COLA names winners in awards program [UPDATED]Published 10:36am Monday, September 10, 2012 Updated 12:38pm Monday, September 10, 2012
The Otter Tail COLA honors a “Volunteer of the Year” and “Lake Association of the Year Award” for purposes of setting a standard for volunteerism in our county and region. Nominations are received and reviewed by Darren Newville, Director of East Otter Tail County Soil and Water Conservation District and Jerry Horgen, Awards Chairperson. Lori Dowling, NW DNR Regional Director assisted with the presentation of the awards.
The “Volunteer of the Year Award” has to meet the following criteria:
• Has made a significant investment of their time and talent to protect and preserve their lake or river.
• Has demonstrated an ability to bring people together and engage them in activities that protect and preserve their lake or river.
• Has demonstrated an ability to bring about positive change.
The award was given to Shawn Olson, Lake Seven: Shawn’s accomplishments:
• Led the reorganization of the lake association.
• Created a nonprofit charitable organization for Lake Seven.
• Leader in having the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to conduct an assessment of Scalp Lake.
• Leader in bringing the Healthy Lakes and Rivers Partnership Program to Otter Tail County. This led to three lake associations receiving a $5,000 award to develop a lake management plan for their lake association.
• Leader in obtaining Star Lake certification for Lake Seven (Scalp) Lake Association in 2012.
• Vice-President of COLA from 2007-2009.
• President of COLA from 2009-1011.
• Leader in COLA obtaining a 503c charitable designation raising funds needed to print and distribute over 10,000 copies of a free guidebook on shore land stewardship.
• Leads the 2012 Otter Tail County’s Area Invasive Species that include twenty county wide representatives.
• Shawn calls herself a “lazy environmentalist,” but’s she’s anything but lazy. She’s a “leader” and it is her desire to “inspire youth to learn about how they can protect and preserve our lakes for future generations…”
The “Lake Association of the Year Award” was given to the Pelican Lake Property Owners Association nominated by Shawn Olson.
• Pelican Lake is managed by a combination of Pelican Group of Lakes Improvement District (PGOLID) and Pelican Lake Property Owners Association (PLPOA). There are 1064 properties around the lake owned by 957 people. Of those people, currently 806 or 84% are members of PLPOA.
• Pelican Brief published three to four times per year.
• E-communications to 76 percent of the members nearly 12 times per year.
• Six years ago, no e-mails were available, today the number is 800.
• Their website receives around 1400 hits per month.
• They have a lake directory with contact information including beach maps, community contacts, and area businesses that support the directory.