The Healthy Lakes and Rivers Partnership Program
After a preliminary meeting last spring, the Cross Lake Association was invited to participate in the Initiative Foundation’s Healthy Lakes and River Partnership Program along with six other associations in Pine and Chisago counties. Representatives from each association attended two five-hour training sessions on strategic planning, communication, and non-profit group leadership.
Representatives of many state and local agencies and non-profit organizations also attended the training sessions as resources. The Cross Lake Association was represented by Judy and Dean Yorston, Jerry and Dede DuBois and Jerry Trent.
We had a lot of opportunity to learn from other associations in this coalition about the nature of their lakes, as well as their issues and problems. The group decided to meet regularly in the future to track the problems, projects, and sources of funding, successes and failures.
After the first training session, the CLA team met for several hours to plan a presentation to the other lake associations at our second training session.
The next step was the preparation of a Visioning/Planning Session to which the public and various local government representatives would be invited. It was decided by the two teams that Pokegama and Cross Lake Associations would hold a joint meeting and representatives would make written, oral and visual presentations.
On September 28th, Don Hickman and his associate led the 110 people who attended through a series of steps leading to focusing on three significant lake/river management issues:
1. Invasive Exotic plants and animals. This includes: Identification,
impact, and control of Curleyleaf Pondweed, Eurasian Milfoil, carp,
etc. Replacement with useful native plants. Methods and monitoring.
2. Shoreland Management/lakescaping. Control of chemicals and
nutrient-rich runoff. Water diversion, rain gardens, buffer strips.
Control of shoreline erosion.
3. Water Quality. Emerging technology. Most people focus on algae
bloom, but the underlying cause-excess nutrients dissolved in the
water-is more important and is very related to the success of number
2, as well as methods to reduce the amount of nutrients released
from the lake bottom sediment.
Many people volunteered to participate in committees dealing with these focus issues and will be meeting.
The major goal of the CLA team will be to develop a well thought out Lake Management Plan, and then select useful and approved projects, which are practical, sound, and can be funded. Results must be measurable in order to obtain outside funding.
The large amount of water quality data that we have been collecting will serve as a very useful base for determining progress and monitoring will need to continue.
By Jerry Trent, Water Quality Committee Chairperson