MCWD Announces 2011 Watershed Heroes Awards

Monday, October 10, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Oct. 10, 2011

MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT ANNOUNCES 2011 WATERSHED HEROES AWARD RECIPIENTS
"Heroes? to be Honored at November 17 Ceremony

Deephaven, Minn. – On Thursday, November 17, 2011, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) will honor citizens and organizations that have made significant contributions to clean water at its annual ?Watershed Heroes? awards celebration.  The awards recognize the important role we all have in improving and protecting our water resources. 

?The District works with all levels of government, businesses, non-profits and residents and this year's award recipients are a prime example of collaborations that have made great strides toward providing and protecting clean water,? said Jim Calkins, MCWD board president.  ?We need all types of Watershed Heroes to maximize the results of the District's work across the watershed and to truly make a difference in the community.?

The 2011 Watershed Hero Award Recipients are:

Excellence in Development Award:  Solution Blue, Inc.
This St. Paul-based development firm specializes in sustainable design.  It routinely goes above and beyond stormwater runoff requirements on projects including its work with the MCWD at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church and Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and at the Eldridge Subdivision in St. Louis Park.

Innovation in Government Award:  Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs
The MDVA partnered with the MCWD on the installation of underground stormwater chambers and a pervious paver driveway and parking lot at the Minneapolis Veterans Home to help reduce stormwater runoff that was damaging Minnehaha Falls and the surrounding glen.  The MDVA was collaborative, solution-oriented and helped cover unanticipated costs to help get the job done.

Outstanding Partner Award:  Minnesota Waters
This non-profit organization has been an invaluable partner in helping form and organize lake associations, which is the foundation of the District's education and outreach work.  It's also taking a leading statewide role in confronting aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Youth Naturalist Award:  Youth of Pierson Lake Association (APPLE)
These young people caught and removed about 35,000 pounds of carp from Pierson Lake, where the District installed barriers as part of a carp management program this summer.

Citizen Engagement Award:  Lake Action Alliance
This coalition of three lake associations (Christmas Lake Homeowners Association, the Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association and the Lotus Lake Association) has been a powerful force in the effort to protect its lakes and others against zebra mussels and other AIS.

Outstanding Contribution Award:  Bob and Jan Halverson
The Halversons sold their 112-acre farm in Minnetrista to the MCWD this year for less than the appraised value as a gift to the community.  The District plans to conserve and restore most of the land to protect nearby Halsted Bay, which has a water quality grade that's among the lowest in the District.

The public is encouraged to attend and join in the Watershed Heroes celebration.  Tickets are $35 and must be reserved in advance, prior to November 3.  The ceremony will take place at the BayView Event Center in Excelsior.  Please visit www.minnehahacreek.org to learn more.

Contact:
Telly Mamayek, Communications Director
952-641-4508; tmamayek@minnehahacreek.org

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District               

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District covers approximately 181 square miles, including Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Falls. The District is charged by state law to protect, improve and manage water resources. It does so through scientific research and monitoring, public education, cost-share grant programs, permitting and collaborative efforts with the 27 cities, two townships and two counties (Hennepin and Carver) that are in the District. For more information, visit www.minnehahacreek.org