The District accepts the premise that maintenance of water-quality in area lakes requires a citizenry that is well informed. The District’s education initiatives have taken numerous forms. A primary thrust has been the wide dissemination of published progress reports. For several years “Annual Summaries” have been printed in large numbers and distributed to schools, lake association memberships, and to the general public.
Many special publications, brochures, press-releases, and newspaper articles have been distributed on special topics, as in the cases of fertilizer problems, harvesting, or special watershed activities such as the alum treatment of Lake St. Clair.
The District has also given technical and monetary help to various education groups, most notably the Detroit Lakes High School in support of its prize-winning interdisciplinary Water Watch program. For many years staff have served as mentors to the 4th grade Water Festival programs at Rossman and Holy Rosary schools, to the Envirothon program and to the 5th Grade outdoor education program held each spring at a nearby farm. Classes from Bemidji State University and North Dakota State University have been assisted.
District staff also speak to numerous groups – service groups, local government officials (township, city and county), and lake associations. The District also works closely with the Becker County Coalition of Lake Associations by providing programs and technical assistance. In 2004 an internet website was introduced.
Finally, the District has made it a practice to provide internships for high school and college students. These students assist with water quality monitoring, water analysis, and other activities. Several of these students have gone on in careers that relate directly to their watershed experience.
Plans for the Future
The District’s Managers take a very long view regarding the ultimate solution of lake water quality problems. It is clear that awareness of problems, their causes, and their solutions must be more widely understood by the public in general, and those who use and love lakes in particular. Accordingly, District staff and managers have been heavily involved in various educational programs, including publications (reports, brochures, news articles), teacher education, student training, curriculum planning, public presentations to service groups and governmental organizations, consultations with lake associations and their representatives, and continued support of, and interaction with, the Becker County Coalition of Lake Associations. In addition to these established activities, the District will undertake the following:
- Reach out to secure Involvement of additional volunteers for monitoring and advisory functions
- Development of an interactive web site that will permit full access of District data bases and reports
- Implementation of an awards program to focus attention on superior efforts by public and private groups in the area of water quality protection
HOLY ROSARY WATER FESTIVAL
Dunton Rapids vegetative plantings, Student learning about fertilizer
students learning how plants are purifiers. and the effects of phosphorus to
lakes, rivers, and streams.