Environmental Stewardship Newsletter


Environmental Stewardship Newsletter, Issue #281                                                                                                                                      March 3, 2012


This is the two hundred and eighty-first edition of a twice-monthly (or so) cyber newsletter that updates citizens that love the Brainerd Lakes Area on opportunities to foster environmental stewardship through participation in pending meetings, hearings, workshops, and other activities.  You receive this newsletter because you expressed support for this community priority or because you have been recommended as a community leader.  If you wish to be removed from the mailing list please e-mail me at dhickman@brainerd.net.  Likewise, if you have a story or opportunity to promote – please let me know!


MN DNR Invasive Species Program

Aquatic Invasive Species Control Projects Grant Program

First Application Deadline: March 7, 2012.

Other application deadlines occur throughout the summer

 

Applications for curly-leaf pondweed control grants must be received no later than May 15, 2012

 

Program Purpose

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Invasive Species Program offers Aquatic

Invasive Species Control Grants. These grants are intended to help fund the control of curly-leaf pondweed (CLP), Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) or flowering rush (FR). This offer is an opportunity for local entities, such as lake associations, watershed districts, cities, and counties to receive state funding and/or partner with the DNR on the control of these invasive aquatic plant species.

 

If you have applied for grants from the DNR in the past, you will notice that this offer differs from past offers. This new offer is simpler than past offers, reflecting changes made in response to concerns expressed by stakeholders. In addition, more projects will be eligible to receive a grant for the DNR in 2012 than in the past. The amount of funding available for grants has been increased from $730,000 in 2011 to $1,300,000 in 2012. All 2012 grants offered for the control of curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil or flowering rush will be issued through this grant program.

 

We hope that this approach will work well for you. Nevertheless, we may learn that there are unanticipated difficulties in implementation of this revised offer. If you encounter difficulties, please let us know.

 

Description of Grant Offer and Grant Process

These grant funds can be used for projects that control Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed or flowering rush using either herbicides or mechanical control, or a combination of both. They are intended to support projects that have received an Invasive Aquatic Plant Management Permit. Grantees must pay project expenses up front and make all arrangements.

 

In order to apply for these grant funds you must include a completed Invasive Aquatic Plant Management Permit application or the permit number if a permit has already been issued. An Invasive Species Specialist will review your permit application. If it is approved you will be offered a grant, as described below.

 

Application deadlines and available funds in 2012

 

Applications for curly-leaf pondweed control grants must be received no later than May 15, 2012.

 

Electronic proposals are encouraged. Completed applications should be returned to:

Wendy Crowell, Ecological Resources Grants Coordinator, DNR – Ecological and Water Resources, Box 25, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155, Wendy.crowell@state.mn.us

Phone: 651-259-5085


MECA Annual Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Conference

March 8-9, 2012 with pre-conference workshops on March 7.

Grand View Lodge, 23521 Nokomis Avenue Nisswa, Minnesota 56468

Registration is now open for the MECA Annual Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Conference & Trade Show.  This year’s theme: BMPs for Field & Stream & Lakes will expand your knowledge on best management practices for Urban, rural and agricultural areas, from construction site to shoreline, our speakers will cover a range of topics over the 3 days of workshops and conference. Join us at the beautiful conference Center at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN!

Please visit the MECA website to register and to view the preliminary brochure. 

Kseniya Voznyuk, Minnesota Erosion Control Association, 215 Hamel Road, Hamel, MN 55340, Phone: 763-478-3267, Fax: 763-478-3612, www.mnerosion.org   


Student Interns Available!

The Community Assistantship Program is pleased to announce a summer 2012 grant program. The grant will allow rural communities to hire a student to work on a project defined by those communities. The deadline for project proposals is March 15th, 2012. Approved projects will run from May 28th to August 26th, 2012.

Winning communities will review job applications and select the student who best meets their needs. For details on how to apply see the attachment or apply on line: http://www.cura.umn.edu/CBR

Eligible organizations include community groups, organizations, and local governments outside the seven county metro.

What is CAP?

The Community Assistantship Program (CAP) provides applied research assistance to community-based groups outside the Twin Cities Metro Area. The research and technical needs of community organizations are matched with the support of talented students. The idea is simple: get the resources of a great University working with communities to address the significant issues facing the people of Minnesota. CAP projects typically place students in a community defined and directed part time research assistantship for one semester or over the summer. Students are selected by and report to the community organization. Throughout the project students are supported by a community supervisor, faculty and community mentors. See:http://www.cura.umn.edu/CAP.


The BAELN 2011-2012 Season Let’s Talk about It is pleased to present…

 

Reaching People through stories and words

Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Free. All are invited.

Held at the MN Pollution Control Agency, 7678 College Road, Suite 105, Baxter/Brainerd

Speakers: Steve Mikkelson and Denise Stromme, MN Pollution Control Agency

 

It’s not easy to inform people about your environmental projects, programs or the environment in general in this time of shrinking attention spans.  There is so much competition for people’s time that you must be able to grab their interest if you have any chance of truly reaching them. In this session we’ll look at practices and tools that we can use to tell our stories in a more creative, impactful way. From using technology to six-word memoirs, we’ll explore how we can always leave them wanting more.

 

If you have questions concerning this presentation, please contact Stephen Mikkelson at (218) 316-3887or stephen.mikkelson@state.mn.us.

 

The Brainerd Area Environmental Learning Network (BAELN), now in its ninth season, offers environmental professionals and community members free professional development and timely information on environmental and sustainability issues. This season’s theme Let’s Talk about It moves us, when possible, to have discussion after the speaker’s presentation to probe even deeper into the topic. 

 

BAELN events are held the third Thursday of the month from 3:00-4:30 p.m.  Most events include a 30-40 minute presentation, followed by questions and discussion with opportunities for networking and refreshments.  The events are free and all environmental professionals and interested community members are invited to join in.

 

 

Upcoming BAELN events  (subject to change)

Æ       April 26: Climate 101: A review of climate science and climate change in Minnesota

Æ       May 17: A Plan for regional sustainability

Æ       June 16: Emerging Trends in aquatic invasive species management

 

** Please note that BAELN’s April 26th event with Dr. Mark Seeley will be at the Northland Arboretum. **

BAELN is a collaborative effort of: Central Lakes College, Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District, Envision Minnesota, Initiative Foundation, MN Department of Natural Resources, MN Department of Transportation, MN Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Waters, The Nature Conservancy, and University of Minnesota Extension.

If you would like to be on the BAELN email list or for general information on BAELN, please contact Stephen Mikkelson at (218) 316-3887, or toll free at 1-800-657-3864 or stephen.mikkelson@state.mn.us.

 


2012 Minnesota AIS Symposium: The Latest in Research and Policy

March 19 - 20, 2012

Location: Kelly Inn, 161 St. Anthony Avenue St. Paul, MN 55103

From Asian carp to flowering rush, Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are threatening Minnesota's precious water resources and the communities that depend on them.

Join local officials, scientists, natural resource professionals and concerned citizens to learn about the latest research on AIS management and the policy and legal implications of the approaches available today.

The two-day event will take place March 19 and 20 at the Kelly Inn in St. Paul, within walking distance of the State Capitol building.  

 

The symposium features speakers and panelists from across the country and with extensive experience in AIS issues. Topics will include the latest research on AIS management, legal and policy issues, economic impacts and current legislative initiatives.  

 

The $40 registration fee includes lunch, coffee and refreshments on both days.

http://www.mnwatershed.org/index.asp?Type=SUPERFORMS&SEC=%7BEA531A82-CB6D-4B61-850A-7F834E3E1653%7D

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 1 - Invasive Aquatic Plant Management

8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

* Status of Invasive Aquatic Plant Control in Minnesota

* Why Control AIS?

* Advantages/Disadvantages of Control Methods

* Herbicides: Selective Control, Toxicology & Registration

* Update on 2012 Minnesota AIS Legislation

* Plant/Fish Interactions

* Panel: Non-Chemical Control Methods

 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 2 - Invasive Aquatic Animal Management

8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

* Panel: Overview of AIS Threat and Status of             

   Control Methods

* Panel: Legal and Policy Issues Regarding

   AIS Management

* Economic Impact of AIS

* Value of AIS Research


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 Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society

March Bird Club Program

Thursday, March 8, 7 PM at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd.

“Purple Martins—How we can bring them back!” by Kelly Applegate, Wildlife Biologist for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

The Purple Martin population in Minnesota has declined dramatically since 1966.   This once common species, that nested in houses around almost every farm, is now considered rare and uncommon.  Kelly Applegate is the leader of the Purple Martin Working Group and has won awards for his work with martins.  What are the factors that have caused the martin decline?  Want to know more about martins and the latest research using geo-locators?  Want to learn how to bring martins back to your property?  This informative program will give you time to get your martin house ready before the birds return from South America.  Join us for this free program which is open to the public and sponsored by the Bee Nay She Council Bird Club.  Refreshments will be provided.  For more information about this program or about the Bird Club in general, contact Ken Perry at pkperry@brainerd.net

 

 

March Audubon Program

Wednesday, March 28, 7 PM at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd.

“For Love of Lakes” by Darby Nelson, Aquatic Ecologist, Author and Professor Emeritus.

We say we love our lakes yet we not only allow but participate in their deterioration.  Despite our professed love, nationwide more than 43 percent of surveyed lakes and 80 percent of urban lakes do not meet water quality standards.  Aquatic ecologist Darby Nelson’s puzzlement with this paradox finally bubbled over, leading him to set out on a lake journey to try to gain understandings, and he ended up writing a book about it.  Do you want to understand your lake better?  Do you want to be a better lake steward and leave a healthy lake for your grandchildren?  For Love of Lakes is one of four creative nonfiction books named as a finalist for the 24th Annual Minnesota Book Awards for 2012.  Darby will have books for sale before and after his presentation.  Join us for this free program which is open to the public and sponsored by the Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society.  Refreshments will be provided.  For more information, contact Pam Perry at pkperry@brainerd.net

 

Free Bird Hikes

Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon will be sponsoring Free Bird Hikes on Thursdays and Saturdays at the Northland Arboretum beginning May 3 and continuing through June 2.  These hikes will be led by an experienced birder and last for about an hour.  Thursday morning hikes will begin at 7 AM and Saturday morning hikes will begin at 8 AM.  Learn to identify more birds and get some exercise in the morning!  For more information, contact Pam Perry at pkperry@brainerd.net


Save the Date: March 22nd for Crow Wing County Environmental Services workshop

 

Crow Wing County Environmental Services is once again hosting a spring workshop to get contractors and other folks up to speed on shoreland permitting requirements and available resources.

 

Sign-ups will begin in a month or so, but we wanted to give you a heads up that the date for the workshop has been set for the morning of Thursday, March 22 in the Crow Wing County Land Services Building. 

 

Mitch Brinks, Water Protection Specialist, Crow Wing County, (218) 824-1128 - Office


The registration for the 11th annual Garden Expo 2012 is now open!  

 

UMN Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners and Crow Wing County Extension would like to invite you to attend their annual educational event.

 

The event will be again at Central Lakes College in Brainerd on Saturday, April 14 from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm.   The cost remains the same....$25 per person for four break-out classes, morning refreshments and a boxed lunch.   There will also be vendors, exhibitors and door prizes!!

 

Register early to get a spot in your first choice classes!!  You will be fully refunded if your cancellation is received by March 30.   Please keep in mind that our last garden expo was a sold out event the first week in March and that many of the break-out classes were full as early as mid February.

 

Please let me know if you have questions or if additional information is needed.

 

See you at the Garden Expo 2012!!

Jackie Froemming
County Coordinator - UMN Extension Master Gardener Program 
University of Minnesota Extension - Crow Wing County, 322 Laurel Street - Suite 22, Brainerd, MN 56401, Phone - (218) 824-1068. Email - froem022@umn.edu
 
Crow Wing County Master Gardeners' Website
www.extension.umn.edu/county/crowwing/mg


Position Opening: Extension Educator, Leadership & Civic Engagement, Brainerd or St.Cloud  

Starting Hourly Rate: Depending on qualifications  

Job Open Date : 02-08-2012  

Job Close Date : Open Until Filled

 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS
Education: A Master's degree at time of appointment. Formal education should include significant coursework in leadership development or studies (personal and/or community); educational, counseling or clinical psychology; and/or in public engagement, community studies, sociology, social work, communication, adult learning or a closely related field.

Experience: At least two years of related professional experience post-bachelor's degree is required. Relevant settings for this experience might come from higher education; adult education; Extension; state/regional/local government or development agencies; community or interest-based organizations and/or foundations.

Skills/Abilities: Excellent written and oral communication skills in English; skills and ability to apply research to program design, delivery and evaluation; group facilitation; individual coaching; knowledge, skills and ability play an essential role in a research project sponsored by an academic unit and informed scholars in related fields; evidence of ability to use technology for communication, information gathering, program delivery and reporting; experience in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and stakeholders; and, commitment to professional development.

 

https://employment.umn.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/position/JobDetails_css.jsp


Help Spread the Word!

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Mandatory Permit Training for Lake Service Providers

 

Dear Friends and Partners,

 

We need help to notify all lake service providers in your region about the mandatory statewide AIS training and permitting for people who install and remove water related equipment, required by new state laws passed in 2011. The upcoming training in your region is the perfect opportunity to reach out to all lake service businesses in your community and to remind them that according to the law, service providers are individuals or businesses hired to install or remove water-related equipment, such as boats, docks, boat lifts or structures, from waters of the state. And they are now required to obtain a permit from the DNR before providing any of those services. The DNR will begin to implement and enforce this during the 2012 open water season.

 

Please take a few minutes to contact the lake service providers in your community to let them know about the upcoming training opportunities in your region:

  

Brainerd

March 21, 10:00 am -1:00 pm

Northland Arboretum

 

Please find training directions, additional details and all of the statewide training dates/locations on the Minnesota Waters' website, http://www.minnesotawaters.org.


Taxpayers Benefit From Privately Financed Land Conservation

By Peter L. Gove and Melissa Rappaport Schifman

 

A February 21 Star Tribune article questions why the nonprofit organization The Trust for Public Land (TPL) charges private landowners a fee when saving natural areas at risk of being lost to development.  The most important thing to understand about The Trust For Public Land’s fee is that it is not paid by taxpayer supported government agencies. It is paid by willing landowners. This is sometimes misunderstood.  Other outstanding land conservation organizations collect fees and/or reimbursements from taxpayer-supported government agencies for their work. The Trust for Public Land is the only land conservation nonprofit in Minnesota that does not collect fees or reimbursements from government agencies, which is why it negotiates a fee from willing

private landowners not from taxpayers.

 

During a time of severe fiscal challenges, this private financing approach serves Minnesota taxpayers and conservation in Minnesota extremely well.  The private landowner fee collected by TPL is used to finance two parts of its work. First, the fee covers the costs The Trust for Public Land incurs while saving natural areas, such as the cost of legal, financial,  community relations

and real estate services. Because land conservation efforts often require several years of complex negotiations to complete, these costs frequently reach well into the six figures per transaction. Again, TPL does not seek reimbursement for these services from the government.

 

Second, fees from landowners are also used to pay for other important aspects of TPL’s land conservation work. In many cases, its efforts to conserve natural areas for future generations yield no fees whatsoever. This was the case with the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in St. Paul, Two Points on Leech Lake, Minneapolis Community Gardens, Wayzata Big Woods, Pine Bend Bluffs I on the Mississippi River and many other vital land conservation initiatives.

 

It’s very common for nonprofit organizations to rely on revenue generating projects to subsidize non-revenue generating projects, and that’s what TPL does with private landowner fees.  The Trust for Public Land uses the fees it raises very frugally. For several years in a row, the Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney magazine has rated TPL as one of the nation’s most efficient conservation charities. Likewise, the American Institute of Philanthropy rates TPL an “A” nonprofit, because of its efficient use of funds.

 

The article also raised questions about the appraisal of the property known as Mississippi River Northwoods. It’s important to understand that TPL doesn’t conduct the appraisal, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources approved independent appraiser does. Then, a second independent appraiser is engaged to conduct a second appraisal. Ultimately, the state will oversee a third independent review of the appraisals by a third independent appraiser. So, there are a number of checks on the appraisal process, the process is still underway, and due to

restrictions lawmakers have already placed on the project, the state is guaranteed not to pay more than fair market value for this land.

 

The Trust for Public Land brings enormous value to Minnesotans. It has protected 90,000 acres of land that communities have asked them to save – special places for hunting, fishing, birding, snowshoeing and other outdoor activities. In the last nine years alone, TPL has negotiated purchases that are $4.5 million below the appraised fair market value of the land. TPL passes on these savings to the public.

 

The Star Tribune questioned why The Trust for Public Land’s landowner fee approach is used. The better question is why isn’t this approach, which saves taxpayers millions of dollars, used more often?

Peter L. Gove and Melissa Rappaport Schifman are volunteer members of the Minnesota Advisory

Pasted below is a link to the original StarTribuine article:

http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/139773833.html 


From: Becca Nash (Becca.Nash@tpl.org)
 

We need your help!

 

I'm reporting in after a couple of days at the Capitol. The House Legacy Committee heard the Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF) bill Tuesday and Wednesday. We predicted we would face a number of challenges in the house. We are now starting to experience some of these challenges

 

Members spent considerable time on the Mississippi River Northwoods project. Susan Schmidt (TPL MN Director) and I stood for questions on Tuesday; Commissioner Paul Thiede and Kirk Titus (and I) took questions again on Wednesday. The County did a great job.

 

In the end, Representative McNamara requested that the committee hold off voting on the package so that they could spend more time exploring some of the questions about the MRNW project and so that they can explore other models for its protection. The bill is being held in this committee.

 

Now would be a good time to shoot an email or make a call to your own state representative to encourage him/her to get the Outdoor Heritage Fund Bill passed- as recommended by LSOHC- through the house. Find your representative here http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/

 

For those of you living near the project, here are your contacts:

 

E-mail: rep.john.ward@house.mn

651-296-4333 or 800-683-4205
Legislative Assistant: Chris Kwapick 651-296-6586

 


E-mail: rep.mike.lemieur@house.mn

651-296-4247 or 888-727-4612
Legislative Assistant: Linda Westrom 651-296-7167

 

 

E-mail: rep.larry.howes@house.mn

651-296-2451 or 800-706-9962
Legislative Assistant: Cyndee Fields 651-296-5408

 


Green Fire, a film about Aldo Leopold

 

Premiere showing of "Green Fire", the new film about Aldo Leopold, Tuesday, April 10, at 6 P.M. here at Central Lakes College, in room E354

 

We will begin the show with a brief discussion by myself and I hope a couple more Leopold friends, including Janine Kohn, from the Leopold Education Project at Pheasants Forever, and one yet-to-be named guest.  If you have further questions or suggestions, kindly forward them to me.  As far as costs, this will be free and open to the public, however we will "pass a basket" asking for donations to the Natural Resources Club here at the College.  I will also arrange some snacks and drinks as well - kindly spread the word to your contacts, more information to come as we solidify things-

 

William E. "Bill" Faber, Ph.D., Certified Wildlife Biologist® Natural Resources Instructor, Dept. of Natural Resources Central Lakes College, 501 West College Drive, Brainerd, MN 56401, (218) 855-8082/(800) 933-0346, Ext. 8082 wfaber@clcmn.edu


Crow Wing County approves recreational trails plan

Proposal includes ATV trails

By Renee Richardson, Senior Report, Brainerd Daily Dispatch brainerddispatch.com Copyright 2012 Brainerd Dispatch. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. , February 14, 2012 - 09:15pm

 

Crow Wing County approves recreational trails plan.

 

After meetings and mailings, comment periods and revisions, the Crow Wing County Board approved a recreational trails plan Tuesday.

This path to the trails plan began in 2009 when the board hired Dovetail Partners to help gather public input for the plan. Tuesday, Mark Liedl, county land services director, told the board, this final draft of the plan was needed for staff to present trail proposals.

“For too long, Crow Wing County has muddled through the recreation trails planning and designation process,” Liedl said. “For too long, we have failed to approach this issue in an objective, transparent, consistent and professional way. This plan changes that.”

The plan lays out criteria and conditions to evaluate potential trails and coordinate enforcement and identifies six trail development opportunities.

Trails the county will pursue include an ATV trail in the southern part of the county called the Fort Ripley -Brainerd-Pine Center Grant-in-aid ATV trail. Another calls for an ATV trail link to Blind Lake in Aitkin County, part of the Northwoods Regional ATV trail system. There are links proposed to the Camp Ripley-Veterans Trail Soo Line. And an off-highway motorcycle trail is proposed by Perry Lake.

Three public comment periods, amounting to 128 days, received 172 written comments. Liedl said changes were made to the plan based on suggestions received. The plan is listed on the county’s website, was the subject of an online survey and nine advisory committee meetings attended by 319 people.

The county had 624 people on its email contact list regarding trails. It’s not a subject without conflict between those who favor motorized trails versus non-motorized and the subject of all-terrain vehicle trails has ardent supporters and vocal opposition.

“This county board has spoken with one voice regarding the need to create a system of designated, managed recreation trails in Crow Wing County, a system of trails, both motorized and non-motorized, that protect our forest rewsources and provide diverse recreation opportunities to our customers,” Liedl said.

Liedl spoke of the need for designated and managed trails that provide exceptional recreation opportunities with enforced laws and protection of forest resources.

“This plan provides the framework for us to achieve this important objective,” Liedl said.

He said the board made it clear ATV trails are part of the mix.

“Our experience the last four years shows clearly that motorized summer trails must be approached in a planned and thoughtful way,” Liedl said.

Liedl recalled the county’s experience since 2007 to work with ATV clubs to establish a county wide trail system. An ATV park on tax forfeited land was part of the discussion at one time. Efforts of numerous people and nine votes by the board hasn’t resulted in reaching a trail system goal, Liedl stated.

“We have learned that motorized summer trails require careful planning and analysis by professionals rather than simply submitting a proposal with lines on a map,” Liedl said, reading from a written statement. “We have learned that trails along ditches of county and state roads do not constitute a motorized trails plan. We have learned that individual property rights do matter, that the peace and enjoyment of our residents matters, that protecting our natural resources matters, that enforcement of our rules matters and that professional, objective, consistent and transparent planning standards are an absolute necessity.”

No one from the small group in the gallery took an opportunity to speak.

Commissioner Phil Trusty said he appreciated the trail plan information and trail inventory of what the county does have.

Doug Houge, board chairman, said: “I believe we are now in a position to put together a good, managed system. We want trails but we want them done right.”

Commissioner Paul Thiede questioned how far the plan advances the goal of having trails on the ground. Thiede also expressed frustration with trail plans for ATV supporters who previously sought trail connections for distance rides and now seeing comments supporting a loop ride.

Liedl said: “I believe having a process in place allows us to make those determinations in a much more effective and timely way.”

Thiede said some of the problems won’t go away with the adoption of the trail plan.

“Some of those are going to be hard-fought kinds of things,” Thiede said.

Trusty said he didn’t support the ATV trail in the southern part of the county. “It doesn’t mean I don’t support ATV trails,” he said, adding whether by horse, skis or ATV, he appreciated the look at the whole plan.

Thiede said he hoped this now causes the county to move forward.

The county adopted the plan unanimously. Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom was absent.

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.


Lakeshore to receive $20,000 from Cass County for CR 77 trail

By Nancy Vogt, Lake Country Echo Editor

 

The Lake Shore City Council heard Monday, Feb. 27, that Cass County had agreed to provide $20,000 to help pay for phase one of a recreational trail along County Road 77.

Cass County commissioner Neal Gaalswyk attended the council meeting and shared the news.

In January, the council hired Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) as the consultant for the Trail 77 project. The new trail will be a multi-use paved trail running primarily along County Road 77 from the southern border of the city to the northern border. It is hoped the trail eventually will connect with trails being planned through Fairview Township and Nisswa.

The city has pledged $3,000 to the project and the Initiative Foundation $11,000 of the expected $34,000 phase one cost.

Road project

The council agreed to go ahead with plans to repave Lost Lake Road, which is on the city's five-year road plan.

Costs will not be assessed because this is a paved road that the city maintains.

Public safety

The council approved a joint powers agreement with Cass County for the Take It To The Box Program, a collection program for household pharmaceuticals. A box will be located at Lake Shore City Hall for such items as expired, unwanted or unusable prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.

Environmental

The Lake Margaret Stakeholders Group received approval to spend up to $700 to sponsor a workshop entitled "An Interactive Workshop, Linking Land Use and Clean Water" from 5:30-9 p.m. April 10 at the Nisswa Community Center.

The workshop is geared for officials such as city council, township boards and planning commissions, and it will emphasize understanding a watershed and how planning, policies and practices are all connected.

http://www.pineandlakes.com/stories/022912/localnews_20120229028.shtml

 

Don Hickman & Sandra Kaplan

Merrifield, MN 56465