Crow Wing County receives 2021 County Conservation Award
From 2014-2021, the Crow Wing County Highway Department partnered with several entities to implement stormwater runoff mitigation projects along County Highway 66 and rock riffles structures.
The Association of Minnesota Counties and the Board of Water & Soil Resources selected Crow Wing County’s community partnership with the County Highway Department for one of two 2021 AMC-BWSR County Conservation Awards.
The award was presented by 2021 Association of Minnesota Counties President and Lake County Commissioner Rich Sve and Board of Water & Soil Resources Executive Director John Jaschke. The other winner was the Lower St. Croix Watershed partnership of Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington counties.
From 2014-2021, the Crow Wing County Highway Department partnered with the cities of Crosslake and Manhattan Beach, Big Pine Lake Association, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, citizen groups and Soil and Water Conservation District to implement stormwater runoff mitigation projects along County Highway 66 and rock riffles structures. The partnership leveraged over $2.26 million in grant funds, reduced over 46 pounds of phosphorus to Big Trout and Island Loon lakes and expanded fish migration to 15 lakes and additional 12 stream miles. The county completed the following items for chloride management:
Calibration and live GPS tracking of chloride material usage during snow removal events.
Prioritization of level of service and timing of snow removal based upon roadway characteristics.
Developed a public phone application for snowplow locations.
Collected baseline water quality chloride lake data.
The county effort helped maintain the $256 million Crow Wing County tourism industry based on high-quality lakes, public accesses and fisheries that benefit Minnesotans and many non-resident tourists, according to Explore Minnesota. The Crow Wing County tourism industry is based on 400 lakes, 75 miles of rivers (102,000 acres), and 2,000 miles of shoreline.