Friends of the Sauk River

 
 

Promote it, Paddle it, Protect it!

 
 
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History of the Friends of the Sauk River


On January 8, 2004, with guidance from the Rivers Council of Minnesota, we established a steering committee. This committee began actively planning the organization of the Friends of the Sauk River.

On March 9, 2004, the Friends of the Sauk River adopt a Mission Statement - "We are a citizen voice for the Sauk River. Our mission is to improve, protect and enjoy the natural resources of the Sauk River Watershed."

On August 10, 2004, the Friends of the Sauk River were awarded the Wenck River Friendly Community Award by Wenck Associates, Inc. and the Rivers Council of Minnesota. The award was presented to the Friends by Senator Norm Coleman.

In November 2004, the Friends of the Sauk River were selected to participate in the 2005 Healthy Lakes and Rivers Program sponsored by the Initiative Foundation.

In March 2005, the Friends of the Sauk River completed a two session leadership training workshop sponsored by the Initiative Foundation. The Friends began actively planning a visioning session for the community.

In August 2005, the Friends of the Sauk River drafted Articles of Incorporation and By-laws.

In November 2005, the Friends of the Sauk River became incorporated and held elections for officers for the Board of Directors.

Friends of the Sauk River elected their first President of the Board of Directors, Coralee Fox

On April 28, 2006, the Friends of the Sauk River held a community visioning session. Twenty-five members of the community came to share their thoughts on how the group could better serve the Sauk River. Special speakers were John Peck, Julie Klocker and Kurt Franke.

In June 2006, Governor Pawlenty signed into law MN Statute 85.32, which designated the Sauk River as one of Minnesota's State Canoe Routes. The Friends of the Sauk River were instrumental in lobbying for this action. A special thanks goes to 2005-2006 Board members, Kurt Franke and Gene Waldorf, for their persistent lobbying.

On September 23, 2006, the Friends of the Sauk River held its first annual membership meeting. The meeting was held at John and Linda Peck's residence in Rockville. Approximately 20 members attended. A new Board of Directors was established, as well as officers of the Board. During the meeting the Peck's also presented information regarding their recent land donation to Stearns County and the establishment of a 356 acre park complex along the Sauk River.

On May 24, 2007, a monitoring project near Mill Creek began. The project was funded by the Friends of the Sauk River through their Healthy Lakes and Rivers Program grant.

In March 2008, the Friends of the Sauk River became established as a 501c3 organization. Great thanks to Joe Storlien and Gene Waldorf for their efforts.

In April 2008, The Friends of the Sauk River adopted a portion of the Sauk River in the St. Cloud area. Our stretch of the river runs between Highway 75 in Waite Park and the 8th Street bridge. This area of the river will the target area for upcoming river clean ups.

On May 3, 2008, the Friends of the Sauk River held its first river clean up. Over 50 volunteers helped to clean nearly 3 miles of the beautiful Sauk River near Wait Park and St. Cloud.

On April 13, 2009, the Sauk Ness Monster was born!

On May 2, 2009, the Friends of the Sauk River sponsored its 2nd annual river clean up. Over 80 volunteers helped to make a 3 mile stretch of the river more beautiful! It was also the first year the Sauk Ness Monster was spotted. Five lucky volunteers spotted the monster and each won a prize.

On May 1, 2010 the Friends of the Sauk River held its 3rd annual Sauk River Earth Day Clean-up. A Sauk Ness Monster Hunt coincided with the clean up. Four people spotted the Sauk Ness monster and won gift cards.

On June 25, 2010, The Friends of the Sauk River held their first canoe and kayaking paddling event. Nearly 70 people turned out to paddle the beautiful Sauk River from CR 121 to Anton's Restaurant. It was a great day to paddle a fun river!

On October 10, 2010, as part of Give It. Get It. days, the Friends of the Sauk River held a river clean-up and buckthorn removal at Frogtown Park in Cold Spring. Over 40 people volunteered and nearly 2 dump truck's of buckthron was removed.

In October 2010, the Friends of the Sauk River received a $2,500 grant from The North Face Explore Fund to create a canoe library. The canoe library lends canoes and equipment to people in the community who would not otherwise have access.

On May 21, 2011, the Friends of the Sauk River annual river cleanup and Sauk Ness Monster Hunt. This is our forth clean up along the group's adopted portion of the river. Free rain barrel kits donated by the City of St. Cloud, where given away to volunteers. Those who spotted the Sauk Ness Monster won prizes.

On May 19, 2012, the Friends of the Sauk River held its annual river cleanup and Sauk Ness Monster Hunt. This was the fifth annual clean up. There were several sightings of the Sauk Ness Monster and lots of trash was cleaned up.

on February 24, 2014, the Friends of the Sauk River celebrated its 10th anniversary with a relaunch of the organization. An energetic crowd of nearly 30 people gathered at the Melrose City Center and began planning for the next 10 years. Looks like there is a bright future for the group and the river!