Editorial: Grass Lake needs help on project's final costs
Grass Lake's wetland restoration project supporters got a good opportunity to tell a state Senate committee about the importance of the project. The state Senate Capital Investment Committee on Thursday toured the 1,100-acre site of the proposed ...
Grass Lake's wetland restoration project supporters got a good opportunity to tell a state Senate committee about the importance of the project.
The state Senate Capital Investment Committee on Thursday toured the 1,100-acre site of the proposed Grass Lake restoration.
Grass Lake, which sits southeast of Willmar, once played a significant role in the southern Kandiyohi County watershed. Some old-timers have told stories of traveling by water from Grass Lake southward all the way to the Lake Lillian area.
Throughout the early 20th century, Grass Lake was slowly drained by ditches and tile lines as the wetland was claimed for agricultural production and other uses.
Supporters of the Grass Lake restoration project have been working since the late 1980s to restore this critical watershed project. Around 1990, 11 property owners enrolled 1,100 acres in perpetual conservation easements, and native vegetation growth was restored to the acreage
The Minnesota Legislature in 2006 funded $2.2 million of the requested $3.5 million to restore Grass Lake. The city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County are providing $1.7 million toward the project.
Project supporters are now asking for an additional $1.7 million from the state to complete the restoration of Grass Lake. The total project is now expected to total $5.2 million.
Grass Lake is a critical project to Willmar and Kandiyohi County. The Legislature has supported the project with funding before. We hope the Legislature will complete the final step in funding the Grass Lake restoration.