Blue Heron Shoreland Stewardship Award Program
Recognizing and showcasing shoreland development excellence
The Blue Heron Shoreland Stewardship Award Program recognizes lake property owners who champion strong lake stewardship principles in the development and use of their waterfront property to minimize environmental impacts. VCLRA makes these annual awards to generate awareness and educate lake property owners on the importance of shoreland stewardship by showcasing excellence in lake-friendly waterfront development.
This award was established for a threefold purpose:
- to provide lake associations with the opportunity to nominate and recognize property owners on their lakes who have worked hard to maintain their shoreline property in a more natural state with minimal environmental impacts,
- to inform lake property owners about the many ways that negative impacts of shoreline property development can be minimized, and
- to educate lake property owners about how important shoreline biodiversity is to the overall health of their lake.
Do you know someone who makes a conscious effort to preserve an outstanding natural shoreline? Nominate them for the Blue Heron Shoreline Stewardship Award using the online application form. If you prefer, you can also print and complete a mail-in application and send it to:
Vilas County Lakes & Rivers Association
P. O. Box 494
Eagle River, WI 54521
If you have any questions, contact Susan Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-890-4722.
Shoreland Review Criteria
There are five shoreland areas that are considered for this award.
Driveway and parking scoring
Are driveway and parking areas kept to a minimum and is run-off from driveway and parking areas directed to a buffer area so erosion and lake contamination is minimized?
Structures and septic areas scoring
Is run-off from structures directed to a buffer area or rain garden and does the septic system (if present) appear to be functioning property?
Yard and recreation areas scoring
Is the yard and recreation area properly sloped to avoid erosion and direct water to a buffer area? Is the use of fertilizer minimal?
Shoreline area scoring
Does the shoreline area have a buffer that contains multiple tiers of vegetation? Is the buffer area maintained? Is the shoreline and lake access area stable?
Entire lot area scoring
Are impervious surfaces kept to a minimum? Is the percent of cleared area kept to a minimum? Are there paths or roads through undeveloped areas? Does exterior lighting have glare shields?
Blue Heron Award Winners
The Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (VCLRA) presented its Blue Heron Stewardship Award to the Vaughn family on Irving Lake this year. The presentation was made at the Six-County Lakes & Rivers Meeting on July 14, 2023 at Nicolet College and at the Ballard–Irving–White Birch Lakes Association annual meeting held on July 29, 2023. Congratulations to the Vaughn family! VCLRA also thanks the Ballard–Irving–White Birch Lakes Association for recognizing the extraordinary example the Vaughn family is setting for others.
The Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (VCLRA) presented Blue Heron Stewardship Awards to two property owners on Ballard Lake this year: Deb Millar and Mark and Andrea Spears. VCLRA presents these awards annually to recognize and showcase excellence in shoreland stewardship. Both awards were presented at the Ballard–Irving–White Birch Lakes Association annual meeting held on August 6, 2022. Congratulations to the Millar and Spears families, and to thanks the Ballard–Irving–White Birch Lakes Association for recognizing the extraordinary example these families are setting for others.
Back L to R: daughter Sue Morrison, Susan Knight, (VCLRA), great-granddaughter Caroline Morrison, son-in law Doug Morrison. Front L to R: granddaughter Kristin Morrison and Fay Sandman (holding award)
The Vilas County Lakes and River Association is pleased to announce that the Sandman family of Ballard-Irving-White Birch Lakes Association has been awarded the Association’s 2021 Blue Heron Award for outstanding stewardship of their property on Ballard Lake. Ballard Lake is an exceptionally beautiful lake, and the Sandman’s property is especially noteworthy for its natural shoreline, inviting the native flora and fauna to flourish. Congratulations to the Sandman Family!
Debbie Millar of Ballard Lake (right) accepting the award from VCLRA's Carol Warden for restoration of her lakefront property.
Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (VCLRA) awarded its Blue Heron Shoreland Stewardship Award to Debbie Millar of Ballard Lake for restoration completed on her lakefront property. This award was presented at our “Celebrate the Lakes Day” on July 10, 2020 via Zoom Conference Call. Congratulations to Debbie Millar!
Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (VCLRA) awarded its Blue Heron Shoreland Stewardship Award at “Celebrate the Lakes Day” in July, 2019 at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. Our winner is The Town of Presque Isle for their restoration work at Wilderness Park on Presque Isle Lake. Receiving this award on behalf of the Town is Bob and Pat Barafsky.
Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (VCLRA) awarded its Blue Heron Shoreland Stewardship Award at “Celebrate the Lakes Day” in June, 2018 at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. Our winners are Alice and Daniel Kramer of Meta Lake. In addition, Phoebe Spier and Eric Olsen of Moon Beach Camp accepted an Honorary Blue Heron Award on behalf of the organization for its work toward shoreline restoration on Moon Lake in Vilas County.