Dakota County's Thompson Lake has reopened to the public after a wastewater spill.

The county closed Thompson County Park lake access on May 16, after a sanitary sewer valve failure resulted in about 70,000 gallons of sewage spilling into the lake's south end over a 24-hour period.

Members of the public were advised to avoid contact with the lake water, including fishing.

Cleanup was underway when the county announced the closure, with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and state health department assisting West St. Paul, according to a county news release.

Metropolitan Council Environmental Services began testing water samples for E. coli on May 17, and a week later confirmed the lake had returned to safe levels for recreational activity, the release said.

Thompson County Park is located at 360 Butler Av. E. in West St. Paul. The lake, which covers about 8 acres of the park, is home to a variety of fish species.

For more information about the wastewater discharge incident, call the city of West St. Paul at 651-552-4130.

Emma Nelson


Pollinator habitat planted

Shakopee this week partnered with Xcel Energy and the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District to plant 8 acres of pollinator habitat.

The land, off Windermere Way, was previously farmland, according to a Shakopee news release.

It's the largest expanse of land in the city that is planted intentionally as a habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies, said Amanda McKnight, city spokeswoman.

"We are fortunate to have this kind of open space on this side of town," McKnight said, adding that other city land near the Windermere neighborhood will become a park.

The chunk of city land abuts Hwy. 169 and is underneath power lines, making it less than ideal for parkland but perfect for planting a mix of pollinator-friendly seeds, she said.

Expanding pollinator habitat reduces mowing and maintenance needs for properties, increases bee and butterfly habitat and helps replace habitat lost to development and agriculture, the release said.

Xcel also makes an effort to plant such habitat on its own property, the release said, and has planted more than 1,800 acres of pollinator habitat in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Colorado at more than 50 sites ranging from .025 acres to 800 acres in size.

Erin Adler

Brooklyn Park

Police chief to retire

After nine years as Brooklyn Park's top cop and more than three decades of service, Craig Enevoldsen is retiring. His last day on the job will be June 30.

As police chief, Enevoldsen led a team of 52 non-sworn staff and 107 licensed police officers and was credited with developing partnerships with community organizations, establishing a neighborhood-led policing program and launching an initiative to reimagine public safety in the city.

"Chief Enevoldsen has spent decades working tirelessly to improve residents' trust in policing," said Mayor Lisa Jacobson. "His violence interruption and reform efforts have yielded significant results. All of us in Brooklyn Park wish him a well-deserved retirement and thank him for his service."

Tim Harlow