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SWCD accepting nominations for Lake and River Friendly Awards

Brainerd lakes area and statewide environmental organizations are joining together to recognize those who've chosen to implement efforts to protect this region's lakes and rivers.

Brainerd lakes area and statewide environmental organizations are joining together to recognize those who've chosen to implement efforts to protect this region's lakes and rivers.

"The hope is that through these awards, ecologically sensitive development along lakeshore and river shore will become the fashionable trend," a news release stated.

Categories for consideration of the Lake and River Friendly Awards include:

โ€ข Home or business construction, for a homeowner, business owner or a contractor who has undertaken new home construction or major reconstruction while preserving the environmental integrity of the natural lakeshore or river shore setting.

โ€ข Shoreland stewardship, to a homeowner, business owner, or contractor who employs the use of native vegetation and mostly natural materials to landscape their riparian property in a manner that not only complies with local shoreland regulations, but goes even further to protect the shoreline's environmental integrity in a way that can potentially improve water quality.

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โ€ข Protection strategy, to an organization or local unit of government that created an ordinance, regulatory code, or other initiative that seeks to preserve the environmental integrity of lake and river systems.

โ€ข Stewardship, to recognize a riparian property owner who protects water quality by leaving their shoreline in a non-disturbed natural state. This includes maintaining shoreland and aquatic vegetation, tree canopy, screening of structures for aesthetics and non-removal of woody debris from the water. This award could also be used to recognize the use of a conservation easement to permanently protect a significant piece of shoreline.

Eligible are lake and river friendly protection efforts within the following counties: Cass, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Morrison, Todd, northern Mille Lacs, or southeastern Wadena counties.

Applications will be accepted until March 31 from any homeowner, business owner, contractor, lake association, local government unit, developer or other interested party. Lake associations, neighbors, nonprofits and local units of government may know of projects that merit recognition, and may nominate them for the award. There are no entry fees.

To nominate a lake or river friendly protection effort worthy of recognition, either submit a completed application or complete the first part of the application and the nominee will be contacted to see if they wish to be entered into the contest by completing a full application. Nominations should be received by March 15, full applications are due by March 31.

For more information, contact Tasha Laurer at tasha.lauer@crowwingswcd.org or call 218-828-6197.

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