On Oct. 17 at the Crow Wing County Land Services Building in Brainerd, a full room celebrated the 11th year of the Lake-Friendly Development Awards by recognizing five projects in Crow Wing, Cass and Morrison counties.
All of the projects promote ecologically sustainable and sensitive development. The hope is that through these awards, people will change the way they think about development in shorelands.
The Lake-Friendly Protection Strategy Award recognizes an organization or a local unit of government that creates an ordinance, regulatory code or other initiative that seeks to preserve the environmental integrity of lake and river systems. The award for 2013 went to a collaborative effort to improve the boat access on Big Trout Lake in Crow Wing County.
The group was made up of Darren Mayers of the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Corrine Hodapp of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dave Fischer of the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association (WAPOA) and Wade Miller with the Minnesota DNR.
Along with improving the boat access, they worked in partnership to restore 300 feet of shoreline and create two rain gardens to treat and filter the runoff into Big Trout Lake from Highway 66. This project was a collaborative effort between the local, state and federal government units along with WAPOA.
Three Landscaping Awards and a Lake Stewardship Award were also presented. Prizes for winners included framed certificates of achievement, books, tote bags and framed prints donated by Nisswa watercolor artist Jerry Raedeke and photographer John Bonde. The Brainerd Chapter of Wild Ones provided some financial assistance to cover the matting and framing costs.