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Residents install 79 water quality projects in lakes area

Fifty-three landowners in Crow Wing County completed 79 water quality projects that will reduce soil erosion, filter polluted runoff and provide habitat for wildlife. More than 120 area residents volunteered more than 1,000 hours to help prep sites, install and maintain the projects.

Cumulatively, these projects cover about 1.1 professional football fields with native plants area of 64,545 square feet. Projects were funded by the Clean Water Fund (from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment), Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) State Cost-Share, landowner cash and volunteer time.

Robert & Eloise Stancer, summer residents of Fifty Lakes, received a grant from the Clean Water Fund.

The Stancers said they installed a rain garden on their property because they wanted to prevent erosion caused by runoff rain water and to keep West Fox Lake clean. The Stancers said they are happy to be involved in the program and suggest other people talk to the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) if they have runoff or erosion issues on their property.

The SWCD completed water quality projects on four streams and 17 lakes including Gull, Pelican, East and West Fox Lakes, Crosslake, Big Trout, Serpent Lake and the Mississippi River.

Melissa Barrick, SWCD district manager, wrote grants to receive competitive Clean Water Fund dollars.

“The SWCD targeted lake areas that contain a high ratio of lake area to impervious surface area. Impervious surfaces such as driveways, roads and buildings cause more polluted runoff than natural vegetation. The SWCD also took into account lakes that have a decline in water quality, addressed erosion issues on specific sites and targeted lakes that have high property tax values,” Barrick said in a news release.

Jeff Hrubes, a BWSR clean water specialist, said: “This is a great example of using Clean Water Legacy Funding to target, to enhance and to improve water quality in the Brainerd lakes area,”

“Because of the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, the SWCD has completed five times more projects in 2012 than (it did) in 2008,” Barrick said.

Beth Hippert, district technician, managed many of the projects.

“More than 17 local contractors were involved with construction and installation of the projects,” Hippert said. “The SWCD purchased supplies and plants from local businesses and nurseries. The success of the clean water projects has helped to create a demand for stormwater and natural shoreline landscaping services in CWC.”

Darren Mayers, district technician, said: “The SWCD also partnered with churches, lake associations and cities to install six raingardens and one shoreline buffer in public spots to help educate the public. People can see firsthand the benefits of shoreline buffers, shoreline stabilization and raingardens.”

To ensure the projects function properly, the landowners are required to maintain the project for 10 years. The SWCD staff will inspect the projects on a regular basis.

Landowners who participated in the water quality projects include: Char Wentzell of Crosslake, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Crosby, Marvin and Patricia Hannon of Fifty Lakes, Lowell and Linda Naley of Nisswa, Tom and Deloris Hintz of Emily, Charles Costa of Breezy Point and Robert Stancer of Fifty Lakes.

Partners were the Department of Natural Resources, BWSR, local government units, volunteers, contractors, lake association and landowners who participated in water quality projects. Visit for project photos. For more information, contact Robert Bauer via email or by phone at 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.
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