Lake Minnetonka is getting another senior living facility, this time in Shorewood.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 9 for the 136,000-square-foot senior housing facility, to go up at the intersection of Hwy. 7 and Chaska Road. It will have both independent and assisted-living apartments and 25 memory care units, along with other amenities.

The three-story, 105-unit facility, expected to open in late 2017, is being developed by Oppidan Investment Company and will be operated by Minnesota-based provider Ebenezer.

Neighboring Excelsior soon will be getting its first independent senior living facility. Construction on The Waters of Excelsior, a four-story, 110-unit facility near Hwy. 7 and Water Street, is expected to begin by the end of this year; the building is expected to open in early 2018.



Slow no-wake zone declared for lake

Heavy rains last week have triggered declaration of a slow no-wake zone for all areas of Lake Independence in western Hennepin County, according to the Lake Independence Citizens Association.

When a no-wake zone has been established, boats should be operated at the slowest possible speed to maintain steerage, but go no faster than 5 miles per hour. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office enforces the ordinance and can cite boaters for a misdemeanor if they violate it.

Under a joint powers agreement adopted in 2014 by the cities of Independence and Medina, a slow no-wake zone is established whenever waters on Lake Independence are at least 957.8 feet above sea level for three straight days. The slow no-wake zone remains in effect until the water level stays below 957.8 feet for three straight days.

The purpose of the zone is to minimize damage to shorelines, levees and islands that may result from significant wakes kicked up by high-speed watercraft.



County closes lake beach due to E. coli levels

The Carver County Parks Department closed the beach at Lake Waconia Regional Park on Monday after higher-than-normal levels of E. coli were discovered in the water. While there haven’t been any reports of health problems among beach visitors, the beach was closed as a precaution, according to a county news release.

Other parts of Lake Waconia park remained open.

The beaches at Lake Minnewashta Park in Chanhassen and Baylor Regional Park in Norwood Young America were closed earlier this month and remained closed as of midweek. The Chanhassen beach had elevated E. coli levels, while the Norwood Young America beach had experienced an algae bloom.

Factors causing high E. coli levels include water temperature, storm-water runoff and animals, according to the release.



Board gives $154K in grants to green projects

The Hennepin County Board on Tuesday approved $154,000 in Green Partners environmental education grants for projects that help residents take steps to improve the environment. The organizations getting awards will involve more than 4,250 residents in projects to reduce waste, save energy, boost recycling and protect water and air quality.

More than $913,000 in grants have been awarded since the Green Partners program was established in 2012. The projects:

Alliance for Sustainability, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park and Edina — $15,000 to prevent pollutants from reaching lakes; Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, Minneapolis — $15,000 to teach people about sustainable practices; Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, various cities — $15,000 for 1,000 high school students; Congregations Caring for Creation, various cities — $15,000 to reduce energy use through internship and mentoring programs; Spark Youth, Minneapolis — $15,000 to teach more than 120 youths about green practices; University of Minnesota Extension, Minneapolis — $15,000 to increase composting at community gardens; Edina Community Foundation, Edina — $11,800 for 150 students, families and teachers to reduce waste and conserve energy; Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis — $9,900 to teach 180 fourth grade students about water protection and pollinators; Robbinsdale Independent School District 281, Robbinsdale — $8,500 for outdoor education; Bdote Learning Center, Minneapolis — $8,000 to teach students and their families about recycling, composting and waste reduction; Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, various cities — $8,000 for a youth pilot project to increase environmental stewardship; Eden Prairie Independent School District 272, Eden Prairie — $7,800 to teach more than 700 families about waste reduction and energy conservation; Lao Assistance Center, Minneapolis — $7,500 to teach recycling; Voyageurs National Park Association, Minneapolis — $2,500 to teach 150 youths about the environment and environmental careers.