Big Sand Lake Association - Hubbard County, Park Rapids, MN - original logo design by Marcia Bergland

Big Sand Lake Association

committed to the preservation of Big Sand Lake

Spring arrived Thursday March 19th.

Big Sand Lake  •  Current News & Events

01/01/2020 - Update - HC COLA March 26TH Meeting Cancelled & More Info

Hi All Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Association Reps, Alternates, Lake Assoc Presidents and Others,   4 items to catch you up on!!

  1. VIP VIP!  We wanted to let you know that we are choosing to CANCEL our Thursday, March 26th HC COLA Meeting.  We are checking our speaker, Steve Henry's schedule for presenting at one of our summer meetings instead.
  2. Also from the February Committee Report  there are a few call outs!!
    1. There is also a cancellation for the MPCA In-Person Public Meetings on Line 3.  Written comment period ends 4/3/2020.  See the "Learn More" link:
    2. VIP!  If you participated in the AIS Volunteer Training in-person classes held in 2018 and 2019 to educate the public about AIS & how to slow their spread which were taught by DNR Watercraft Inspection Program staff, you are still able to update your skillset online for 2020 . Once you have completed the refresher, contact the regional watercraft inspection supervisor and request the DNR background check (required annually) form and DNR volunteer agreement form. 
    3. Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates has the free Citizen Action Network to help keep you informed. Sign up for MLR news webinars here - scroll to bottom:
      03/27 10:00am CST - Get the Lead Out - Protect Loons With Lead Tackle Alternatives
      04/17 1:00pm CST - Septic Secrets - How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy - Register Here
      04/24 1:00pm - Enhanced Wake Watercraft Impacts on Lakes - Register Here
  3. The Online Course portion for AIS Detectors announced for 3-27-2020
  4. We are happy to report that the MN DNR Nongame Wildlife Program "Loon Watcher Survey" is re-launching in 2020 after a brief hiatus last year (see attached DNR communication).  We will learn about loons from Christine Herwig, MN DNR at our 4/30/2020 HC COLA mtg.

Be Healthy!  Think "Ice Out"!   Sincerely, Sharon Natzel, HC COLA President  763-355-7908

03/12/2020 - HC COLA March Update

Good Evening, All Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Association Reps, Alternates, Lake Assoc Presidents, and Others,

Several items to cover as we see the snow slowly melting away and can smell spring in the air.  Please consider sending this to your lake association members.  Thank you!  Sharon Natzel, HC COLA President  763-355-7908

1)  HC COLA thanks all of you that contributed from 15 different lakes for a total of $2130 for the Hubbard County Food Shelf through our entry "Lakin' It Easy" chili (Theora Goodrich's great recipe is attached). HC COLA was the 2nd highest fundraiser for the Food Shelf thanks to you! See PRE article:

2)  Letters from Jeff Forester - MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates to consider.  See the links for more information:

Support for a Watercraft Operator's Certificate - Enhanced AIS, Wakeboard and Safety Training  

Support Increasing AIS Fines  

3)  Terrific Information on Chloride (Salts) to consider from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  It takes only 1 teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water:   Consider ways to reduce salt; a growing concern!

4)  Attached are the draft minutes from our HC COLA 2-27-2020 meeting. See the link too for the Committee Report full of key spring info like when to pick up the coolers / integrated samplers for water quality monitoring on Wed 5/13 and more!  John Weber's presentations on butterflies and dragonflies are available on our website; these novice YouTube videos will leave you anticipating your first sightings of the season!  The reference materials are also online  

5)  Our next meeting is Thurs March 26, 2020 with social at 5:30pm & meeting at 6:00pm at Northwoods Bank; open to the public. Our presenter is first on the agenda & will be Steve Henry of RMB Environmental Labs speaking on “Your Lake Preservation Program.”  

6)  Census 2020 is important for our lakes area!  Help get the word out to your traveling neighbors!  Great overview here:

During the week of March 12, every household will be getting notification that we are to fill out the 2020 Census.  You can fill it out online or on paper or by phone at 844-330-2020.  To be counted online or on the phone, you will need to use the unique ID number that will be on the notice.  This can be done from wherever you are but you must declare where your residence is.  You choose the residence and then that address will be counted as complete.  Remember each person will only be counted one time in the Census.

Please consider:  If you have your property in Hubbard County as your homestead for tax purposes, you can use your Hubbard County address as your residence.  Help us count everyone in Hubbard County so we receive the benefits Hubbard County needs!

03/02/2020 - BSLA Membership Update and Reminder

As of February 27, Big Sand Lake Association membership stands at 131 members and 6 Friends (non-residents and adult children of BSLA members).

If you have not yet renewed or joined for 2020, we encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. Please renew your membership by clicking here or become a new member by clicking here. Online dues are submitted using your credit card or PayPal. If you prefer to mail a check, a downloadable membership form is available here. If you are renewing you membership, please remember to update or confirm your current contact information.

Thank you to everyone who has renewed or joined to support the work of BSLA since the membership solicitation letter was mailed in January - an encouraging more than 2/3 of BSLA’s 2019 members. Hopes are high that our 2020 membership will not only meet but surpass the 164 members from last year.

If you wish to confirm your membership, go to the password protected Membership Directory under the Member’s Area tab at All current 2020 members are identified with a loon symbol next to their name. Don’t know your password? No problem - click on ‘I forgot my password’ and assistance will be immediately emailed to you.

Looking forward to seeing everyone

02/24/2020 - DNR Ice Shelter Removal

Dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice no later than midnight for each of the dates given in the categories below. County sheriffs may prohibit or restrict the use of motorized vehicles if dangerous ice conditions are present. If shelters are not removed, owners will be prosecuted. read more...

02/15/2020 - Ice Out Contest

Fellow Big Sand Friends, From the depths of winter, it is time to think about spring time and the annual Big Sand Lake Ice out contest. I hope everyone remembers the magnificent award last year’s winner, Larry Kobriger, received. Larry has enjoyed the high honor of displaying the trophy at his house for this past year.

Now is your chance to display this huge trophy in a place of honor in your home.Please submit your entry by April 1, 2020.

Send your entry to The decision of our unimpeachable, independent judge is final.

Thanks, Bob Bray

01/16/2020 - Calling for Spring Newsletter Articles

Fellow Friends of Big Sand Lake,

As winter tightens its cold grip on Big Sand Lake, some of us are starting to think about springtime and warmer weather. It is also time to start thinking about the spring newsletter. Many of you have submitted some great articles in the past and everyone has enjoyed reading about your experiences on Big Sand Lake. I am asking you to consider submitting an article for the spring newsletter, don't feel limited to springtime related articles. Articles on anything related to the lake, winter or spring activities, lake history, etc. would be great to include in the newsletter.

We have many talented writers among our members, and the newsletter is a great opportunity to share your experiences with everyone on the lake. The deadline for submitting articles is on or before April 15. Please don't leave me up to my own imagination and devices, or we may have a very short and boring newsletter.If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

Regards, Bob Bray

Charitable Lake Fund

Learn More About the Big Sand Charitable Lake Fund

View Details Here

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