The Lake Hallett Association is dedicated to the protection and promotion of Lake Hallett as a recreational and aesthetic resource for the citizens of Saint Peter and the surrounding area.
The members of the St. Peter City Council should be commended for following the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency mandate that requires the closing of the storm sewer pouring into Lake Hallett before the spring thaw and during the summer. This is the second season that this mandate has been followed and the effects on Lake Hallett are very apparent. Before this, when we had a good rain, the storm water from the 390 acres poured into this 12-acre lake increasing the lake level by a couple feet in a very short time (See Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) water level chart below). Also the excessive silt from the storm water would quickly lower the water clarity level from 18 feet down to 2 feet. This made it very difficult for the survival and reproduction of the fish, turtles, frogs and other critters that call this lake home. This year the change is evident in the clear water, the stable water levels, the large schools of minnows along the shoreline, the return of the frogs (none deformed yet!) and the absence of the lake-wide Spring algae bloom we’ve endured the last couple years.
This picture taken February 15th 2005 clearly shows polluted storm water pouring into Lake Hallett.
This DNR lake level chart shows the rapid fluctuation in water levels due to the open storm sewer.
Storm Water Pours into Lake Hallett Every Autumn When the Storm Sewer is Opened
Unfortunately the Gault Street Storm Detention Basin continues to be emptied into Lake Hallett every autumn when the storm sewer is opened. The storm sewer is then left open all winter allowing polluted storm water, sediment and garbage to flow freely into the lake. To ensure that Lake Hallett remains safe and clean for Community use the storm sewer that flows into Lake Hallett must be permanently sealed and the overflow storm water diverted into the city’s existing storm water system.
The current City Park Plan for Lake Hallett is to clear-cut the trees in the 30-foot wide strip of shoreline owned by the city to put in a 12-foot wide gravel “bike trail”. The plan violates the Department of Natural Resources’s Minnesota State Shoreland Ordinance, which requires leaving a buffer zone of vegetation along shorelines. It has been well proven that leaving a buffer zone of at least 30 feet (which is the only city owned property at this time) protects water quality and wildlife by reducing erosion, providing habitat, decreasing blown in garbage and discouraging problem geese. The Community would be better served and Lake Hallett better protected for future generations if this area was left as it is until enough property can be acquired to allow path building without harming the lake or clear-cutting our precious few trees we have left around Lake Hallett. This would also save the citizens of the City of St. Peter a considerable amount of money.
The Lake Hallett Association has been granted funding by the Charles and Verna Schmidt Foundation to bring a new Ecology Curriculum to St. Peter’s 7th and 8th graders that is specific to Minnesota’s unique Lake Ecology. This program encourages a responsible stewardship ethic that will enable our future leaders to make wise resource management decisions to protect Minnesota’s lakes. The Lake Hallett Association is working in conjunction with the Minnesota Lakes Association and St. Peter High School Science teachers Tom Fish, Andy Viker and Bob Shoemaker.
The Department of Natural Resources is very interested in gathering more information about Lake Hallett’s rare Blandings Turtle. If you spot any of these turtles – easily identifiable by the bright yellow color under the chin – please contact Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer at 507-359-9377 or Trudi Olmanson at 507-931-6679. There were three sightings in the summer of 2004.
Please join us for our 4th Annual Community Lakeshore Cleanup. Garbage bags and refreshments will be provided. We will meet at 302 Saint Julien Street. There will be a sign posted. Julie Dupuis will again be directing the effort (Thanks Julie!). To date volunteers for the Lake Hallett Association have taken over 3 TONS of garbage out of this lake. Many thanks to all of our past and future volunteers!!!!
A big round of applause, pats on the back all around and many thanks to all the wonderful people who have and continue to donate time, money, resources and support to the Lake Hallett Association. We have accomplished a lot towards protection of this valuable community resource. In 1996 we had a 1960’s style open storm sewer pouring an additional 290 acres of polluted storm water directly off our streets into our lake with devastating effects. After many years of hard work and determination by supporters of Lake Hallett in 2003 a storm detention basin was completed to hold the storm water and the storm sewer was finally closed for the first time in decades. We continue to work to have the storm sewer permanently sealed to keep the polluted storm water, sediment and garbage out of our community lake
Join The Lake Hallett Association
Yearly Membership Dues $5.00
Lake Hallett Association
302 St. Julien St.
St. Peter, MN 56082
Questions? Call Trudi Olmanson 931-6679