A Scandia volunteer group is seeking assistance to help get rid of buckthorn in the city’s public parks.

The Scandia City Council last week endorsed a proposal from the Friends of Scandia Parks & Trails to apply for a $25,000 Outdoor Heritage Fund grant to combat the non-native invasive species.

Trails group member Karen Schik said the funding would allow treatment of 25 acres total, mostly in Wind In The Pines Park, but also some smaller areas at Log House Landing, and the Falls Creek and Crystal Spring state natural areas. 

“It’s not bad out there overall [at Wind In the Pines],” Schik said. “But if we can get on top of it, it’d be great to get it out of there.” 

The non-native buckthorn would be cut and stumps treated with a pesticide. Great River Greening and a few trails group volunteers would do the work.

Because the grant requires a 10 percent local match, the trails group would contribute $500 to the project and the city would have to commit $2,000. The grant will possibly be awarded and work would begin in 2021.

E-cig ban

After more discussion on a possible e-cigarette ban in Scandia, the council agreed to hear from an American Lung Association speaker at its April 1 meeting.

Both council members Steve Kronmiller and Patti Ray presented information to the council from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Lung Association, respectively, last week.

Kronmiller advocated for a full ban of e-cigarette/vaping products, in lieu of a moratorium or a ban on flavored vaping products.

“We don’t know what’s being put in these products,” Kronmiller said. “It’s not being regulated.”

Council members Chris Ness and Jerry Cusick, though, expressed reluctance to enact a ban. 

Other business:

• The council agreed to support the efforts of a foursome of Forest Lake High School students who asked for permission to fundraise for and install pollinator gardens in the city. The gardens would be installed and maintained by National Honor Society students.

• After reviewing a spring flooding report from Public Works Director Adam Hawkinson, the council agreed to use the city newsletter and website to alert residents to the availability of sand-bagging supplies and resources from Washington County. The council also agreed to recommend temporary slow no wake postings on Goose Lake and Big Marine Lake. 

• The council appointed Kronmiller to serve on the city’s Development Code Rewrite Advisory Committee.

The next Scandia City Council meeting will be held March 17 at 7 p.m.

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