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 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

January 9, 2006
Susan Beasy Latto, UMD Director of Public Relations (218) 726-8830
Erik J. Larson, Sr. Engineer, UMD Facilities Management (218) 726-6915

UMD Staff Receive Governor's Environmental Achievement Award
for Superior Environmental Work
at Glensheen Historic Estate

Award Represents the Highest Level of Environmental Achievement
Within the State of Minnesota.

Five staff members of the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) were named recipients of a Governor's Minnesota Government Reaching Environmental Achievements Together (MnGREAT) Award for superior environmental achievement by Minnesota's public agencies. The award recognizes the low impact development and shoreline bank stabilization projects constructed over the last two years at UMD's Glensheen Historic Estate.

New Glensheen Shoreline.

The five UMD staff members cited for their work are: Erik Larson (UMD Facilities Management, Engineer/Project Manager), Wade Lawrence (Director of Glensheen), and Peggy Dahlberg, Sheryl Lind, and Dan McClelland (UMD Facilities Management Grounds Department).

The project was done as a joint effort with Southern St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District, MN Board of Soil and Water, Wisconsin Sea Grant and the Carlton, Cook, Lake, North and South St. Louis Joint Powers Board of Soil and Waters Conservation Districts (CCLNS Joint Powers Board),

The Governor's MnGREAT Awards recognize organizations that focus on preserving and enhancing our environment through innovative pollution and waste prevention, resource efficiency, and sustainable practices. The honor represents the highest level of environmental achievement within the state of Minnesota.

The award recognizes the low impact development and shoreline bank stabilization projects constructed over the last two years at UMD's Glensheen Historic Estate.
The goals of the projects were to:
a) Improve water quality of storm water from Glensheen's parking lots into Lake Superior
b) Stabilize the clay bank in order to reduce wave, rain, and surface flow erosion during large storms
c) To provide a location where the general public can see low impact development practices in place and functioning.

The first-year project replaced eroded gullies with engineered grassy swales, check dams, and rock chutes. It also created a bioretention area to filter pollutants from a portion of the water off the parking lot.

The second-year project installed 140 linear feet of armor stone at the base of the clay bank, as well as reduced the slope of the clay bank. Geosynthetic turf reinforcement, topsoil, and native seed were installed above the armor stone. Additional native shrubs will be added to the disturbed bank in the spring of 2006. It is estimated that this project will reduce over 70 tons of soil erosion annually and help protect spawning habitat along the shores of Lake Superior.

The Glensheen projects are important because shoreline conditions are rapidly changing along Lake Superior's North Shore due to increased tourism, business, and private development taking place. Innovative methods of treating the runoff from these changed conditions are imperative to maintaining the health of the lake. Additionally, addressing the natural shoreline erosion that creates critical water quality concerns goes hand-in-hand with addressing non-point source pollution that is caused by increased shoreline development.

The Glensheen projects combine traditional bank stabilization methods of rock riprap revetment with the innovative method of planting native, deep-rooted species to help stabilize the upper bank. Minimizing the riprap toe installation reduced cost, improved aesthetics, saved existing vegetation, and enabled the armorment to tie into an existing historic retaining wall. The use of bio-retention and grassy swales as a retro-fit to treat runoff from an already existing parking lot is a new and seldom-used solution for addressing non-point source pollution in Minnesota, especially in the northern part of our state.

The UMD Glensheen demonstration project is highly visible, and could lead to the increased use of vegetative and other "bio"-measures to help reduce non-point source pollution across northern Minnesota.

Winners will be recognized at the Minnesota Air, Water, and Waste Environmental Conference February 15.

Major funding for these projects was provided by grants from the Great Lakes Commission

For additional information on this project see

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