The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) recently signed an agreement to study the potential for an environmental restoration project in the Painter Creek subwatershed.
The Painter Creek subwatershed is located in the northwestern boundary of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and includes Painter Creek, Katrina Lake, Thies Lake and approximately 2,500 acres of wetlands in portions of the cities of Medina, Orono, Maple Plain, Independence and Minnetrista.
This subwatershed has been extensively drained as a result of Painter Creek being ditched in 1905 to provide drainage for agriculture.
The ditching of Painter Creek has caused a loss of wetland and riparian habitat and has increased sediment and nutrient loads downstream into Jennings Bay on Lake Minnetonka, which is listed as an Impaired Water by the State of Minnesota.
Many of the major wetland marsh systems on the main stem of Painter Creek have decreased water quality and habitat biodiversity due to their historic hydrologic alteration.
This study will serve as a Corps of Engineers feasibility study and is a required first step needed before the Corps can proceed with a Section 206 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is a local government unit which collaborates with public and private partners to protect and improve land and water.