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Applicants sought for Lake and River Friendly Awards

Brainerd lakes area and statewide environmental organizations are joining together to publicly recognize homeowners, business owners, contractors, organized groups and local units of government that have chosen to implement practices or efforts to protect the region's lakes and rivers. PineandLakes.com Illustration

Brainerd lakes area and statewide environmental organizations are joining together to publicly recognize homeowners, business owners, contractors, organized groups and local units of government that have chosen to implement practices or efforts to protect the region's lakes and rivers.

The hope is that through these awards, ecologically sensitive development along lakeshore and river shore will become the fashionable trend.

Categories for consideration of the Lake and River Friendly Awards include home or business construction for a homeowner, business owner or a contractor who has undertaken new home construction or major reconstruction while preserving the environmental integrity of the natural lakeshore or river shore setting.

Shoreland stewardship is awarded to a homeowner, business owner or contractor who employs the use of native vegetation and mostly natural materials to landscape riparian property in a manner that not only complies with local shoreland regulations, but goes even further to protect the shoreline's environmental integrity in a way that can potentially improve water quality.

Protection strategy is awarded to an organization or a local unit of government that has created an ordinance, regulatory code or other initiative that officially seeks to preserve the environmental integrity of lake and river systems.

Stewardship is awarded to recognize a riparian property owner who protects water quality by simply leaving the shoreline in a non-disturbed natural state, which can include maintaining shoreland and aquatic vegetation, tree canopy, screening of structures for aesthetics, and non-removal of woody debris from the water. This award could also be used to recognize the use of a conservation easement to permanently protect a significant piece of shoreline.

Eligible are lake and river friendly protection efforts within the following counties: Cass, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Morrison, Todd, northern Mille Lacs and southeastern Wadena.

Applications will be accepted until March 31 from any homeowner, business owner, contractor, lake association, local government unit, developer or other interested party. Lake associations, neighbors, nonprofits and local units of government may know of some projects that merit recognition and may nominate them for the award. There are no entry fees.

If you know of a worthy lake or river friendly protection effort, you may nominate them for an award. To nominate a lake or river friendly protection effort worthy of recognition, either submit a completed application or simply complete the first part of the application, and we will contact the nominee to see if they wish to be entered into the contest by completing a full application.

Nominations should be received by March 15, and full applications are due by March 31. To receive a full copy of the Lake or River Friendly Awards application, email Tasha Laurer at tasha.lauer@crowwingswcd.org or call 218-828-6197.

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