Big blue trophy: Watershed launches steward award

VLAWMO launches a stewardship award.

The Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization (VLAWMO) is launching a watershed steward award.

The annual award, shaped like a large blue water drop, will travel between recipients annually. Winners will be etched into the award.

Nominations are open to a wide variety of community members, from municipalities to nonprofits and associations to individual residents who've conducted volunteer services in the watershed. The watershed includes North Oaks and portions of Gem Lake, Lino Lakes, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and White Bear Township.

Nominations for the first winner will be open until Feb. 11. Nominations are based on activities completed within the year. Eligible nominations include but are not limited to: 

• Building, partnering or contracting for the construction of stormwater best management practices such as bio-swales, retention basins, low-mow turf, prairie restorations or raingardens. 

• Coordinating education and outreach that promotes awareness and protection of local water resources.

• Planning for watershed improvements on the front end of construction and development projects. 

• Conducting smart salting, turf maintenance best practices or similar tasks and implementing them as routine operations. 

• Outstanding and ongoing volunteer efforts with VLAWMO events, community service, education and/or monitoring activities. 

Nominations may be made by peers or through self-nomination. Nomination forms can be found at vlawmo.org/get-involved. Send completed nomination forms to nick.voss@vlawmo.org or drop off at the office within Vadnais Heights City Hall. The 25-square-mile watershed boundary can be viewed at vlawmo.org.

In addition to hosting the award for the year, the main contact under the nomination will receive a dinner certificate at a local restaurant.

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