The Friends of Lake Hiawatha was formed in 2016 and became one of the 30 citizen-led lake associations formed in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) and part of the Watershed Association Initiative (WAI).
Friends of Lake Hiawatha formed, in part, to respond to concerns about trash flowing into the lake from local streets during rain events. Preventing stormwater runoff is a key factor in improving water quality and this group has already made great strides in raising awareness about this issue. Since its formation, a device has been installed to capture trash at the storm drain outlet to the lake and a new storm drain cleanup program is being developed in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“We are excited to see the enthusiasm our residents have for protecting water quality in their neighborhoods,” said Darren Lochner, MCWD Education Manager. “This stewardship at the grass roots level augments the District’s efforts to provide and protect clean water and makes a huge difference helping us achieve our mission.”
WAI provides a range of services to new and existing groups including education, training, networking and engagement opportunities. In addition, the WAI helps groups develop action and lake management plans that guide their work toward reaching achievable goals. “The District’s commitment to assisting residents in becoming active participants in the health of their local water body is a model for others to follow,” said Jen Kader, WAI Program Manager for the Freshwater Society.
For more information, visit minnehahacreek.org/wai.