Click on tabs above
for overview
or hover on tab
for more information 

  Friends of Bass Lake

Learning, educating, advocating

Thank you letter 4/6/206

Dear Council Members,
It was our pleasure to attend the April 4 study session for the funding of Bass Lake projects. Thank you for your consideration.

As the citizens group representing the public waters of Bass Lake we look forward to partnering with City Government and living up to our obligation articulated in the PCA/City Surface Water Management plan,  "that the beneficial uses of wetlands remain available to the community for aesthetic appreciation, wildlife observation, swimming, boating, and other uses".

Sincerely,
Scott Carpenter, President
Friends of Bass Lake


Letter to City Council in response to project funding proposals by City Staff. 

BASS LAKE DISCUSSION – CITY COUNCIL APRIL 4, 2016

 

The engineering packet submitted Friday April 1 is a large packet of material to review in time for an April 4 Council meeting.

There are also several projects supported by the Friends of Bass Lake that are not included in this budget discussion. These include entry/gathering areas, safer/wider pedestrian paths, and floating walkway access to the wetland.

Despite the need for more time, the following items deserve immediate response:

 

I.  Bass Lake history        City Staff states, on page 7,   

“the existing Bass Lake Preserve wetland has always been much the same as it is today”  Page 8 is a full page of comments to support the above conclusion. 

In reality, Bass Lake was well documented as a natural lake with a recorded water level  about 7 feet above the present level and a depth in the range of 15 ft.  

a.  History of Hennepin County    Rev. Edward D. Neill, 1881

            Bass Lake, half a mile west of Lake Calhoun, has an area of about eighty acres, and shores similar to those of Cedar Lake. …  The waters of Bass Lake flow south-easterly, through a small creek into Calhoun.

b.  GEOLOGY OF MINNESOTA  VOL. II  pg  269   N. H. Winchell    1882-85

            Elevations on the Minneapolis and St. Louis railway

            Bass Lake (water 880)   3.25 miles from Minneapolis

(To view these original documents refer to the following link http://www.friendsofbasslake.com/lake-depth)

 

II    Dredging    

City Staff and the Barr memorandum state that the DNR will not give permission to remove cattails or sediment, and make subsequent recommendations based on these assumptions.

Our communication with Regional Officer Kate Drewry of the DNR

 

rebuts this assumption with the example that the DNR approved cattail removal in the case of the Minneapolis Park Board Loring Pond Project.

The WSB Sediment Sampling Results report was received by staff in July, 2015, it has only now been shared with Friends of Bass Lake.  Excerpts follow:

Sediment sampling indicates that the dredge material may be disposed of in residential or industrial areas.

Dredged material would make great topsoil for the City parks due to its high organic content.

This information makes the economic feasibility of dredging significantly more attractive than the previous assumptions communicated by City Staff of highly polluted material and expensive trucking to lined pits.

 

III.  Water Level Control

The Barr Memorandum, 5C. states that raising the water level in the basin by means of an outlet control,

“would increase the likelihood of flooding at the apartment complex at the southwest corner of the wetland ….”

Our correspondence with Anne Gelbmann, surface water specialist for the Green Step program at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, suggests that a permit would be allowed to fill the low section of the apartment parking lot to prevent flooding.

 

IV.  Projects

Northeast corner wetland.

This two acre site is the largest forested area in the Bass Lake Preserve. Removal of trees to construct a pond that services a rather small watershed combined with a proposed budget of  $100,000 makes this practice questionable.  The site includes about 40 - 50 mature trees.  Many have been tagged as “keepers”. Large trees can each transpire as much as 200 – 300 gallons of water daily.  This transpiration and tree shade is estimated to reduce ground temperatures by an average of 3 degrees F., and up to 10 degrees in some situations.

The value of these daily climate change resistant  benefits may outweigh the value of occasional use as a ponding area. 

Carpenter Park storm sewer water collection & irrigation project. 

The present quantity of water used for irrigation is not noted.  Storage capacity of 70,000 cubic feet is stated.  Estimates of total use of treated water for irrigation, and amount of spillover into the storm sewer system are not included.  A casual estimate of the storm water diverted to reuse was about 1.5% of the Bass Lake sub-watershed, but this may be unreliable. 

A significant part of the $1,000,000 + cost will be the treatment facility & equipment.  As we see with our drinking water treatment plants, operation costs can be significant.

In stormwater capture and reuse systems, cost/benefit outcomes are maximized where a high volume of water is available near where it can be used.  The Rec Center location may offer a better opportunity for this management practice.

V. Conclusion

It is the conclusion of the Friends of Bass Lake Association that at this time we can support only the vegetation management proposal and the Park Glen maintenance work.

All other proposals require a more rigorous factual analysis of the environmental science complete with open meetings involving regulatory agencies to shape long term restoration goals for Bass Lake.

Friends of Bass Lake Association

President, Scott Carpenter


                              Friends of Bass Lake                               

                                                Meeting Minutes

                                                                   February 11, 2016

 

I.  Call to order: Meeting called to order by president Scott Carpenter at 4pm on February 11, 2016 at the St. Louis Park Library conference room.

II.  Attendance:  Scott, Frank, Diane, Nancy, Jen, Mark and Sunai

III.   Elections:  FOBL members welcomed Mark Berg as a new member to the board.

IVChairperson Report:   web page progress: suggested to add links to sites such as NEMO, Watershed & link to a FOBL calendar.

V.  Treasurer Report:  John reported that the treasury held $710.00 before the bills were paid. John spent $90.00 for FOBL's incorporation fee and will take reimbursement. Nancy needed reimbursement of $110.00 for Posters & Photos. After bills there should be $500.00 remaining.

VI.  Old Business:

a)  Nancy is restructuring FOBL Bylaws to better suit the needs  of our association, acquiring ideas from other more appropriate lake associations in MN.

b)  Lisa will forward the Communications List to FOBL

c)  Philip Elkin, City Engineer, not present, as he again had no new information to share with the group.

d)  Jim Vaughn is the City Natural Resources Coordinator who said the city will be planting the banks on the sides of the trails, so our 'Shoreline Garden' ideas were halted. Jim said there is summer removal, planting and possible dredging planned for these areas.

e)  It was again suggested that we ask the City for a 'Project Timeline' on the Bass Lake Restoration Project.

f)  The woodchips previously placed in Area #1 are still a concern for both FOBL and the City of SLP. Their removal is being discussed by Jim & Eric.

g)  Both Jim Vaughn & Philip Elkin agreed with our 'Rain Garden' or 'Filtration Pond' ideas at the Storage Facility site. Jen mentioned the best solution would be to divert impermeable surface water runoff from the parking lot area to a 'green space', filtering the toxic pollutants entering into Bass Lake. Note: Minikhada Vista Storage Warehouse Facility has changed ownership and title name.   

VII.  New Business:

a)  The upcoming April 16th  'Organic Living 2016' event being held at the Recreation Center was discussed and how to proceed with the FOBL booth, (we again discussed our need for a more clear Vision of our FOBL purpose & to be able to communicate that Vision to potential members) along with advertising for more participation in the event. There are 25 booths available, open 9am-3pm Saturday.  It was suggested the city of SLP could place an ad in the Sun Sailor under 'Environmental Improvements' in hopes of acquiring new interested parties setting up more booths. Kala Fisher is the outreach coordinator for the 'Organics Living 2016' workshop event, being held April 16, at the SLP Rec Center. Jim Vaughn is the City Environmental Coordinator. Nancy will work on a plan to help promote FOBL at our 'Organics Living' booth.

b)  A vote was held on the possibility of changing the monthly meeting from late afternoon to evening. It was unanimously decided to leave the time from 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm on the second Monday of each month.

c)  Jen is working on a plan to promote FOBL, but did not want to influence our input, so she taught the group how to become more effective as a lake association by asking what we thought success would look like to us in 2 years. These were the areas we were interested in, in advocating for the restoration of Bass Lake:

   1.  Water Quality

   2. Animal Life Management

   3. Physical Amenities & Recreation

   4. Hydrology

   5. Vegetation Management

   6. External Relation & Community Ed

    7. External Relation & City Government

    8. Organizational

What concerns or barriers do we have?:

    1. Citizen Engagement

    2. Pollution Concerns

    3. St. Louis Park City Management

    4. Regulators both State & Federal

    5. FOBL Organization

    6. Funding

Here were some of our main concerns:

   1. No creative solutions being offered to us from the city.

   2.  Storm water management - still using the old storm sewer system, discharging muddy water into ponds.  Other surrounding cities have plans and programs that they are implementing to reduce pond pollution and increase filtration.

   3. What do we do with all this water flowing into Bass Lake?

   4. Organizational

Jen broke it down into 4 categories:

  1. How is the City Managing Storm Water?

  2. Centralize Communication

  3. Rain Garden Project

   4. Growing FOBL

We have to look at the obstacles and find a way to overcome them:

   a. what do we want to see happen?

    b. who will make things happen?

Jen advised us that becoming a strong lake association - an organized body - is the best way to have people listen, to get the help and the funding we need to accomplish our goals. Our organization needs to be effective enough to make it happen (capacity, partnerships & leading the way).

Our main Vision is to see Bass Lake as a public amenity.

VIII.  Adjournment:  Meeting adjourned 6pm. Minutes submitted by Sunai Cormier, corrections by Diane, Nancy, John and Jen

                                          Friends of Bass Lake

                                             Meeting Minutes

                                                               January 11, 2016

 

I.  Call to order: by president Scott Carpenter at 4pm 11. January, 2016

II.  Attendance:  Scott, Frank, Diane, Nancy, Jen, Mark and Sunai

III.   Elections: All remain the same

IVChairperson Report:   web page progress: suggested to add links to sites such as NEMO, Watershed & link to a FOBL calendar.

V.  Treasurer Report:  John reported that the treasury held $710.00 before the bills were paid. Nancy needed reimbursement of $110.00 for Posters & Photos. After bills there should be $500.00 remaining.

VI.  Old Business:

a.  Nancy is restructuring FOBL Bylaws to better suit the needs  of our association, acquiring ideas from other more appropriate lake associations in MN.

b.  Lisa will forward the Communications List to FOBL

c.  Philip Elkin, City Engineer, not present, as he again had no new information to share with the group.

d.  Jim Vaughn, City Forester Natural Resources, said the city will be planting the banks on the sides of the trails, so our 'Shoreline Garden' ideas were halted. Jim said there is summer removal, planting and possible dredging planned for these areas.

e.  It was again suggested that we ask the City for a 'Project Timeline' on the Bass Lake Restoration Project.

f.  The woodchips previously placed in Area #1 are still a concern for both FOBL and the City of SLP. There removal is being discussed by Jim & Eric.

VII.  New Business:

a.  Both Jim & Philip agreed with our 'Rain Garden' or 'Filtration Pond' ideas at the Storage Facility site. Jen mentioned the best solution would be to divert all water runoff from the parking lot area to some green space in order to prevent further toxic pollutants from flowing into Bass Lake. 

b.  The upcoming April 16th  'Organic Living 2016' event being held at the Rec Center was discussed and how to proceed with the FOBL booth, (we again discussed our need for a more clear Vision of our FOBL purpose & to be able to communicate that Vision to potential members) along with advertising for more participation in the event. There are 25 booths available, open 9am-3pm Saturday.  It was suggested to pay for an ad in the Sun Sailor under 'Environmental Improvements' in hopes of acquiring new interested parties setting up more booths. Katie McKann is the outreach coordinator. Jim Vaughn is the City Environmental Coordinator. Nancy & Diane will work on a plan to promote FOBL at our booth.

c.  Jen is working on a plan to promote FOBL, but did not want to influence our input, so she taught the group how to become more effective as a lake association by asking what we thought success would look like to us in 2 years. These were the areas we were interested in, in advocating for the restoration of Bass Lake:

  1.  Water Quality

  2. Animal Life Management

  3. Physical Amenities & Recreation

  4. Hydrology

  5. Vegetation Management

  6. External Relation & Community Ed

  7. External Relation & City Government

  8. Organizational

What concerns or barriers do we have?:

  1. Citizen Engagement

  2. Pollution Concerns

  3. St. Louis Park City Management

  4. Regulators both State & Federal

  5. FOBL Organization

  6. Funding

Here were some of our main concerns:

1. No creative solutions being offered to us from the city.

2. Lack of Storm Water Management - No City wide Storm Water System. Other surrounding Cities all have programs & plans they are implementing.

3. What do we do with all this water flowing into Bass Lake?

4. Organizational

Jen broke it down into 4 categories:

1. How is the City Managing Storm Water?

2. Centralize Communication

3. Rain Garden Project

4. Growing FOBL

We have to look at the obstacles and find a way to overcome them:

 a. what do we want to see happen?

 b. who will make things happen?

Jen advised us that becoming a strong lake association - an organized body - is the best way to have people listen, to get help and to get funding. Our organization needs to be effective enough to make it happen (capacity, partnerships & leading the way).

Our main Vision is to see Bass Lake as a public amenity.

VIII.  Adjournment:

Meeting adjourned at 6pm. Minutes submitted by:  Sunai Cormier

  

Friends of Bass Lake Meeting Minutes

December 14, 2015

  1. Call to order

Meeting called to order by Scott Carpenter at 4:00 pm on December 14, 2015 at Library conference room.

  1. Roll call

The following members were present: Scott, Diane, Sunai, Susan, Nancy, Mark, Jen, John. It was further recognized that Ellen and Lisa had left the Board.


  1. Elections
       Mark was elected to the Board. Susan/Sunai appointed as secretary of minutes.
  1. Chairperson Report
    1. Facebook blog was discussed.  Suggestions were made for Board members to click ‘follow’ for new Facebook page.
    2. Web page; Friendsofbasslake.com discussed. Scott asked for ‘new page’ ideas and help.
  1. Treasurer’s Report
    1. John reported that the treasury held $600. The dues payment list is to be updated.
    2. Expense receipts can be sent to John.
    3. Membership dues for 2016 is to be raised to $25
    4. FOBL is a registered 501 C3. Dues and donations are tax deductible. Mark offered to approach foundations for donations with new EIN number.
  1. Old Business
    1. Grant applications handled by Lisa to be handed off to Scott and future coordinator.
    2. Membership list to be updated.
    3. Bylaws to be reviewed and updated.
  1. New Business
    1. New FOBL project idea was presented; ‘Shoreline Garden’ in partnership with Oaks Neighbors and upland plant experts along walking path. Volunteer labor supplied by FOBL. Signage to promote membership in FOBL.
    2. New FOBL project presented; ‘Point source water project at Storage facility ponding area. Partnership with Storage facility and Master Water Stewards. Frank appointed to approach Storage ownership. Roxanne Stuer recommended as advisor. Mark to seek more info from MWS program.
    3. Action plan template was submitted by Jen for new initiatives and future positions.
  1. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm. Minutes submitted by:  Scott Carpenter


From: Frank Steck <fsteck@spotlightinc.com>
Subject: FOBL Update
Date: March 20, 2015 at 6:52:17 PM CDT
To: Diane Garetz <storyteller4@gmail.com>, Nancy Rose <nrose34021@aol.com>, John Snyder <jvs@mojoworks.com>, Susan Sackrison <susansackrison@gmail.com>, Lisa Wyatt <lisajwyatt@gmail.com>, Ellen Lipschultz <leynia@comcast.net>, Sunai Cormier <sunai@q.com>, Don Weirens <donwon19@hotmail.com>, Alex Gehrig <AGehrig@freshwater.org>, Phillip Elkin <pelkin@stlouispark.org>, Erick Francis <efrancis@stlouispark.org>
Cc: Scott Carpenter <ticktacktoe@msn.com>

FOBL, Phillip and Erick,

As we discussed at our last FOBL meeting, Scott Carpenter and I met with Tom Harmening, City Manager of St. Louis Park, to learn more about the scope of the Bass Lake restoration project from his perspective. We met yesterday afternoon and it was productive.

Scott shared the Tree Flow Chart he created, with help from Nancy and John, in detail containing the; Environmental Parameters (Roots), Conservation Practices (Trunk) and Public Enhancements (Branches & Leaves). We also discussed concerns regarding the need to improve the quality of water that enters Bass Lake, the need for artist renderings to better detail the full scope of this project and help the public better realize the potential vision of this important opportunity, and a number of other important factors regarding this project (that we all have been discussing over the past months).

It was an engaging and productive conversation. Tom appreciated our information sharing and enthusiasm. His response towards the end of the meeting was…"this project needs to be more BOLD.” Tom also stated that the tradeoff for going more bold would be a longer time horizon to get this accomplished.  

Additionally, Scott and I shared significant historical information since the 1890’s and examples of how Bass Lake has been neglected. We agreed that approaching this project on a grander scale would be well worth the wait, especially with a bolder approach.

In the next few weeks Scott and I plan to meet with Anne Mavity, the City Council member who represents Ward 2 that contains Bass Lake. Tom thought that was a good idea as Anne has helped make this project a priority with the City Council, who are also motivated and supportive. We will update you after that meeting as well.

All the best,

Frank Steck


Minutes from meeting 02/10/2009

From: James Wisker [mailto:jwisker@minnehahacreek.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 11:49 AM
To: Brian Johnson
Cc: Don Weirens/Hotmail; Eli Condon; nrose34021@aol.com; jendomeier@yahoo.com; lisajwyatt@gmail.com; Paul Livdahl; John Snyder; sanderson@stlouispark.org; usingh@minnehahacreek.org; kslattery@minnehahacreek.org
Subject: Re: Friends of Bass Lake - 2.10.09 meeting notes

 

All,

Thank you for your extended patience, last week was hectic to say the least.  I reviewed the minutes/summary that Don put together and have no substantive comments.  It was great to meet all of you. 

A quick update:  I have directed our field compliance officer to take a look at the outlet of Bass Lake sometime this week so I should have more feedback on that later.

John had asked for the email list of people in attendance, so please see the attached document.

Let me know if you have other questions and I will try to point you in the right direction.

Thanks again.


 

The following are my notes from our 2/10/09 meeting. If you have things to add/clarify, please forward.

 

Meeting attendees:

 

James B. Wisker, MCWD - District Technician

Scott E. Anderson, City of St. Louis Park - Superintendent of Utilities

John Snyder, Friends of Bass Lake (FOBL) - President

Brian Johnson, FOBL - Vice President

Don Weirens, FOBL - Treasurer/Secretary/Communications

Nancy Rose, FOBL

Lisa Wyatt, FOBL

Paul Livdahl, FOBL

Jerry Ciandelli, Minikahda Vista

Shannon Simper, Minikahda Vista

 

The main purpose of this meeting was to receive input and ideas from Jim Wisker, MCWD. Jim gave an excellent presentation and provided handouts and maps, including:

  1. 5.0 County Ditch 14 Article (Wenck Associates, Inc.; Environmental Engineers; 2002). This article has accompanying maps ("B" Size/11" x 17"; Figures 10, 11, 12, 13). Some notes:

            a. Was an open "ditch", but largely converted to storm sewer (open ditch in MCC golf course)

            b. The storm sewer "is known to be in poor condition..." (Page 5-1, para. 2, third sentence). Conflicts with Scott Anderson's comments, but probably a different location)

            c. The size of the wetlands has been greatly reduced (~50%).

            d. Bass Lake is DNR protected water, but it has wetland characteristics with very little open water (what status/help does a DNR "protected water" garner??)
    2. DNR (black and white photocopy) map; B size

    3. Bass Lake drainage area maps (2); B size

    4. Bass Lake area map (from the 1940's; "A" Size/8.5" x 11")

    5. Storm sewer map; A size

 

Jim's presentation started with seven Rules and Programs that we can actually have an impact on (some of these are more applicable to FOBL than others):

  1. Erosion controls
  2. Flood plain restoration
  3. Wetland protection/buffer
  4. Dredging
  5. Shoreline restoration
  6. Bridges/crossings
  7. Storm water management

            a. Size of property

            b. Type of property/commercial-residential, density

            c. Water Quality - Rate of Flow - "Best Practice"

 

Water Quality Monitoring program - may have "citizen involvement" potential- and impacts many things. We should get this in place ASAP.

 

Note: Bass Lake is classified by the MN DNR as a "Lake" - pros/cons versus wetland classification??

 

Note: with new tax law passed last fall, funding may be available...

 

Note: level control IS POSSIBLE, but would be a multiple partner endeavor

 

Note: purported Bass Lake springs could be a big deal - are not taken lightly. Research? Get help??

 

NOTE: Level control weir is quite possibly the source of the drop in Bass Lake's level. Repairs are budgeted for 2009 per Scott Anderson. Scott will advise FOBL when inspection will occur - possible FOBL involvement.

 

Note: Hennepin Conservation District - possible source of help/funds??

 

Don

 



-- James WiskerDistrict TechnicianPermitting Department Ph.  952-471-0590 (206)fx.  952-471-0682  Minnehaha Creek Watershed District18202 Minnetonka Blvd.Deephaven, MN 55391 www.minnehahacreek.org