A partnership was developed amongst the City of Forest Lake; Rice Creek Watershed District; the Minnesota Department of Health; Forest Lake Area Schools; Forest Lake High School environmental, biology, and agriculture faculty; and the student-led environmental club. Their commitment to environmental protection, education, and sustainability brought unique perspectives to this project that received more than $500,000 from the Board of Water and Soil Resources Clean Water Fund.
The first phase at Forest Lake High School included a new stormwater basin to filter and treat stormwater. The basin was converted to a wet pond to store water and receive runoff from a drainage area of 19.9 acres, including 14.3 acres of impervious surfaces. In order to irrigate approximately 12 acres of athletic fields, this pond provides a storage volume for the existing irrigation system. Stormwater pond retrofits and a new irrigation infrastructure helps reduce the high school’s potable groundwater usage by more than 4 million gallons per year.
Through science and technology curriculum development, teachers and students will monitor water used compared to stormwater harvested for irrigation.
Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association – 2019 Environmental Stewardship Award