History of the
Friends of the Sauk River
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
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
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
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
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!