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KSTP Channel 5
Northwestern College name outstanding conservationist
Northwestern College recognized for shoreline restoration of Lake Johanna
In Roseville, Northwestern College Wins Conservationist Plaudits
October 31—The Ramsey Conservation District has chosen Northwestern College as the 2011 Outstanding Conservationist for Ramsey County. Since 2010, the Ramsey Conservation District has been working with Northwestern College to stabilize nearly 4,000 lineal feet and almost two acres of highly eroded shoreline on Lake Johanna in Roseville.
“We’re grateful to be selected for this award and appreciate the recognition from the Ramsey County,” said Brian Humphries, Associate Vice President of Facility Operations and Planning. “Northwestern is committed to keeping our grounds and surrounding property in the best possible condition. We’re very attentive to environmental needs, especially when it deals with a public water resource like Lake Johanna.”
The shoreline restoration project installed more than 40 species of native plants, erosion control products, and soil lifts to create a more stable shoreline and restore areas of emergent, transitional, and upland plant communities. It is expected that the project will reduce phosphorus entering Lake Johanna by over an estimated ten pounds per year and soils and sediment by over 12 tons per year.
The first half of the project was installed in 2010 and the second half will be completed in 2011.The highly visible project will have a great impact on water quality as seen by the before and after images below (before on left, after on right):
Getting the classroom involved
As professors often take advantage of the natural resources on campus, Northwestern students were able to participate in the shoreline restoration project, giving them opportunity to see what environmental work looks like in a real-world context.
“We use these restoration areas as an educational tool in several of our classes,” said biology associate, Joel Light, M.A. “It makes the concepts that we cover in our classes more real for the students. They can directly see the fruits of their labor.”
Many of the natural areas on campus are used as an outdoor laboratory for science classes as well as faculty research projects which involve student assistance each semester. Light’s summer Field Biology course is taught almost exclusively in many natural areas on campus and in the community.
“We are fortunate to be blessed with the natural resources we have being a suburban campus. Most other small schools in the area do not have direct access to this natural wealth on their campus,” continued Light. “These areas become very valuable to our science programs, to our campus and the surrounding communities.”