One of the largest problems in urban areas is dealing with stormwater. The excessive amount of concrete in urban areas means that water is unable to flow directly into the ground. In fact, even your front lawn will produce runoff because the dense grass and root systems do not allow for much water to actually soak in. Because of this we have storm drains that direct water out of the streets and out of sight as quickly as possible.
Disturbing the picturesque scenery of Midwestern forests is an army of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). An invasive herb, it has been in North America since 1868. Being quite tasty, it was likely brought as food. It does make a good pesto. Since its arrival, however, it has become one the most invasive plant species of the eastern U.S. and Canada.
With an early snow melt in Minnesota and most of the state in a drought, this spring’s fire season has been the busiest since 2010 for field crews. The DNR began requesting crews in March, the earliest ever and before many corps members had completed fire training. During one week, 11 crews were out on fires, requiring staff members to suit up and complete scheduled prescribed burning projects. In all, virtually every field crew has been called up to battle wildfires, with almost a dozen in the Bemidji area alone, one of the driest areas of the state.