The St. Croix River Association is pleased to announce the winners of its St. Croix Watershed Stewardship Awards, presented at the 2015 St. Croix River Association Annual Gathering on April 29, 2015 in Stillwater.
The annual awards are given to individuals and organizations that provide outstanding contributions to protecting the river—now and for future generations.
Sally Leider has taught “Watershed Wisdom” for over 16 years, and touched over 2,000 young people. Through this work, she drives home the importance of the fact that what happens in the watershed affects the health of the St. Croix.
Leider’s mission is to instill a love of the river and the watershed in people of all ages, with an emphasis on children. She said there are many challenges for the river, but if we lose the young river champions, we will lose the larger, long-term battle to protect the St. Croix.
“Through her work in local schools, Sally inspires young people to be leaders, helping them develop a deep sense of commitment to preserving natural resources. She helps young people gain the confidence that their voice counts, and that they can make a difference,” said Deb Ryun, executive director of the St. Croix River Association.
Leider has served on the Boards of the St. Croix River Association, Warner Nature Center, and Arcola Mills. She is a member of the Carnelian-Marine Watershed District Citizen Advisory Committee, and has been actively involved in the Tropical Wings project, including a trip to the Sister Park in Costa Rica.
Washington County and City of Stillwater, MN
The City of Stillwater and Washington County are joint winners for their work to create a new park with three-quarters of a mile of riverfront property. This newly acquired property will allow public access to the St. Croix, and is adjacent to the Brown’s Creek Trail, which connects to the Gateway Trail.
After an intense campaign, Washington County was successful in securing $1.25 million in funding from the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources. Both the County and City understood that this was a unique opportunity, and together they invested the remainder of the amount necessary to meet the negotiated price.
“While there were numerous setbacks and obstacles along the road to victory, the County and the City of Stillwater never gave up and, as a result, this property along the banks of the St. Croix River will be set aside, in perpetuity,” said Deb Ryun, executive director of the St. Croix River Association.
When the acquisition is complete, Washington County will turn the property over to the City, which will operate it. The St. Croix River Association also honored Elayne Aiple. Mrs. Aiple could have sold the property to a developer for a much higher sum, but instead left a legacy that will be enjoyed by all.