmful because its ability to destabilize stream banks. During rainfall events large amounts of stormwater enters waterways in a very short amount of time. This stormwater is incredibly forceful and cuts away at stream banks sending sediment downstream. In Easter Lake, nearly 30% of lake volume has been lost because of siltation. About 60% of this sediment has come from stream bank erosion alone.
Minimize Your Impact – There are many ways we can help slow down and capture stormwater. Any amount of stormwater we slow down is a win for Easter Lake. Many of the conservation practices we focus on installing throughout the Easter Lake Watershed are called Rainscaping practices including things like rain gardens, rain barrels, and soil quality restoration.
Available Cost-Share – As part of the Easter Lake Watershed Project we offer up to 75% cost-share for conservation and Rainscaping Practices. To receive cost-share assistance prior approval must be granted before any installation work has occurred. See below for more information on these practices and the cost share process.
- Rain barrels: up to a $100.00 rebate
- Rain Gardens: up to 75% cost-share
- Soil Quality Restoration: up to 75% cost-share
- Native Landscaping: up to 75% cost-share
- Permeable Pavement: up to 75% cost-share up to $15,000
- Bio-retention Cells: up to 75% cost-share
- Bioswales: up to 75% cost-share
- Native Turf: up to 75% cost-share
See below for more information on individual Rainscaping Practices
What is Rainwater Harvesting? Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater and storing it for later use. Storage methods can range from small barrels to large underground storage tanks. The simplest way to start rainwater harvesting is to install a rain barrel next to a building that has downspouts collecting roof water. More elaborate … Continue reading Rainwater Harvesting
What are Rain Gardens? A rain garden is a landscaped depression that captures rainwater runoff from roofs, driveways, streets, or parking lots. Runoff captured in a rain garden is temporarily ponded before infiltrating and percolating down through the natural soils. This allows for plants to use the water and for pollutants to be filtered out. … Continue reading Rain Gardens
What Are Permeable Pavers? Permeable pavers are a stormwater management practice used in place of traditional concrete or asphalt to decrease stormwater runoff. Unlike traditional surfaces, permeable pavers allow water to infiltrate into a layer of rock. Water then moves into the soil or to a subsurface drain. Why Install Permeable Pavers? Permeable pavers are … Continue reading Permeable Pavement
What is Soil Quality Restoration? Soil quality restoration (SQR) is the process of improving soil health on new or existing lawns. The process uses tillage, aeration, and compost to increase infiltration and organic matter content. Soil quality restoration leads to healthier, more functional soils and landscapes that can absorb more rain and shed less runoff. … Continue reading Soil Quality Restoration
To protect Easter Lake into the future we need all the help we can get from watershed residents to adopt practices, big and small, to protect water quality by improving soils, slowing down stormwater, and practicing basic pollution prevention. For residents of the Easter Lake watershed, funding is available through the Easter Lake Watershed Project … Continue reading Want to help improve water quality in your own backyard? We have funding to help!