Take simple actions on your property to help protect water wherever you live.


Use this early spring to plan your raingarden or habitat restoration project! We have grants that could help, depending on the type of project. But, don’t give in to the temptation to clear the garden too early. Many pollinators are still hibernating in the soil and old stems. We could still have a few freezes in store, so avoid planting early too!

image of man sweeping grass clippings into yard


Keep lawn clippings off the street. The nutrients in those clippings cause unsightly algae growth in lakes when they wash down the nearest stormdrain. Point your mower so that clippings blow onto the lawn. Sweep or blow any clippings that land on the street back into your lawn.


It is so important to clean leaves out of storm drain grates at any time of year, but especially once the leaves start falling. Not only does this keep nutrients out of our lakes, but it can also help reduce localized flooding. This short video from Hamline’s Center For Global Environmental Education explains why cleaning storm drains is important in more detail.

Image of the Little Seed Library

Little Seed Library

Consider planting native flowers in your garden. Their long roots help soak in rainwater, and the flowers attract pollinators. Get started with some seeds from our Little Seed Library. Learn more at: ninemilecreek.org/little-seed-library.


Clean up extra salt and sand. Salt on dry, ice-free surfaces is not useful—it is pollution waiting to happen. Sand on dry surfaces does not provide traction; it can actually lead to skidding and slipping. Sweep up extra sand and salt to keep them out of our lakes and creeks. You could even reuse the material if it’s dry!

Did You Know? Nine Mile Creek has unhealthy levels of salt in it from winter use! Use less salt or none at all. Using Deicers with Care (PDF) »


Clean up road gunk on your block. Over the winter, trash, leaves, sand, and other materials build up, making the streets a mess. Get a bag and some gloves, and clean up the curbs and stormdrains. To make a bigger impact, round up your neighbors, and clean up all the stormdrains on the entire block. Not only will the neighborhood look better, but it will keep pollutants out of nearby bodies of water.

boat cleaning station at Bryant Lake

Clean. Drain. Dispose.

In order to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, it is important to always clean your boat or other watercraft, drain all water and dispose of bait properly. Learn more: ninemilecreek.org/ais.