The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District (MFCRWD) Board of Managers has instituted a new program designed to recognize individuals and groups who have improved or protected local water resources. The MFCRWD Project of the Year will be awarded in December of each year, based on the following criteria:

  • Complexity of problem solved/addressed
  • The degree of landowner-agency cooperation
  • Impact on water quality
  • Potential outreach possibilities
  • Aesthetic qualities
  • Cost per pound of phosphorus removed/prevented


2016 MFCRWD Project of the Year

Yes! Team ACGC Stormwater Management

The ACGC elementary school had an addition where rain water was pooling by an outdoor walk-in freezer and a hallway exit door. As the pooling increased during heavy rainfall, water eventually made its way into the hallway. An engineer traveled to ACGC and found that the area in question was an impermeable surface and that a storm water drainage pipe ran close, so it was a suitable spot to implement a storm water best management practice (BMP).  A tree trench BMP is a practice that promotes infiltration of surface water while both filtering the incoming water and the promotion of nutrient uptake by plants associated with the planting. Since there was a storm water drainage pipe running through the area, it was the perfect location to install a tree trench since it would not have to work solely on its own.


2015 MFCRWD Project of the Year

Brekke – Woodchip Bioreactor & Wetland Improvement


The District has put forth great effort to implement projects and programs to improve the water quality of Diamond Lake.  In 2015, Brent and Kim Brekke, landowners in the Diamond Lake sub-watershed, jumped on board to assist in these efforts.  By implementing a woodchip bioreactor in combination with a wetland control structure/skimmer to an adjoining wetland, the Brekke’s are now helping to reduce nitrate introduction loads (as well as other nutrients) by an estimated 264.3 pounds per year.

Congratulations to the Brekke family for being awarded the 2015 project of the year!


2014 MFCRWD Project of the Year

Charlie Koch – Cedar River Revetment

Riverbank Revetment protects an eroding riverbank by using a natural buffer made from cedar trees.  More than 300 ft of Mr. Koch’s riverfront property was preserved, while eliminating 24.75 tons of soil/sediment runoff into the Crow River.  In addition, an estimated 21.04 lbs of phosphorus will be kept out of the water due to Mr. Koch’s stabilization project.  Over the next few years, the District will monitor and report on the effectiveness of the cedar trees.  With proper management and care, the Koch project will not need replacement until 2030 at the earliest.  The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District hopes to significantly increase the number of streambank stabilization projects in the future.

Congratulations to Mr. Charlie Koch for being awarded the 2014 MFCRWD Project of the Year!

2013 MFCRWD Project of the Year

Lilleberg Farms – Woodchip Bioreactor

The Lilleberg’s have worked with the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District to implement a woodchip bioreactor on their property in the Diamond Lake subwatershed.

Woodchip bioreactors are covered trenches filled with wood chips where tile drainage passes through. Water and nutrients, specifically nitrate-nitrogen, flows through the woodchip bioreactor as nitrates are removed by aerobic bacteria. Woodchip bioreactors are an effective tool too reduce nitrogen loading to surface waters by 50% on average.

Congratulations to the Lilleberg family for their efforts and being awarded the 2013 MFCRWD Project of the Year!

2012 MFCRWD Project of the Year

Nest Lake Improvement Association – Aquatic Plant Management

Based on the above criteria, the Board of Managers unanimously selected the Nest Lake Improvement Association’s “Nest Lake Aquatic Plant Management” program as the 2012 MFCRWD Project of the Year.

2012 Project of the Year

The Nest Lake Aquatic Plant Management program was initiated by resident petition and is an excellent example of property owners coming together to attack a complex issue – curly leaf pondweed infestation. The District has assisted with the project from a fiscal perspective, while the Nest Lake Improvement Association has maintained the lead in terms of project management and day-to-day activities. The efforts to battle curly-leaf pondweed for a more diverse plant community have just begun and NLIA has already reported impressive progress: a total of 5,500 cubic yards of curly-leaf pondweed were removed from the lake in 2012 (more than double the amount removed in 2011). The mechanical removal of the weeds were accompanied by herbicide treatments in designated areas identified by the MN Department of Natural Resources. Because the senescence (die-off) of the pondweed results in the release of phosphorus (consequent algae blooms), the physical and/or chemical removal of curly leaf pondweed improves overall water quality.

Nest Lake Home Owners Assocation website: 

Congratulations to the Nest Lake Improvement Association for their efforts and for being awarded the 2012 MFCRWD Project of the Year!