2016— EIGHTH Annual WAPOA Shoreland Restoration Contest

By Brian W. Olson

Have you been thinking about restoring all or a portion of your natural shoreline back to a natural state or creating a shoreland buffer?  If so, then WAPOA encourages all lakeshore owners that are interested in improving lake water quality and shoreline wildlife habitat to participate in the 8th Annual WAPOA Shoreland Restoration Contest.  This contest can provide you with some expert advice, together with the money and/or labor to help you complete your restoration project.  Contestants will compete for potentially up to $10,000 and two days of supervised Minnesota Conservation Corp labor crew for project installation. 

Contestant Qualifications

In order to have your property qualify for the contest your proposed shoreland restoration project must comply with WAPOA contest rules that st.ate that your lake will need to be a lake that WAPOA currently tests for water quality.  These lakes are: Upper Hay, Lower Hay, Upper Whitefish, Middle Whitefish, Lower Whitefish, Arrowhead, Bertha, Clamshell, Pig, Big Trout, Rush, Island, Cross, Daggett, Little Pine, Clear, Ossawinnamakee, Kimble, Star, Big Pine, Velvet, O’Brien, Goodrich, Ox, East Fox, West Fox, Kego, Mitchell, Eagle, Butterfield, Ruth, Mary, Emily, South Roosevelt, North Roosevelt, Lawrence, Leavitt and Smoky Hollow.

Your property will also need to meet the 2013-2023 Crow Wing County Water Plan which encourages, but does not limit you, to the following in order to improve water quality: creating shoreline buffers, storm water infiltration basins, rain gardens, trail erosion control management, tree & shrub plantings and non-erodible drainage swales.  All improvements must be above the Ordinary High Water Level of the lake and the proposed plantings shall be native to the area.  For those of you that have lakeshore property in Cass County, your property will still qualify for this contest.

Ineligible activities are septic system upgrades, garbage cleanups, aquatic vegetation control, beach blankets, boulder rip-rap, imperious surface improvements and any local governmental permit fees, if any.

All projects will need to be completed by October 31, 2016 and successful contestants will be required to provide a 25% match of their award amount.  This match can be provided by in-kind labor, materials or payment. 

Contest Details and Meeting Dates

If you are interested in being a contestant or are curious about improving your shoreland for water quality and wildlife habitat there will be a sponsored WAPOA Open House at Moonlite Bay in Crosslake on Wednesday, June 1st, from 5:00 to 7:30 pm.  Experts from MN DNR, Crow Wing SWCD, local vendors, WAPOA and I will be there with handouts relating to shoreland restoration issues and also to answer any questions that you may have.  Appetizers will be provided.

WAPOA, at their annual meeting on Saturday, June 11th at Ideal Town Community Center, will have people from various governmental agencies and local vendors to answer any questions at the end of the meeting you may have about the contest or your personal shoreland restoration project.

The contest deadline is June 22nd at which time scheduled contestants will have one half hour to present their proposed restoration project before a panel of judges at the Ideal Town Hall from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.  The 8:00 pm proposed end of the meeting may need to be revised based upon the number of presentations.  Contestants are advised to provide pictures of their shoreland, site plan sketch and a written statement of the shoreland issue is and what your proposed restoration goals are.  The judges will discuss your proposal with you and help you develop your project design with suggestions relating to design, materials, plantings and installation costs.  The judges will be from the MN DNR, Crow Wing SWCD, local vendors, WAPOA and I as a Registered Landscape Architect.

Recent Contest History

The number of awarded restoration projects has varied over the years from five projects to as many as nine projects.  In 2015 there were five awarded restoration projects that were located on Ossawinnamakee, Bertha and Little Pine Lakes.  In 2014 there were nine awarded contestants that were located on Upper Hay, Cross, Middle Whitefish, Ossawinnamakee and Little Pine Lakes.  In 2013 there were eight awards on East Fox, Cross, Bertha, Ossawinnamakee and Little Pine Lakes.

Source of Contest Award Amounts

Clean Water Legacy FundWAPOA has again this year applied for a grant available through the Community Partners Grant Program provided by Crow Wing SWCD.  Crow Wing SWCD is funded by the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment that Minnesota voters passed in 2008.  WAPOA also will provide contest funds if needed.

Please contact me with any questions and to schedule your half hour time slot to present your proposed restoration project at the contest deadline meeting on June 22nd.  I can be contacted at 612-309-1784 or