Winners picked for 10th Annual Lake Friendly Awards
Brainerd Lakes area environmental organizations and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) collaborated to publicly recognize homeowners, contractors and local units of government that have developed or redeveloped their lakeshore or riverfront properties in a lake-friendly way and followed current state and local ordinances.
The awards were presented Thursday at Prairie Bay in Baxter. Award winners were from Cass, Crow Wing and Morrison counties. Winners were announced Thursday for the following categories:
■ Lakescaping: Ron and Claire Faust. This is for a homeowner or contractor who used native vegetation and natural materials to landscape their riparian property.
■ Lakescaping: Rollie Johnson Recreational Area — Big Island Joint Powers Board.
■ Lake-Friendly Home Construction: Jim Lilienthal. This for a homeowner or contractor who has taken new home construction or major reconstruction while preserving the natural lakeshore or river shore setting.
■ Lake-Friendly Protection Strategy: The cities of Crosslake and Fifty Lakes. This is for an organization or a local unit of government that has created an ordinance, or regulatory code or other initiative that enhances area lake and river systems.
■ Lake Stewardship: Merv Eisel. This is for a riparian landowner who protects water quality through; natural shoreline, conservation easement or any other forms of water quality protection.
Award winners received a nature print — Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality, Voices for the Land — and a certificate depending on the category.
Participants received free appetizers and opportunities to network with the award winners. The event’s guest speaker talked about the importance of nature from an artist perspective.
This event was sponsored by the following organizations: Envision Minnesota, Brainerd Lakes Area Audubon Society, Crow Wing County Lakes and Rivers Alliance, DNR Game Wildlife and Fisheries, Minnesota Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, The Nature Conservancy, A&W Research Laboratories, Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District and University of Minnesota Extension.