District 10 Como Community Council

Como Curb Cleanup in October and November

Como Curb Cleanup in October and November

This Fall D10 Como Community Council is again partnering with the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) to continue the Como Curb Cleanup, an initiative founded and led for over a decade by Janna Caywood and the Como Active Citizen’s Network!

Simple in design, but mighty in its impact, Curb Cleaning is an individual, household practice led by Como neighbors on their own properties. When we all do this, it becomes a collective practice, removing water pollution sources that, in the aggregate, significantly impact our beloved local waters. When rainwater washes over leaf litter accumulated along street curbs, phosphorus and nitrogen leach out of those leaves (think of a tea bag). This creates nutrient infused runoff that then flows to the nearest storm drain and into underground storm sewer pipes. In Como, our pipes empty into Como Lake and the Mississippi River. View the simple but surprisingly effective steps for curb cleaning here on the D10 website (scroll down for past results!)

If you would like to join or continue as a Curb Cleaner AND have your efforts counted towards our important annual community tally of pollution prevented, please register to participate with us!

Registering makes it possible for us to get an idea of where there are dedicated Curb Cleaners throughout the community – where there are pockets of wonderful, concentrated effort and where there are opportunities to focus attention on inviting new neighbors to join in. It also makes it easier for CRWD to continue providing funding, if we can demonstrate there is significant participation across the neighborhood.

After November we will email registrants another short form asking how many feet of curb you took care of and how often you were able to get out there and clean. From that we can tally community impact.

Some examples of other lake cleaning efforts

Last year the StarTribune had an article about the cleanup of LeMay Lake in Eagan. Like Lake Como, LeMay Lake is shallow and surrounded by many impervious surfaces with a lot of water runoff flowing into the lake through storm sewers. They used techniques similar to what CRWD has applied to Lake Como to remove LeMay Lake from the 2022 Impaired Waters list.

Another example in Wright County, to prevent phosphorus from reaching Waverly Lake they installed basins to temporarily store rainwater, which stops 25 pounds of phosphorus a year. The basins were installed for $45,000 ($1,800 per pound of prevented phosphorus in the first year). Last year, our Curb Cleanup prevented 9.8 pounds from reaching Lake Como at the cost of $38 per pound.

Yet, our expenses do not consider your time and effort, which is the most valuable thing any of us can provide. We hope you’ll help us motivate more neighbors to participate in our shared commitment to the environment and the health of Lake Como.

Here is a link to the article: https://www.startribune.com/minnesotas-cleaned-up-lakes-and-rivers-show-path-forward-for-polluted-waters/600130321/

If it is behind a paywall for you or if you want just the highlights, view a PDF with that information.