Lake studies and church camp cultural lessons

We attended a workshop at Stillwater City Hall to discuss improvements to the lake. The city hired an engineering firm to study three city lakes and recommend improvements and the meeting was to gather citizen inputs.

The discussion focused on water quality, plants, and possible lake use. The study engineer noted that Long Lake has improved significantly and is now a clear water lake in spite of being shallow. This is due to the improved quality of water coming into the lake, and the great amount of aquatic vegetation that cleans the water.

He said Long Lake is a gem among Twin Cities’ urban lakes as the natural surroundings, wildlife, and clear water give a feel of canoeing in the north woods.

Given the recent tragic deaths on Lily Lake and the mud bottom, no one endorsed swimming in the lake. The consensus seems to focus on controlling enough of the water plants to allow canoeing and kayaking the length of the lake, fishing off the dock, and maybe power boating.


Gazette photo by Lee Miller
Members of a Stillwater-area church group look at a traditional Hmong tool used to remove rice husks. The group was on a retreat at a site owned by a Hmong family and visited the family’s cooking shed between retreat sessions and learned how to use the various tools.

Our church held a retreat in a forest near Hinckley last weekend. The site is owned by a Hmong family and has a traditional Hmong cook shed and tools used to grind corn, photo above, and pound rice to remove the husks. We learned to use the tools in between retreat sessions. And is customary, large quantities of Hmong food was served. We had delicious meals, good company and reflection.


Up, up and away

The weather has been favorable for balloon rides. We enjoy watching two or three take off from Aamodt’s around dinnertime. In years past, some pilots have shown their prowess by just touching the gondola into the lake and then rising up. It drives the neighborhood dogs crazy. Heard that someone dropped a bit too close to the St Croix River and had to be rescued.

The woodland sunflowers are finally blooming, the high bush cranberries are just about ripe and the peppers are turning red in the garden. Fall is approaching.


— Text and photos by Lee Miller