New Buffer Strip along Ditch 56

This picture is of a new buffer strip installed along County Ditch 56 south of Lake Crystal. These buffers reduce the amount of soil erosion along the ditch. Repairs and cleaning are just finishing up south of Lake Crystal. The Ditch Authority is in charge of repairs. To see more photos and get more information, (there’s some very interesting information about beavers!) visit the Blue Earth County Drainage Blog.

LC receives $59,000 DNR grant for Robinson Park

On June 1, 2017, the city of Lake Crystal learned that it has been awarded a $59,000 grant from the Outdoor Recreation Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This grant will be used for extensive upgrades at Robinson Park.

The project will include:

• A new ADA restroom complete with changing stations. This  part of the project qualifies as the City’s in-kind contribution.

• Nearly 7,000 square feet of native flowers and grasses planted near the shoreline to reduce erosion and reduce to the amount of runoff that reaches the lake. The area will also become a habitat for bees, birds, frogs and other small animals.

• Approximately 600 feet of ADA-compliant trail that will ramble through the new plantings and connect the parking lot with the lakeshore.

• Interpretive signs to educate visitors about the plants, the goals of the restoration and the wildlife.

• 36′ ADA-compliant fishing pier donated by Crystal Loon Lake Recreation Association, Crystal Waters Project and Hewitt Docks.

The work must be completed by the end of 2018.


• $81,000 – City of Lake Crystal: New restroom facility

• $59,000 – MN DNR: trail, plantings, signs

See the poster below for more information.


Free Press Article: Diffuser/Aeration Experiment

Lake Crystal water quality 1
Mike Roll, CWP president, looks at the diffuser/aeration box that is being test on Crystal Lake this summer.

Please click the link below to read this article from June 18 about the diffuser box that is being tested on Crystal Lake. The article also talks about the lakeshore restoration at Robinson Park and the work of the Crystal Waters Project.

CWP receives first ever experimental permit

Crystal Waters Project has received the first ever MN DNR EXPERIMENTAL Aeration permit in MN for a new aeration diffuser system. The system was installed in Crystal Lake and turned on June 1st. DNR, MPCA, BEC representatives were all present for the installation and start up. CWP will be put on a rigorous water testing schedule of Crystal Lake by the MPCA & DNR from July thru August. The local volunteer that was present was instructed by MPCA & DNR representatives on where and how to properly retrieve the water samples, transport them and deliver them for testing. Not only does the water need to be tested at the ” influence zone ” of the diffuser system, but also at several other spots on Crystal Lake. CWP appreciates all of those who were interested in volunteering for sampling. Please continue your support.

CWP President quoted in Free Press Article

The Mankato Free Press of May 27, 2017 used water quality as its featured topic. The article laid out the data about lake water quality and provided an interactive map for lakes in the region. It listed the causes of impaired waters and also suggested some solutions for the problem. The removal of carp from the Crystal Lake and the recent plantings at Robison Park are both mentioned in the article. Area water quality experts are quoted, and Mike Roll, CWP President, is cited extensively.

Successful start to Lakeshore Restoration

On May 17, a group of capable volunteers installed erosion control along the beach at Robinson Park. The measures included biodegradable erosion blankets and wattles to reduce the damage caused by waves.

Ron, Teigen, Matt Teigen, Dustin Demmer of Blazing Star Gardens, and Bob Hobart installed erosion control.

And on Friday, May 26, many volunteers came together to plant about 1,800 native species “plugs”. Three sixth-grade classes came to the park in the morning to help with the task. The students also cleaned previously-planted rain gardens in the park. In the afternoon a cadre of students from the high school joined the effort. Several adult volunteers also assisted with creating holes in the erosion mat, drilling holes and planting, and installing a net to keep geese out of the newly-planted area. The volunteers were all under the direction of Dustin Demmer of Blazing Star Gardens, who developed the plan and supplied the materials and tools.

Sixth-grade students help with the lakeshore restoration.
John Madsen and Tom Cooper hard at work
Receiving instruction in cleaning the existing rain gardens in Robinson Park

Plugs ready to be planted
Creating holes in the erosion mat

West side of beach with netting

One drop at a time…