Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 2009 - March 2007

Forest Lake Times
Weed issues on Forest Lake significantly less
Wednesday, 05 August 2009

Jennifer Larson
Staff Writer

Doing more with less is an old adage that has proven to work when it comes to caring for the water quality of Forest Lake. 

The weed issues are significantly less in 2009 despite operating on a scaled back  aquatic plant control program, says Chance Norby. He is a member of the Forest Lake Lake Association (FLLA) and has overseen much of the leg-work, such as scheduling volunteers, logging the amount of loads and hours put in. 

It’s remarkable that the lake association has been able to make such headway over the last two years given the Forest Lake City Council appropriated one-third of what it had in 2007. The council budgeted just $20,000 for aquatic plant control on Forest Lake in 2008 and this year. 

Norby said that in 2009, FLLA was able to treat up to 100 acres  identified by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with herbicide. He said that pales in comparison to a year prior when 15 acres were treated to eradicate the invasive curlyleaf pondweed. 

While city workers spent a total of 128 hours on mechanical harvesting of the channels and access points in 2008, the labor—estimated to be around 200 hours this year—would be done by lake association volunteers. 

In addition, the city has provided fuel, maintenance on the machine as well as hauling the weeds to the composite site. The municipality also trained the FLLA volunteers to use the mechanical harvester. 

Cutting will most likely continue until mid-August. As of last week, over 20 loads were hauled away. 

Water clarity 

The program got a late start, says lake association president Blake Roberts. 

“It initially wasn’t a lot because of the herbicide,” he said. 

Another positive factor in keeping the invasive curlyleaf pondweed at bay is the lack of rain in 2009. Near drought conditions have meant that not as much nutrients, which comes from fertilizers on lakeshore properties, are running into the water and by way, preventing algae from blooming. 

Having lived on Forest Lake for the last 30 years, Roberts said the water clarity is the best it’s ever been. 

“I’ve never seen it so clear,” he added. 


And he’s not the only one seeing the difference. Both Norby and Roberts have received numerous comments about how recreational activities have become tangle-free under the plan that includes herbicide and mechanical harvesting. 

In fact, Roberts said FLLA’s memberships are increasing—up from 144 to 220 in just a the last few months. 

“People are finally buying in,” he said. 

However, Roberts noted that more members will strengthen their efforts. Anyone who uses the lake is welcome to join. Dues are $40 for a Standard Membership and $200 for a Business Membership. 

Since its founding in 2007, the lake association has successfully worked with the city, DNR and watershed district to obtain an adequate level of funding. The program had been suspended in 2008 and was reinstated later that year after Roberts and others persisted to include it in the budget. 

Some of the accomplishments made by the FLLA are: purchasing lights for navigational buoys between First and Second Lakes, sponsored clean-ups between 2007 and 2009, removing three dumpsters of debris from the ice and preventing it from entering the water, and continued work with local agencies. 

Norby wanted to offer a reminder that volunteers will not use the mechanical harvester to cut weeds around docks. He said that lakeside property owners can hire herbicide companies to treat waters around their shorelines and swimming areas.

What's New
Thank you to everyone that  attended  the Wine Tasting Event last Friday.  We had over 100 people attend that enjoyed a great night of wine, food and  socializing.   
We raised just over $3000.00 for the lake!!
Thank you to The Lakehouse and their staff for doing a great job serving and providing the wonderful food at cost.  We would also like to thank Bob Marx and his staff from MT Global Wines for providing the wine at cost, donating 36 bottles and for educating us on all of the different wines.  Thanks to Stone Cellars for donating a portion of all wine sold Friday night to the lake association.
The board would like to thank the following businesses and individuals  for donating items for the silent auction: Forest Lake Motor Sports, Dave and Cheryl Copham, Chance and Amy Norby, Karen Dickey and Copper Mountain Resort, Forest Lake Floral, Blossom’s Gifts, 
Hallberg Marine, Minnesota Tire Warehouse, Goetz Landscaping, Patriot Bank, Vicky Katz Larson and Lake Management Inc.

Please show your appreciation by supporting these local business.
A final thank you to everyone that purchased auction items.
Arts in the Park:  Once again we will be having a booth at Lakeside Park on Tuesday evenings.  We are still looking of volunteers to work the booth.  Volunteers are still needed for the following dates:  June 30th, July 7th and 14th, August 4th.  Please contact Gayle Hove if you are interested in volunteering  651-464-7272
Stop by to purchase lake association flags, window decals and other lake related items with 
all proceeds going back to the association.
Aquatic Plant Management:
The weed harvester is being launched on Monday and training begins next week for our members that are volunteering their time to harvest this summer.
The plan is to harvest between 100 – 150 hours depending on demand.
100 acres of Herbicide was applied in May on curly leaf pond weed on beds on 2nd and 3rd lake.  Early reports indicate these treatments were very successful.  Attached is a map of the areas that were treated.  These areas were determined by officials from the 
DNR and Watershed District

Membership renewals are due now.  If you have not already done so please send them in now. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 61 Forest Lake 55025 or go  to  pay with a credit or debit card.   Membership dues are $40.00 for the year.    
Please contact Donna Kohs with any questions.
Remember to talk to your neighbors and friends about joining the association
We are looking for lake pictures to add to our website.  If you have any pictures that you would like to share please send them to
Check out this  locally owned business serving area lakeshore owners that provides cleanup and weed disposal for lake front properties

Thanks for your support!
FLLA Board

Lake Monitoring Volunteer Needed for Forest Lake

Are you looking for ways to help improve and protect our water resources?  The Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD) is looking for a committed volunteer(s) to help collect lake samples on the West Basin of Forest Lake (Lake 1) and Secchi readings on Forest Lake (Lake 2 and 3).
Forest Lake (Lake 1) 

The volunteer will collect water samples every two weeks from mid-April through mid-October (for a total of 14 sampling events). 
During each monitoring event the volunteer will visit a pre-designated spot on the lake where they drop anchor, record general observations, collect and prepare water samples and measure the clarity of the water with a Secchi disk -- an 8 inch white metal disk that is lowered into the water until it can no longer be seen.
Forest Lake (Lake 2 and 3) 

During each monitoring event (also 14 events from mid-April through mid-October) the volunteer will visit a pre-designated spot on the lake where they drop anchor, record general observations and measure the clarity of the water with a Secchi disk -- an 8 inch white metal disk that is lowered into the water until it can no longer be seen. 
CLFLWD staff will provide the sampling equipment, training, and eventual sample pick-up and delivery to the analytical lab:  the volunteer must have their own boat or canoe.

People interested in becoming a volunteer lake monitor for Forest Lake, should contact Randy Anhorn, CLFLWD Administrator, at or by calling 651-209-9753.

Goetz Landscape & Property Maintenance

    2009 Spring Specials for Lake Association Members

  In a joint effort to improve water quality in and around Forest Lake, 
Goetz Landscape has teamed up with the Forest Lake, Lake Association 
to provide these special offers to its members.


  • Free One hour Turf Consultation for Lake Association Members ($75.00 value)
Receive 5% off - 3 Step or 4 Step Organic Fertilizer Program when Pre-Paying 
by May 1st, 2009 and also Receive One hour Landscape Consultation 
at no charge. ($75.00 value)



·         Goetz Landscape projects of $5,000.00 or more will qualify for a 4 Step Organic Fertilizer program at no charge, ($300.00 value)
* Landscaping for Water Quality and Wildlife Information available

Goetz Landscape & Property Maintenance
2030 Main Street
Centerville, MN 55038

2009 Lake Cleanup Volunteers


Lake Clean Up - Saturday March 21st  if weather permits/ alternative date March 28th

Meeting at the City Launch at 2:00

Anyone that helps clean the lake and finds Kevin & Shawn Marois- of Keller Williams business card will receive $100 cash

Food will be served afterwards at (The Laker) to all volunteers (thanks Pete).
Hope to see you all there.

Mark your calendar for an awesome opportunity to 
learn new shoreline restoration techniques and help your community.
Event: Forest Lake Shoreline Restoration
Date: Saturday May 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Lake St N & 2nd Ave. NW, Forest Lake
Field Volunteers Needed: 100
Supervisors Needed: 20

Volunteers and their families are invited for a special day of lakeshore restoration planting in Forest Lake. Through demonstrations and participation, community members will gain knowledge on shoreline restoration techniques, actively restore native plants in an effort to enhance water quality, and prevent soil contamination within Forest Lake. Through this event, participants will be empowered to implement these practices on their own property. This is a great opportunity for corporate and community groups and individuals and families. No experience is necessary and all training will be provided! Volunteers should wear waterproof boots or shoes in order to participate in this project.
Click HERE to view the flyer

For additional information click 
HERE or call Randy Anhorn at 651-209-9753.

Sunday August 31, 2008 we will be having our 3rd and final Lake Association boat tie up. 

The tie up is being held on the northeast side of 3rd lake just off Shady Land point at 2:00pm.  This is a great opportunity to meet and visit with fellow lake residents. 
There will also be lake association and lake related items available for purchase to raise funds for the association

 Aquatic plant program:
The city  will continue to harvest 2-3 days a week until the end of August.     
 WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!!   On Wednesday August 20th the city council will be discussing the aquatic plant control program (harvesting/ herbicide treatments) as  part of the 2009 city budget workshops.  The workshop starts at 6:30 at city hall.   The FLLA board will be asking  the city council to consider increasing the aquatic plant control program from $20,000 to $35,000 for 2009.  We are asking all lake property owners  to attend this workshop and voice  your support and concern about this matter. The city council appointed Lake improvement committee passed a resolution to increase the number of acres treated by herbicide and to continue to use mechanical harvesting to keep navigational channels open. 
Please pass this information on to all of your neighbors and friends.   If you are unable to attend the workshop on Wednesday please contact the following city council members and voice your concern.

Stev Stegner
Judy Bull
Greg Ochs
Bo Bogotty

If you have any questions  please contact 
Blake Roberts    651-755-6400

Our membership continues to grow, but we need your help.  Please print off the second attachment and talk to your neighbors and friends about joining the association.

On Sunday August 31st we will be holding  the 3rd and final boat tie up at 2:00pm.  The tie up will be held on the northeast side of 3rd lake just off Shadyland point.  
(please note date and time change)
This is a great opportunity to meet fellow property owners and association members.

Tuesday is the last night for Arts in the Park.  There are still plenty of lake association boat flags, window decals and other lake related items for sale.

In September Abbra Carpet Cleaning  will be cleaning the carpet on boats  at the city boat launch.  $10.00 for every boat will be donated to the lake association.  More details to follow. 

Thanks for your support!!  
Hope to see you at city hall on Wednesday and at the tie up on the 31st.
FLLA Board

The weed harvesters are being put in the water today or tomorrow. This is much later than in past years because of the budget cuts.  As most of you realize the weeds seem to be the worst they have been this early in the season in years.   Please contact the city council members with your concerns!!!

Forest Lake Times
A spring favor for the lake 
Wednesday, 12 March 2008

(Photo By Cliff Buchan)

After a full winter of use, members of the Forest Lake Lake Association and a large number of volunteers swarmed across the ice surface of the three lakes on Saturday. The target was garbage and fishhouse debris left behind by the other not-so-thoughtful lakes users. The volunteer force included students from the Forest Lake High School National Honor Society. In this photo, workers fill a dumpster at the Third Lake boat landing parking area. SRC in Wyoming donated the dumpster while the Forest Laker Bar and Resturant and owner Pete Paidar provided lunch to all those who helped. Paidar is also a member of the FLLA.

Friends of the lake plan ice surface clean up 
The Forest Lake Lake Association is having its annual ice surface clean up on Saturday, March 8th.
Volunteers are being asked to meet at the lakeside park boat launch at 2:00 p.m. We are seeking ATV’s and snowmobile trailers to help with the clean up.
Immediately following the clean up there will be a free BBQ for 
all volunteers at the Forest Laker Bar and Grill.

In the case of extreme weather or snow depth, March 15th is planned as the alternate date.
For updated information on the ice clean up 
please go to or contact Chance Norby at 612-384-6042.

Forest Lake Times
Posted: 5/16/07
Lighted buoys make channel navigation safer
Cliff Buchan
News Editor
Navigating the channel between First and Second lakes here should be 
safer and easier this summer.
A set of six lighted navigational buoys funded by the Forest Lake Lake Association is doing the job and the citizen organization has plans for additional buoy locations.
And that is just fine with the Washington County Sheriff’s Water Patrol Division that takes care of enforcement and safety matters on the chain of lakes here.
On May 8, Deputy Sheriff Jim Gribble joined lake association members Blake Roberts and Pete Paidar for the installation of the red and green solar-powered lighted buoys that provide navigational boundaries that can be clearly seen in the channel, day and night.
“It enhances boat safety which is our primary function,” the deputy said, as he and Roberts installed the final buoy on First Lake last week.
The project required nearly $1000 in funding from the lake association.
Its members dipped into their own pockets and found other donors who have helped.
It’s all part of the group’s mission to help the lake and improve the lake, said Roberts who teamed with Paidar to help start the association last year.
The group has undertaken winter lake clean-up duties during the late ice season. The buoys project for the spring was a logical next step, Roberts said. 
The idea is also catching on, Roberts said.
Plans are being looked at for a series of lighted buoys between Second and Third lakes, he said. The city park board has expressed interest in buoys to help mark the public swimming beach at Lakeside Memorial Park, he added.
Paidar’s Forest Laker and Roberts’ Roberts Family Funeral Home were two of the early financial contributors. Others who joined in were Christ Hoyt and Bob Muske Jr. of ERA Muske Co. Real Estate, Chance Norby of Centennial Mortgage and Funding, Jeff Gosiak of Gosiak Construction and Brian Chilson of Abbra Carpet Cleaning.
The sponsors will be recognized with signs to be placed at Lakeside Park this summer.
In the meantime, Roberts and Paidar said the call is out for more citizens wanting to join the association or help out in some fashion.
For more information on how the public can help and to learn of future association meetings contact Paidar at 651-338-4647 or Roberts at 651-755-6400.

Lake friends

Group organizes to protect
precious Forest Lake waters

Photo by Mark Nicklawske
Forest Lake Lake Association founders, from left, Blake Roberts, Chance Norby, Chris Hoyt and Pete Paidar, say the new organization will work to protect the area’s most important natural resource. Not pictured: Bob Muske.

The Forest Lake Lake Association will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10 at the Forest Laker Bar and Grill, 131 N. Lake Street. DNR conservation officer Jason Jensen and Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District Administrator Randy Anhorn will be the guest speakers. 
For more information, call 651-755-6400.

by Mark Nicklawske
Regional Editor  Forest Lake Press
FOREST LAKE - North metro residents love to boat, fish and swim on Forest Lake, yet no citizen group is in place to look out for its environmental well-being. Until now.
A group of longtime area residents organized this winter to form the Forest Lake Lake Association and plan to meet regularly to discuss lake usage issues, clean water measures and develop environmental-friendly projects. 

Lake resident and downtown businessman Blake Roberts said Forest Lake has been one of the few major north metro lakes without a citizen-led support group. He said a past association disappeared 15 to 20 years ago and nothing replaced it.
So Roberts, along with Forest Lake natives Chance Norby, Bob Muske and Chris Hoyt, and Forest Laker owner Pete Paidar, met one night and decided to form an association. 

The group plans to tackle a variety of environmental issues with the goal of improving lake water quality.
Muske said Forest Lake is one of the most heavily used lakes in the metro area and, as a result, is at-risk of environmental breakdown.

“What can we do to help it?” he said. “We decided to form an association, and it’s pretty much taken off like wild fire ... The idea was to protect the lake and get people involved.”

As a first act, the association organized a lake ice cleanup day. Close to 60 people from all over the area showed up at Lakeside Park March 17.

Roberts said bottles, cans, tires, scrap wood, shot gun shells and a variety of junk leftover from winter use was hauled away and kept out of the water.

“We had a very good response,” said Hoyt. “It was really a last ditch effort to clean things up before the ice melts, and we had more than 40 people there. I was amazed at the turnout we had on such short notice.”

Association organizers said the ice cleanup shows people are concerned about water quality and will 
work together on projects.
Other issues the group wants to study include:

• The city weed harvesting program — how it works and what can be done to improve it;
• Installation of solar-powered, lighted navigational buoys in channels between lakes;
• Shoreline maintenance tips for lakeside homeowners; and
• The correct use of lawn fertilizer and weed killers.

The group may also organize social activities, like pontoon tie-ups or a polar plunge, to benefit charities.
Roberts said he has seen more loons on the lake than ever before and  believes water quality has improved in the last decade, but studies show the lake is in jeopardy of becoming too polluted to support natural habitat.
“(The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) says the lake is close to being impaired,” he said. “Everyone I’ve talked to there says now is a good time to get (an association) started because you guys could help make it stay off (the endangered) list.”
The Lake Association will set up articles of incorporation and raise money through donations and dues. The group is open to anyone with an interest in the lake, said organizers.

“I think most of it will be land owner based but we’re not exclusive,” said Roberts. “It’s open to anyone regardless of weather you own land or not. The people who don’t live on the lake are the ones who use it the most ... You need the respect from the people who don’t live on the lake to make this work.

Mark Nicklawske can be reached at or 651-407-1231.

Forest Lake Times
Posted: 3/21/07

Lake ice clean-up day a success

The new Forest Lake Lake Association had over 60 volunteers at its first ever "Ice Clean Up Day" on Forest Lake last weekend. FLLA member Blake Roberts said the group of 60 filled a 20 yard dumpster half full of items found all around the ice on Forest Lake. He said that in about two hours the young and old had items like logs and bricks collected in their John Deere Gators and four-wheelers. Roberts said the group is currently planning their next meeting to be held in April. For more information about the organization contact Roberts at 651-755-6400.

Forest Lake Times
FLLA shocked by council move to end weed harvesting program in 2008

Monday, 31 December 2007
var sburl4751 = window.location.href; var sbtitle4751 = document.title; var sbtitle4751=encodeURIComponent("FLLA shocked by council move to end weed harvesting program in 2008"); var sburl4751=decodeURI(""); sburl4751=sburl4751.replace(/amp;/g, "");sburl4751=encodeURIComponent(sburl4751); As the board of the newly formed Forest Lake Lake Association, we were shocked by the Forest Lake City Council’s recent elimination of the aquatic weed cutting program.

We had two good reasons to be dismayed:

This summer, the city’s own Comprehensive Plan Advisory Panel — formed to help the council understand what’s important to citizens — identified the lake as the city’s greatest strength.

They also said that failure to manage the lake’s ecosystem was one of the city’s greatest threats. The diverse group of 25 volunteer citizens recognized the lake is beneficial to more than just lakeshore homeowners.

It brings in visitors and business, so it is vital to our economy. 

On November 13, 2007, more than 100 citizens attended a panel discussion about weed harvesting, hosted by the Forest Lake Lake Association.

Among the panel members were city representatives Chip Robinson, Mike Tate and Mayor Stev Stegner. It was a very educational and open discussion about how to improve weed elimination.

We discussed the idea of jointly exploring an environmentally friendly herbicide, which has proved more effective than cutting at other lakes. 

Then less than a month later, with no warning or even a courtesy call to the association, the city pulled the plug on weed harvesting funding for 2008.

Our intent in forming the Forest Lake Lake Association was not to take over the financial and functional responsibilities of our local government, but to simply assist city leaders in improving our aquatic community.

If you want Forest Lake City Council members to uphold their obligation and reinstate the weed harvesting program, please send them email messages or join us at the Monday,, Jan. 14 city council meeting, 7 p.m. at Forest Lake City Hall, 220 N. Lake St., when the matter will be discussed.  

— An opinion column from the Forest Lake Lake Association.
Weed control topic of panel discussion Nov. 13
Area residents can learn about aquatic weed control at a free panel discussion 
being hosted by the Forest Lake Lake Association 
Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. at 
Roberts Family Funeral Home, 555 Centennial Dr.
The meeting will feature a panel discussion about weed harvesting and prevention 
with Mayor Stev Stegner, City Administrator Chip Robinson, 
City Public Works Director Mike Tate and 
a representative from the Minnesota DNR.
All interested residents are welcome. There will also be association membership information available, now that the Lake Association has become an official 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 
For more information, call Blake Roberts at 755-6400.