Corcoran GROWS Engaging Neighbors to Impact Water Quality


Did you know, that depending upon where you live in Corcoran neighborhood, your sidewalk and street water flows to either Lake Hiawatha or directly to the Mississippi River?  Too much leaf matter, lawn nutrients, sidewalk salt  -or yes, even garbage - washing out of the street when it rains creates poor water quality in the lake and river.  Leached-out leaf nutrients lead to algae growth in the water, causing a lack of oxygen and a poor environment for lake creatures, yucky water for swimming in, and ultimately, contributing to such things as the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.  Who knew that leaving the leaves in the street and the gutter is now totally not cool?!

Positively impacting the quality of the water flowing out of our neighborhood is part of a year-long focus on various water-related issues that Corcoran GROWS has committed to. In conjunction with other nearby neighborhoods, enlisting residents to sign a Clean Water Pledge and take actions such as  keeping their street gutters cleared of leaves is part of the plan.  

On Saturday, November 5, with nice weather helping the effort, a dozen Corcoran GROWS residents hit the streets with rakes in hand to spread the word to neighbors about signing the Clean Water Pledge.  We raked out 60 storm drains, 37 people signed-up to adopt a storm drain on an ongoing basis, and 73 pledged to mow at least 3” high, and rake leaves off their street gutters after more leaves drop,  especially before it rains!  Many folks also said they already don't use much sidewalk salt, and agreed to keep it to a minimum.    If we didn't find you already and you'd like to sign the pledge and help with this effort, you can go on line to to sign up.  Specifically for adopting a storm drain, go to

In coming months we will be educating ourselves and looking at water more broadly, tying in the big picture with the local, and noting where we can take action.  From supporting the Water Protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota, to raking out our gutters, we have lots we can do to protect the water!  Watch for gatherings featuring music, art, potlucks, and /or movies this winter and spring on the Corcoran GROWS Facebook page,, or call for more info:  Paula at 724-6795 or Joe at 722-6493 and we can put you on our email list. 

Corcoran GROWS is a a group of Corcoran residents building supportive relationships and resilient community in the face of climate change.