Canoe and Kayak Library

by Todd Foster | Jul 04, 2011
| 3 Comments
Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
Challenge II: Ideas for Addressing Water Issues in Minnesota competition.

Summary:

When we started the Canoe Libray, we could find no other instance of one in the entire nation. To expand it to include kayaks would be amazing. As a society we can talk about the problems of water quality but seeing it first hand while paddling drives the point home that we all must do our part to protect this resource.

About You

Organization: Friends of the Sauk River Visit websitemore ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Todd

Last Name

Foster

Country

United States, MN, Stearns County

City

St. Cloud

About Your Organization

Organization Name

Friends of the Sauk River

Your Idea

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Name your idea

Canoe and Kayak Library

Describe how you would use $15,000 to help your community become aware of and address water issues in Minnesota.

Here at the Friends of the Sauk River we believe that getting people (especially youth) outside using our water resources, the more likely they are to help protect those resources. We recently started a Canoe Library were we have canoes, life jackets, car-top carriers, a trailer, and paddle's available for any community member to check out and use for free. We have already served hundreds of people. People who are now inspired to help us protect and clean-up the Sauk River. We would like to expand this library to include kayaks and to sponsor even more events to get people excited about protecting and cleaning up the Sauk River. With $15,00 we would purchase 8 kayaks and all the gear needed to use them (additional paddles, pfd's etc.) Working with the local school district we would like to develop a curriculum for 9th graders to learn about water issues while taking a several day paddle along the river. Finally we would like to sponsor even more paddle tours where we invite the public to join us as we paddle the river and point out ways they can help improve the quality of the river. Along the Sauk River there is a plethora of water quality issues that need to be addressed: Erosion, Feed-lots, Faulty Septic Systems, Poor Farming Practices, and Fences/Trees across the river. Our goal would be to use this program to increase our membership so that we can continue to "Promote it, Paddle it, Protect it"

How do you define your "community"?. How are water issues affecting your community?

Our community is the 150,000+ people that live and play in the Sauk River Watershed. We stretch from the town of Osakis to the west, to St. Cloud on the east. We also include the towns of Sauk Centre, Melrose, New Munich, St. Martin, Richmond, Cold Spring, and Rockville. We are part farmers, part cabin owners, part city dwellers, and part county folk.

We live and breath in our watershed and most of us drink water that comes from the Sauk River. We need to do a better job protecting our resource. We need to control erosion so that our fertile farms stay productive. We need to slow our run off down, because slow water is clean water, we need to inspect our septic systems for faulty or broken ones, we need to plant rain gardens, and restore our shoreline so that our water can once again be clean and pristine.

Innovation

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Describe how your idea is creative.

When we started the Canoe Libray, we could find no other instance of one in the entire nation. To expand it to include kayaks would be amazing. As a society we can talk about the problems of water quality but seeing it first hand while paddling drives the point home that we all must do our part to protect this resource.

Impact

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Describe how how you expect your idea to make a difference in your community.

Every time we can get someone out paddling the river, and show them the first-hand account of what is happening to the river (and watershed) we can inspire them to help make a difference. We can show them the resources (Sauk River Watershed District, Stearns County and Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District) that can help them make a difference. These groups can help by cost sharing projects like rain gardens, shoreline restorations, feed-lot abatement, cattle exclusions etc.

We know this project can be successful because it already has been. We have seen an increase in our membership and we know that several members have installed rain gardens, rain barrels and shoreline restoration because of hearing about those projects through us.

Sustainability and Growth

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Describe how your idea will "stick" in your community and how you think it could be repeated in other communities.

With a strong civic group like the Friends of the Sauk River, this project will continue for many years. Although there is no charge for use of the equipment in the paddle library it is self sustaining by the increase in membership and by charging when there is damage to the equipment.

Any community could start the canoe library to enhance the visibility of their water resource. A community could start be buying used equipment and charging a small fee until the library is big enough to make it free.

letlet teltel said: Canoe and Kayak library was really clean and they have a lot of good quality books. - Feed the Children about this Competition Entry. - 1803 days ago read more >
Beth Lipinski Anderson said: Brilliant idea! I hope it wins funding! about this Competition Entry. - 2665 days ago read more >
Sana Jaffer said: This sounds like a fun way to promote awareness! about this Competition Entry. - 2714 days ago read more >

Todd Foster updated this Competition Entry. - 2723 days ago

Todd Foster submitted this idea. - 2723 days ago