Solar-powered boat cleaning station opens at Lake Minnetonka

Zebra mussels

On the day of the Great American Solar Eclipse – a date that puts the sun in the spotlight – the Spring Park public boat access on Lake Minnetonka unveiled a new solar-powered tool in the fight against aquatic invasive species.

The Spring Park boat access now includes a solar-powered, user-operated boat cleaning station that gives boaters the tools needed to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. This station is one of five in a pilot project created in partnership with Wildlife Forever, CD3, Initiative Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Three Rivers Park District. The other stations are located at North Arm on Lake Minnetonka, Bryant Lake and Riley Lake in Eden Prairie and Pike Lake in Saint Louis County.

Boaters can use the cleaning stations to learn the best management practices of cleaning, draining, drying and disposing of bait. The stations include compressed air, a wet/dry vacuum, marine lights and a series of low-tech, cable-tethered tools.

The cleaning stations will provide boaters with the cleaning tools they need 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, at a cost similar to staffing an access with an inspector for limited hours.