The Squash Lake Association was awarded the Healthy Lakes Initiative grant by the Wisconsin DNR, effective April 15, 2015. The two-year grant is new for the DNR, and it is intended to provide financial assistance to lake property owners for improving lake habitat through small and medium-sized projects. These projects include water diversion and infiltration techniques to reduce runoff into lakes, rain gardens, native plantings, and fish sticks as best practices covered by the grant. The grant will pay for 75% of the cost up to a maximum reimbursement of $1000 for each project. Multiple projects per land owner are acceptable. Applications must have: included descriptions of the individual projects, been “shovel-ready”, and included pledges from property owners promising to complete the project. Though the pledge is non-binding.
The Squash Lake Association submitted four best practices projects for grant consideration in its application. All four were funded. Squash Lake was only one of eleven (11) organizations statewide to receive the grant from the Wisconsin DNR in 2015. It is the only organization in Oneida County and the Northwoods Region to be awarded funding. The remaining ten (10) recipients include: 3 in Polk County and 2 in Washburn County in NW Wisconsin, and 1 recipient in each of Adams, Dodge, Green Lake, Shawano, and Waukesha Counties.
Should property owners on Squash Lake wish to learn more about the Healthy Lakes Initiative, please contact Dan Butkus, SLA President, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If more property owners become interested, the association will look at reapplying for this grant in the 2017/2018 cycle. It may also be possible to cover one more project on our lake under the 2015/2016 grant, but this is not guaranteed, and would be pending the DNR’s approval to amend the grant.