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“But we’re also under mandates to improve water quality in the lakes, and sometimes those two values are in conflict with each other,” he said. “That’s what we need to work through here.”
Asche has met with some of the neighbors, and promised to spare a few favorite trees. But he is also clear that the park needs restoration. “It’ll be different and it’ll be a change,” he said. “People need to know that and people should expect that.”
If approved by the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, the project would go to the Plymouth City Council later this fall to award a contract for the work. Plans call for tree removal, creek bed work and holding-pond construction between mid-December and the end of February. Asche estimated that the holding pond and the creek restoration will stop about 75 pounds of phosphorus from flowing into Northwood Lake each year, and that the lake will need phosphorus reductions of 350 to 400 pounds annually to improve its water quality. To reach that goal, Plymouth and New Hope will have to employ other practices such as more frequent street sweeping, shoreline restorations, rain gardens and education.
Schroeder said he is not against improving the lake, but said there’s also value in protecting natural spaces and wildlife, especially in urban areas.
“You cut mature trees down and they’re gone forever,” he said. “I’m nervous about this.”
Tom Meersman • 612-673-7388