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


Trim your grass to 3″ or above this summer. Your grass will grow longer roots, will generally be healthier, and it will help your lawn soak in more water. By keeping your mower set high, you don’t have to mow as often or water as much, saving you time to enjoy more of our wonderful Minnesota summer!


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.


As the leaves fall from the trees, rake or sweep them out of the street. Leaf-free streets keep your neighborhood looking tidy, and the leaves stay out of lakes and creeks. Excess leaves in water bodies can decrease oxygen levels in the water as they break down. Fish and plants have a hard time living in water with low oxygen levels.

Little Seed Library

Consider planting native flowers in your garden.  Their long roots help soak in rainwater, and the flowers attract pollinators.  You can get started with some seeds from our Little Seed Library. Go to www.ninemilecreek.org/little-seed-library for more information.


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.

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. 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.