To the members of the Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association
I’m pleased to submit my report for our AIS Awareness Program we initiated this summer. The specific achievements are contained below, including pictures of DNR approved deliverables. Overall, we were very successful in completing the program in its entirety and under the budget we anticipated.
We enlisted 3 college interns from the University of Minnesota to greatly assist with the tactics of this program. It would have been difficult to achieve our results without their focused and dedicated help. Soliciting University of Minnesota college students for our internship was key for our program success. They provided the ‘feet on the street’ that allowed us to devote the time to develop the material for the program that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve with just a volunteer staff.
All of our board members were active in supporting the multiple efforts, particularly the AIS Road shows. They also provided ideas, guidance, and the many hours to support the various aspects of our program. They considered this program key to our ability to keep zebra mussels out of our lake this summer. It was a point of discussion on our monthly board meetings throughout the summer.
Our AIS Road show elicited phenomenal response from the public. When we engaged them or they engaged us, we were able to directly educate them and get their feedback. There was naivety on the part of the public. For instance, one citizen asked us if the mussels were related the virus fatalities that occurred on a nearby lake. Some were very unaware of the threat of invasive species and were surprise to hear of the damage they can cause to an ecosystem. Some frequent lake goers had criticisms of the inconsistent DNR inspection procedure followed on certain lakes, although they never mentioned Lake Minnewashta inspectors.
We did not have a means of measuring the effectiveness of our newsletters or e-blasts, but based on the discussions among board members, they were well crafted to spread the AIS message.
In summary, we expended considerable funds and time preparing the infrastructure for communication and materials for our AIS Road show this year. We would like to continue this activity in 2013 for the benefit of the community, and given the re-usability of the material we have developed as well as the efficiencies we have achieved in the process, would cost considerably less in a second year. We hope the DNR will consider the funds well spent, particularly with our face-to-face interactions with the community, and will allow us to continue the AIS Road show with public funding. As any political campaign can attest, nothing beats face-to-face communication vis-a- vis written collateral to get the public’s attention.
LMPA, V.P. and AIS Grant Program Director