Previous Contests


Complete WAPOA Contest Award History  click here


 2015 Contest below


Tom Verdoorn showed the restoration committee his lakeshore problem and from them received helpful suggestions on how his goal might be bes accomplished. In past years the applicant would meet separately with each committee member, but that was not efficient for the applicants. This year it worked better to meet with all the committee members at once.

The winners

The following people are the successful contestants for the 7th Annual WAPOA Restoration Contest that will share the $10,000 and MCC labor.

Julie and Charles  Costa
on Lake Ossawinnamakee

Tom Verdoorn and Ed Lounsberry
for the Normandy Homeowners Association on Lake Bertha
Award $3000

Paula and Dick Gilliford
on Lake Ossawinnamakee                                                                          

John Olson for Wilderness Park
on Little Pine Lake
Award $2100

Joy and Don Majsterski
on Lake Ossawinnamakee                                                                          
$1300 & 1/2 day MCC crew


2014 Contest below

Very Successful WAPOA Shoreland Contest Reported

Jim Brandt, director of the contest, reported that it surpassed previous years contests in a number of ways.

More entrants, more winners, and a lot more prize money to be used for the actual restoration projects!


WAPOA 2014 Shoreland Restoration Contest Awards Totaled $11,000
By  Jim Brandt

The WAPOA 6th Annual Shoreland Restoration Contest Open House was held at Moonlite Bay on June 4th, 2014, and was very well attended.

WAPOA has been fortunate to have area professionals from Crow Wing County Soil and Water, the U of MN Extension Service, MN DNR, as well as local restoration businesses, to help plan and judge the projects.

These professionals realize these projects will have a positive effect on area lakes and have given freely of their volunteer services. They have been the key to the success of our annual contests

The following contestants were awarded a total of $11,000 to help fund their shoreland restoration projects. In addition, some recipients will receive either a full day or a half day of Minnesota Conservation Corps Crew Labor:

-Cindy Reick                                      Upper Hay Lake
-Ron & Lisa Engblom                         Ossawinnamakee Lake
-Denny & Donna Gambiana              Ossawinnamakee Lake
-Ric & Jane Carlson                            Crosslake
-Julie & Charles Costa                        Ossiwinamakee Lake
-John Olson / Wilderness Park          Little Pine Lake
-Geoff & Muffie Davidge                   Lower Whitefish Lake
-Marcelo Valdes                                 Ossawinnamakee Lake
-Mike & JoAnn Dougherty                 Lower Whitefish Lake

WAPOA’s Shoreland contest continues to evolve and expand as people realize our area lake water quality is decreasing, and that shoreline restoration can help turn this trend around.

Ten contestants presented their projects to a team of judges on June 18th at Ideal Town Hall.

The above nine named people were selected to receive awards of dollars and or MCC labor crew hours to be used towards their projects.

There was an excellent range of small to large projects presented that will have a positive effect on water quality.

WAPOA had planned to award $7,000 and MCC crew hours, but our team decided that with the number of quality projects presented, to award the $11,000 and crew hours!

WAPOA applied for and was awarded a Community Centered Runoff Mini Grant from the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The next step is to work with these contestants to bring their projects to completion by the end of this current year.

Then, maintenance plans need to be put in place to assure success and growth of the native plants and the restoration work over the future years.

The area has seen some very heavy rains over the last few years that have caused significant erosion and debris to be flushed into our area lakes.

Creeks and rivers have flowed over their banks and caused our lake water levels to rise. These shoreline restoration buffers will help retain and filter the runoff water into our lakes.

If you have any questions or comments on the WAPOA Shoreland Restoration Contest, please contact Jim Brandt at 218-543-6483.





WAPOA wants you to win…

so it enlists local shoreland experts to help you draw your plan.

Their advice is invaluable and free!


Donna Balzer with judges


Donna Balzer with judges


photo credit:Do It Green! Minnesota

restored shorelineWe move to the lake for “nature.” We “improve” the shoreline, remove shallow-water vegetation, mow the lawn down to the water line, and dump a bed of sand in the water for a beach.Then we put fertilizer and herbicides on the lawn.

  • Lawn rain water now runs unimpeded off the lawn into the lake.  It carries chemicals from the driveway and lawn, grass clippings and sand sediment loaded with phosphorus, and pet wastes.
  • Algae increases make the water green, the fish diminish in number. Birds, frogs, insects, butterflies, and others that depend on a natural shore disappear.
  • Geese find the open lawn attractive and become a nuisance.  The tiny individual insults are incremental.  After awhile they add up.
  • Lake water quality gets worse.  Good water needs a natural shoreline.
  • The lake that we moved to is no longer there.
  • It might look the same, but the animals and fish that depend on it know the difference. They can’t make a living there anymore, and many of them are diminished or gone.

WAPOA wants to encourage “better” (natural) shorelines.

A contest causes people to consider natural shorelines. The finished shoreline remains on display and continues to provide benefit to the lake and shoreline animals.




Ferbers had the winning entry

Rich and Muggsy Ferber are the winners of the 2011 restoration contest. Here with Judge Eleanor Burkett of the University of Minnesota Extension Service.


Jane Schulte with Judge Heather Baird

Jane Schulte of Lake Mary with Judge Heather Baird of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources


Jim Schultz with Judge Heather Baird

Jim Schultz of Kimball Lake with Judge Heather Baird of the MInnesota Department of Natural Resources.


Darrell SchneiderDarrell Schneider, seated right, with Judge Eleanor Burkett, and Judge Phil Hunsicker of Envision Minnesota, standing

Shoreline restoration projects being discussed with experts




Kay Rezanka, WAPOA Shoreline Restoration contest winner

The upland portion of the Rezanka property is where the restoration work will take place, rather than on an actual beach or the water’s edge.

The family has already established a vegetative buffer on most of their beach. The construction of rain gardens and native vegetation plantings will replace the little grass that remains in tree-shaded areas of compacted upland soil.

These plantings will absorb runoff more quickly than grass or compacted soil and will help the Rezankas attain their goal of reducing storm water runoff entering the lake.

The work will take place this fall and next spring.  A recent online newsletter article by Crow Wing County Water Plan Coordinator Mitch Brinks pointed out that storm water which does not infiltrate into the ground is the number one cause of our planet’s
pollution, because as water travels over land and other surfaces it picks up heat, sediment,

phosphorus, pesticides and other chemicals, and these enter the waters.

As a biologist and volunteer member of WAPOA’s water monitoring team, Kay Rezanka is acutely aware of what storm water runoff can do to negatively affect a lake’s water quality.

Runoff can cloud water, cause algae blooms, reduce sunlight penetration in the water and cause depletion of oxygen in the water and have other devastating effects on a healthy lake.

“We want to do our part in a simple and beautiful way to limit such negative impact from our property,” Rezanka said. “We are grateful to the generous sponsors for making the resources available for us to achieve this goal more quickly and effectively than we could on our own.

Our project will help us to protect and preserve the lake for future generations to enjoy, just as the many generations of our family have.”

“We also hope the benefits of this project will extend beyond the reaches of our own property by educating others within the Pine River Watershed about river and lake-friendly practices and inspiring people to make similar commitments for the good of the lakes,” she said.