A major responsibility of the Crow Wing LARA board is to administer the CWEPA (Crow Wing Environment Protection Advised) Fund. Approximately $3,000 per year is available to nonprofit or local government organizations wishing to complete an environmental project in Crow Wing County. Proposals must align with the mission of the fund.
Due to the lack of applications for the grant in 2017 and 2018, in 2019 LARA worked with the Initiative Foundation, which manages the fund, to have the CWEPA Fund reclassified to a Designated Fund. What this means is that an annual grant will be awarded to LARA as long as the organization continues to exist and its mission supports the purpose of the Fund. This grant money is kept separate from LARA’s other assets and may be used only for things that fit the purpose of the Fund, which is to provide operational support to projects, programs and activities that lead to the protection, restoration, and preservation of natural resources and environmental assets within Crow Wing County.
LARA will use the annual grant to support Crow Wing County projects and initiatives that meet the purpose of the Fund. LARA will have the ability to retain money not given to qualifying projects any given year and thus increase the amount available for future use. This is something it couldn’t do under the former fund designation.
The purpose of the CWEPA Fund is to provide operational support to projects, programs and activities that lead to the protection, restoration, and preservation of natural resources and environmental assets within Crow Wing County.
Past CWEPA Fund Recipients
Northland Arboretum -- To purchase native seed mixes for a prairie restoration project with a focus on attracting pollinators and removing invasive species that have overgrown the project site. $3,000
No projects identified - No funds distributed.
National Loon Center Foundation -- $3,400
East Twin Lake Association -- To replace trees and stabilize shoreline in areas impacted by the Highway 371 expansion project. $3,000
Crow Wing County SWCD -- To help fund the creation of a vegetated catch basin for stormwater control between the west end of Round Lake and Highway 371. $2,500
Pelican Lakes Association -- To help fund its well testing for water quality project. $2,800
City of Nisswa -- To replace trees along the Highway 371 corridor near downtown Nisswa that were lost when the highway was expanded through the city. $2,500
Cullen Lakes Association -- To assist in establishing an aquatic plant identification and management program. (Mary Blickenderfer conducted a two day workshop on this.) $600
Lake Hubert Conservation Association -- To involve, educate, and encourage lakeshore property owners to become more active in monitoring and preventing AIS. $742