The city of Winona successfully won a grant to fund restoration efforts around East Lake Winona. Over the next three years, the city and the volunteer organization Healthy Lake Winona (HLW) will work to remove invasive plant species and replace them with more beneficial native species. This future work will build off the restoration pilot project undertaken by both the city and HLW this summer by the Franklin Street boat launch and Visitor’s Center.
Volunteers in HLW have put in many hours of planning, physical labor and grant writing to improve the water quality of Lake Winona. City Council member and HLW volunteer Paul Schollmeier applauds the group, the city, and the county for their efforts. “Healthy Lake Winona in cooperation with staff from Winona County and the city have netted another grant to help improve the water quality of the biggest lake in the county. It amazes me how hard this group has worked in volunteer hours and in successful grant writing to improve the water quality of Lake Winona. The combined efforts of city and county staff and concerned citizens are fixing to make a dent in the invasive invasion of Lake Winona,” he said.
The main emphasis will be on the wooded and wetland areas along the south side of East Lake Winona. Future work will include clearing invasive shrubs and trees such as buckthorn and invasive honeysuckle and replanting with native trees and understory vegetation. Wetland areas will be cleared of invasives and replanted with native species. Plantings will be specifically chosen to further the city’s pollinator resolution. As with the pilot project, the woody brush will be bundled to make wave barriers to aid in shallow water planting — approximately 5,200 linear feet spanning seven sites.
Winona’s Natural Resources Sustainability Coordinator John Howard said, “It is very exciting that the city won this grant to restore the East Lake shoreline area. This project should enhance both the beauty and ecological benefits of the area.”
Those who are interested in this project should watch for volunteer opportunities, as much of the grant will involve in-kind citizen volunteer work to improve conditions at the lake. Watch the Healthy Lake Winona website for project updates at http://healthylakewinona.weebly.com/ or contact John Howard at the city of Winona at Jhoward@ci.winona.mn.us or 457-8273.
The grant is through the Conservation Partners Legacy fund administered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The city will receive up to $107,669 through the grant, and will help meet a 10 percent match requirement, mostly with in-kind labor from Healthy Lake Winona volunteers.