For two decades, the Environment Committee has led community members and local schools each spring to pick up debris near the Kasota Ponds wetland area off of Highway 280. This important wetland area suffers from illegal dumping as well as road runoff and litter. In a few hours, we remove dozens of bags full of trash and contribute to a healthier wetland environment for herons, turkeys, fish, and turtles. We always need volunteers for the event (which happens in mid-late April), contact for more information.

The Committee successfully acquired security cameras for the area in order to discourage illegal dumping and hold those engaging in illegal dumping accountable. We hope to see fewer tires, air conditioners, computer monitors, and other large, polluting objects in Kasota Ponds in the years to come.

SAPCC was awarded Mini Grants from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization for  buckthorn removal at Kasota Ponds. We contracted with Minnesota Native Landscapes and the surrounding land owners to implement the project. As the educational component of the grant, Stephen Mastey, owner of Landscape Architect and Environment Committee Co-Chair, led native and non-native plant identification tours. Additionally, he and other volunteers removed small diameter buckthorn to help reclaim the edges of the pond and return it back to native vegetation.

All of this is part of the SAP Community Council’s work to create a native pollinator-friendly pond buffer that also assists in improving water quality.

MWMO came out with their drone and captured some great images of before, during, and after the Phase 1 buckthorn removal.  Check out their Flickr page!

About the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization is a special-purpose unit of local government that works to protect and improve water quality and habitat in an urban watershed. The MWMO invests in people and infrastructure to support clean water, and provides knowledge, scientific data and expertise to help manage our vital water resources. Learn more at