2023 Track 2 Day 2: Hansen


Saving a Lake, a Neighborhood Landmark


In the U.S. the Clean Water Act requires that states set limits for pollutants to protect water quality. If a lake, stream, river doesn’t meet those standards, it requires that the water body goes on the impaired waters list. It’s a place a water body doesn’t want to be. It takes decades, sometimes centuries, of abuse to get on the list and very few make their way off.

This is the story of a much-abused lake that the Stillwater, Minnesota community, my hometown, embraced in an effort of 20 years to bring Lily Lake back from the list in a unique story. All done through watershed analysis, neighborhood outreach, street reconstruction raingarden retrofits, ravine stabilization, major infrastructure adaptations to direct the runoff to the” world’s largest raingarden”, and the icing on the cake an alum treatment that improved water quality dramatically and led to the ultimate de-listing!


Britta Hansen

Britta Hansen, Emmons & Olivier Resources

Britta Hansen is a Landscape Architect with over a decade of experience planning and designing public spaces, recreational areas, school campuses, and green stormwater infrastructure. She earned her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is a partner/owner at Emmons & Olivier Resources in St. Paul, Minnesota.