The Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District is once again sponsoring a contest to inspire citizens to value, conserve and protect our freshwater resources. Projects completed within the last three years which provide water quality benefits are eligible for the Water Quality Improvement Award. Many types of projects qualify, see the award application for more details. The project must be within the boundary of the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District and have been completed in 2015 or later.
Finalists will be recognized and up to four applicants will be selected as award winners and each winner will receive a $500 cash prize.
Certain projects, such as rain gardens, shoreline restorations and use of lake water for irrigation may be eligible for cost share assistance. Please see our Cost Share page for more information.
The application deadline for the 2nd Annual Water Quality Improvement Award was October 20, 2017.
2017 Award Winners
The 2017 Water Quality Improvement Award was awarded to four families, with one other family receiving an Honorable Mention. Each of these families installed best management practices like raingardens or shoreline buffers to improve water quality on their property. The 2017 Award winners were: Pete and Elizabeth Guidarelli; John and Rondi Phillips; Gene and Nicole Martens; and Linda Wiecher.
According to Jodi See, co-chair of the Award, “We are inspired by the actions these individuals took to protect water quality in our local lakes. These projects require considerable time, effort and money and maintenance, so they are an ongoing commitment. Two of the awardees received assistance from the District’s cost share program. We applaud their devotion to the environment and to their communities. Every drop counts!”
Christian Morkeberg combined a raingarden with a shoreline restoration, that together reduce runoff to Spring Lake (Photo is of Morkeberg’s restoration project).
Cindy Sellin installed a filter strip on her shoreline that slows runoff and prevents contaminants such as sediments, organic matter, nutrients and pathogens from running into Lower Prior Lake.
Jim Lally (nominated by another homeowner) installed a raingarden that reduces stormwater runoff to Spring Lake.
Eric Zastrow (nominated by another homeowner) installed a raingarden on the East Side of Willow Beach Association property, which reduces the runoff and sediment running into Upper Prior Lake.
Honorable Mention: James and Candace Freemon installed a raingarden to catch stormwater runoff that was causing mud and erosion on a hilly and densely shaded corner of their property.
2016 Award Winners
In 2016 the Water Quality Improvement Award was awarded to four families, each of whom installed best management practices. The 2016 Award winners were: Pete and Elizabeth Guidarelli; John and Rondi Phillips; Gene and Nicole Martens; and Linda Wiecher.
It is the hope of Jodi See and Elizabeth Shramm, co-chairs of the contest, that the award winning projects “will inspire others to consider what they themselves can do to protect the water resources we all treasure. These families are true stewards in our area as leaders of our effort to educate our community that everyone, whether you live on the lake or not, makes a difference in the water quality of lakes and rivers. Every drop counts!”
Pete and Elizabeth Guidarelli removed the grass in their front yard and replaced it with a rain garden and a rain garden. The Guidarellis directed their downspouts to flow into the rain garden. They now use much less water and no chemicals but have a beautifully landscaped yard.
John and Rondi Phillips planted several degraded areas in their yard with native plants, restoring a native prairie while providing water quality benefits and habitat for their local bee hives.
Gene and Nicole Martens installed a rain garden along with several rain barrels at their new home. They also involved their children to engage them and teach them how to be good stewards of water quality.
Linda Wiecher installed five rain gardens in her yard to improve drainage as well as water quality. She also planted native plants along her shoreline to create a natural buffer which filters pollutants before they reach the lake and protects the shoreline from erosion. Furthermore, Linda’s rain barrels capture rainwater which be reused later to water her plants.