Lynnhurst Environmental Committee

Who We Are

The Lynnhurst Environmental Committee (LEC), part of the Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association, is a group of volunteer residents primarily focused on local concerns that affect the environmental quality and sustainability of the neighborhood.

LYNNHURST

With Lake Harriet and Minnehaha Creek both partially within our borders, our land and water stewardship efforts involve removal of invasive plants, managing an Adopt-A-Storm Drain Program, and promoting residential rain and pollinator gardens. 

BEYOND LYNNHURST

We also offer resources for residents to learn about environmental concerns that extend beyond Lynnhurst: invasive species, solid waste issues (e.g., recycling, organics collection, zero-waste initiatives), electric vehicle transportation, solar energy for homes, and other climate actions.

GET INVOLVED

We are an active committee and welcome volunteers to join us in our efforts. Currently, the bulk of volunteer action is working in groups to remove invasive plants and restore natural areas with native species. Any amount of time you have to volunteer is appreciated and valued.

FIND US

Join us the first Monday of the month (except January and August) from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Lynnhurst Community Center (find next meeting here). Or email us if you want to be contacted for more information about volunteering or joining the LEC.

Photo courtesy of Code & Content, LLC

Upcoming LEC Events

  • February 6, 2023, 6:30 pm: LEC Monthly Meeting
  • March 6, 2023, 6:30 pm: LEC Monthly Meeting
  • April 3, 2023, 6:30 pm: LEC Monthly Meeting
  • May 1, 2023, 6:30 pm: LEC Monthly Meeting
  • June 5, 2023, 6:30 pm: LEC Monthly Meeting

Green Information

Creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides) is a perennial forb from Eurasia and a member of the Bluebell family that many locals mistake for a native wildflower and allow to grow freely. It often escapes to natural areas where it forms patches that can crowd out native plants. The plants spread by seed as well as underground runners (rhizomes) that form large carrot-like white tubers. While above ground only a few leaves may be visible, below ground are constantly spreading fibrous roots. In Wisconsin this plant is restricted, i.e., illegal to grow or transport. And in Lynnhurst, creeping bellflower has taken over in some areas, displacing native plants. 

The best way to eliminate creeping bellflower is to dig at least 6” deep to locate and remove all rhizomes and perennial roots. Chemicals don't work because of the large root systems. Missed roots will re-sprout, requiring a sustained effort. However, it's well worth the effort to stop this invasive plant from further damaging our beautiful neighborhood gardens and natural areas. 

More information
Visit these websites to learn more:

Campanula rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower): Minnesota Wildflowers

Is this plant a weed? : Garden : University of Minnesota Extension (umn.edu)

For those who use Facebook, there is an engaging, informative and often funny group called “Creeping Bellflower Battles” that anyone can join. It’s a recommended resource for those who are struggling with this unwanted invasive plant in their gardens.

What is it?
Garlic Mustard is an invasive species from Europe and Asia on the restricted weed list. It’s an herbaceous plant found in woodlands and disturbed areas.

Why is it bad?
Garlic Mustard inhibits the beneficial fungi associated with native plants causing a decline in other vegetation within five to seven years. It takes over an area.

How to identify it?
Garlic Mustard grows 1-6 inches tall in its first year and 1-4 feet tall in its second year. It flowers in the second year with many small white flowers each with four petals. It is often the only plant blooming in wooded areas in May. The leaves are dark green with a scalloped edge that smell like garlic when crushed.

What to do about it?
Garlic Mustard should be pulled out by hand being sure to get most of the white taproot. If it’s flowering or has seeds, the plants need to be disposed of in the trash – not composted – so it does not spread.

Learn More
You can find more information on the UofM Extension website.

Siberian Squill is a little blue bell-shaped flower that sprouts under trees and bushes right after the snow melts. It blooms before most anything has a chance to leaf out. The leaves are five-inch long and grass-like. 

As the name implies, squill is from Siberia and is not native to North America. It spreads easily to natural areas by self-seeding or bulb offshoots. Squill crowds out good spring native plants like bloodroot, wild ginger, trillium, and liverwort. 

Getting rid of squill is a challenge. The flowers can be plucked off before the seeds form to prevent another generation of new plants. Squill has a bulb three to four inches deep into the soil that needs to be dug out to kill the plant. Flowers, seeds, and bulbs should be put in the trash – not composted or put in yard waste – to prevent the spread.

More information
Visit these websites to learn more:
https://extension.umn.edu/identify-invasive-species/squill
https://www.larkspurplantresources.info/2021/05/the-pretty-problem-of-siberian-squill.html

electric carAre you considering making the jump from your internal combustion engine (ICE) to an electric vehicle? MNEVBuyer.com is where you can start. It is a crash course in all things electric vehicles. Created and maintained by Jukka Kukkonen (engineer, consumer educator, climate advocate, university instructor), this former ICE engineer is paving the way for us consumers to enter what he has dubbed the EV decade. MNEVBuyer.com is sponsored by St. Paul-based clean energy advocacy organization Fresh Energy. 

MNEVBuyer.com is both primer to the EV world and in-depth research tool on the decisions new EV buyers face. From basic questions to detailed concerns, this part buyer guide and part consumer education site takes on consideration of vehicle range and maintenance, charging plan specifics down to working with your utility company 

If you have made the switch to electric, you may already know Jukka and the the Minnesota Electric Vehicle Club (MN EV Club).  If not, check it out at shift2electric.com/evowners. With the motto “Meet, Learn, Educate,” club members gather monthly for topic-specific discussions, often with guest speakers. The Club educates about EV ownership by talking with visitors at promotional EV events. 

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Environmental Programs

Consider adopting a storm drain near your home or business

Remember all those flooded intersections in March? Many residents helped by clearing away the ice and snow from the catch basin, AKA storm drain, to allow the water to drain. This is also important during the spring, summer, and fall when leaves, sticks, and other debris accumulate and are then washed into the drains and our local waters when it rains.

Join other Lynnhurst residents making a positive difference by ADOPTING A STORM DRAIN near your home or business. This involves removing leaves and other debris covering the drain and placing the leaves/sticks in your yard waste bags for collection. Please place non-yard waste materials in your recycling or trash.  Recruit your neighbors to work with you!

Contact Becky at 612-239-3208 or wardellgaertnerbecky47@gmail.com to sign up. THANK YOU!

Note: You may also adopt a nearby storm drain through the statewide program administered by Hamline University. This program includes easy reporting so that your impact can be tracked along with the impact of others. There are also good “drain clearing and pollution prevention tips” that you may find helpful.

 

 

Beyond Our Borders

Articles coming soon.

 

 

Contact Us

Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association (LYNAS)

3109 W. 50th St., PMB 283
Minneapolis, MN 55410
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