The Minnesota County Association and the Board of Water & Soil Resources selected the Crow Wing County Community Partnership with the County Roads Department for one of two 2021 AMC-BWSR County Conservation Awards.
The award was presented by Rich Sve, president of the Minnesota Counties Association and Lake County Commissioner, and Water and Soil Resources Board executive director John Jaschke. The other winner was the Lower St. Croix River Watershed Partnership of Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Pine and Washington Counties.
From 2014 to 2021, the Crow Wing County Highway Department partnered with the cities of Crosslake and Manhattan Beach, the Big Pine Lake Association, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, citizen groups, and the Soil and Water Conservation District. to implement stormwater mitigation projects along County Highway 66. and bedrock structures. The partnership leveraged more than $ 2.26 million in grants, reduced more than 46 pounds of phosphorus in Big Trout and Island Loon lakes, and extended fish migration to an additional 15 lakes and 12 miles of streams. The county has completed the following for chloride management:
Live GPS calibration and monitoring of chloride use during snow removal events.
Prioritization of the level of service and the time of snow removal according to the characteristics of the roadway.
Development of a public telephone application for snow plow locations.
Collection of baseline data on the water quality of chlorinated lakes.
The county’s effort has helped maintain the $ 256 million Crow Wing County tourism industry based on high-quality lakes, public accesses and fisheries that benefit the people of Minnesota and to many non-resident tourists, according to Explore Minnesota. Crow Wing County’s tourism industry is based on 400 lakes, 75 miles of rivers (102,000 acres) and 2,000 miles of shoreline.