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Housing briefs July 27

Preserve family memories by

preserving the family lake home

Thoughtful planning may be the greatest gift a lake homeowner may give to their children and grandchildren, according to the Initiative Foundation.

The foundation is hosting “Your Lake Home Legacy: Planning for the Future of Lake Properties.”

Two identical sessions, Aug. 10 and Aug. 11, provide an opportunity to examine: how to avoid family feuds and build consensus; benefits of surveys and facilitated coaching sessions; advantages of legal trusts and limited liability corporations; buy-outs, opt-outs, and future sales or subdivisions; financial planning to ensure affordability; charitable considerations that leave a legacy.

Margaret A.T. Cronin is the featured presenter. Cronin is a shareholder and attorney in the estate planning practice of Leonard Street and Deinard. Focusing on estate, succession and charitable planning, she assists clients in evaluating and pursuing legal strategies that meet their business, wealth transfer and philanthropic goals.

Sessions are presented by the Initiative Foundation, the Gull Chain of Lakes Association, and the Central Lakes College Center for Lifelong Learning.

Workshops are 6:30 p.m. Aug. 10 or 8:30 a.m. Aug. 11 at Grand View Lodge, Nisswa.

Registration deadline is Aug. 8. Costs are $15 per person or $20 per couple. There is a limit of 80 registrants per workshop. For more information, call 855-8118.

Rain barrels offered at Arb

The Northland Arboretum was able to purchase 250 rain barrels and is selling them for $25 each plus tax through a grant funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, Clean Water Fund.

Grant dollars available

to buffer shorelines

The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is now accepting applications from landowners for projects to buffer shorelines in the areas surrounding Cross Lake, East and West Fox lakes, Pelican Lake, Rush Lake, and Serpent Lake.

The SWCD prioritized these lakesheds through a 2008 large lake water quality analysis study funded by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.

Project dollars are provided by the Board of Water and Soil Resources through a grant from the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment, Clean Water Fund.

A lakeshed or watershed is the area of land where all of the water that drains off of it goes to the same place. Examples of watersheds include the lakeshed around a lake, the Upper Mississippi, and an urban lot. Polluted runoff anywhere in a watershed can impact water quality in the receiving water body.

“The watershed approach to stormwater runoff addresses all of the potential pollutant sources rather than just the sources closest to the water,” said district technician Darren Mayers, in a news release.

Stormwater runoff occurs when spring melt-off and heavy rain events exceed the capacity of the soil to absorb water. Stormwater runoff contains sediment and chemicals that harm water quality of lakes and streams. Shoreline buffers filter the pollutants out of stormwater runoff before they enter a lake or river. The plants in the shoreline buffer also help to protect the shoreline from the forces of waves and ice.

The SWCD invites applicants from landowners in the watersheds of the target lakes to apply for grant dollars. Landowners, businesses, resorts, and others are eligible for grant dollars to strategically place shoreline buffers planted in native plants. The grant requires the project to stay on the land for 10 years, and the grantee to provide a cash match, in-kind time, and a $25 application fee. The SWCD has a limited number of projects available. Apply early to guarantee grant funds.

The SWCD or a contractor can provide technical expertise to design and complete the project. “This is a great opportunity for landowners to try a shoreline buffer to protect their shoreline,” said Melissa Barrick, SWCD district manager.

Interested landowners may apply by contacting the Crow Wing SWCD at 322 Laurel St., Suite 13, Brainerd; 828-6197; or Hippert and Mayers by email to and

Native plant seed mixes available

Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) invites the general public to purchase native seed mixes for $21 per 4-ounce pack at the SWCD Office and at the Crow Wing County Fair, Natural Resources Building, July 29-Aug. 4.

The mixes contain seeds of local ecotypes that were harvested and packed within 100 miles of Brainerd by Minnesota Native Landscapes Inc. of Otsego.

“We are excited for this opportunity to provide landowners in Crow Wing County with local seeds at an incredible price” said Beth Hippert, SWCD district technician, in a news release.

Three mixes are available: bank stabilization, shoreline buffer, and filter garden. The mixes contain seeds of 20-30 species of native plants and each packet covers 500 square feet. Each mix contains species that are suited to dry, moist, or wet conditions and full or part sun. The species also grow deep roots that prevent erosion, grow showy flowers that attract birds and butterflies, and are drought tolerant and like sandy soils.

Examples of the plant species include black-eyed Susan, wild bergamot, blue flag Iris, big bluestem, blue vervain, and prairie coreopsis.

The seeds may be mixed 1:2 with wet sand and hand broadcast in the spring or fall. Fall seeding will germinate the following spring. Weekly watering is necessary in the first year but no watering is needed after plants become fully established in 1-3 years.

SWCD also recommends broadcasting about 1.5 pounds of a weed-free cover crop such as wheat, rye, or oats per 500 square feet of seeding when seeding. Cover crops help the native seeds get established by reducing weed pressure, controlling erosion, and providing food for wildlife. Cover crop seed is available at several stores in Crow Wing County.

For more info contact Hippert via email at or call 828-6197.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889