The Lake Hallett Association is dedicated to the protection and promotion of Lake Hallett as a recreational and aesthetic resource for the citizens of St. Peter and the surrounding area.
The policies of St. Peter City Officials are polluting Lake Hallett. In less than a decade there has been a drastic increase in algae blooms, a common “pea soup” appearance and a rise in the carp population. These are all well-known visible warning signs of storm water pollution. Just as St. Peter City Officials continue to refuse to acknowledge Lake Hallett’s Minnesota State designation as a Lake, they also deny that the storm water is polluting it. Lew Giesking, head of the Public Works Department, insists it’s the fish that are polluting Lake Hallett and recommends poisoning of the lake. Other theories stated by City Officials have been wind currents, SCUBA divers and trees.
Millions of dollars are spent every year in an attempt to “clean” lakes that become polluted. Lake Water treatments are very expensive, mostly experimental and temporary. Not one lake has ever been successfully restored. It makes economic sense to avoid these costs by not polluting the lake in the first place. To do this the storm sewers pouring into Lake Hallett must be permanently sealed and the storm water diverted into the existing storm water system.
(1) Stop the emptying of the Gault Street Storm Detention Basin into Lake Hallett, ideally diverting the storm water away from the lake and into the existing storm sewer system.
(2) In conjunction with the Minnesota Lakes Association and St. Peter High School Science teachers we would like to introduce the community’s 7th & 8th graders to a new ecology curriculum that is specific to Minnesota’s unique lake ecology. This program encourages a responsible stewardship ethic that will enable the students to make wise resource management decisions –today and in the future - to protect Minnesota’s lakes. We have applied for a grant from the Charles and Verna Schmidt Foundation to fund this program.
(3) Stop the clearcutting of the thirty-foot buffer zone of trees and vegetation surrounding Lake Hallett. The City’s Park Plan for this area is to put in a twelve-foot wide gravel road in the buffer zone for use as a bike trail. This action blatantly violates the Minnesota State Shoreland Ordinance that has the sole purpose of protecting our Lakes, Rivers and Streams. Destroying the thirty-foot wide recommended buffer zone will increase erosion, eliminate wildlife habitat, increase blown in litter and encourage problem geese (the tall grass of a buffer zone cheaply and effectively discourages them). This can only be accomplished with your input to your representatives.
The Lake Hallett Association would like to see the 16.5 acres of property surrounding the lake become part of the Lake Hallett Park Area. The St. Peter City Administration has shown no interest in acquiring this property and has made it quite clear that they have no intention of voluntarily discontinuing use of Lake Hallett for city storm water. There is funding available to buy this property and to make it into a natural habitat area. We are confident the local community would be interested in helping us work towards this goal with tree planting and path making. Unfortunately the current city policies do not provide for responsible stewardship of Lake Hallett or the surrounding area. We believe the Lake Hallett area could easily be a jewel in the City’s park system but do not feel the current City Administration is willing or able to make wise resource management decisions regarding this area at this time. This property has been zoned commercial and the opportunity to use it as a recreational park area could be lost at any time.
Since a rare Blanding’s Turtle was discovered on the shores of Lake Hallett in autumn of 2003 there have been two more sightings during the summer of 2004. This species of turtle is considered threatened and if one is captured the Department of Natural Resources would like to attach a radio monitor to it. The last reported sighting of a Blanding’s turtle in this area was over 50 years ago near the trout ponds on the Ottawa Road. If you find a Blanding’s turtle please contact Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer at 507-359-9377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gault Street Storm detention basin, which was started in 2001 and rebuilt in 2003, was finally completed in 2004. With the completion of this project the City of St. Peter is required to close the storm sewer all summer. This means the storm water going into Lake Hallett is finally being treated before it overflows into the lake. The treatment removes about half of the contaminants and pollutants and most of the silt and sediment. The average secchi reading (this measures how clear the water is) for 2004 was about two feet higher than it has been averaging probably due to less silt consistently entering the lake. We continue to try to stop the City from opening the storm sewer in the winter and emptying the polluted sediment and garbage of this basin into the lake.
St. Peter High School Science teacher Jeff Miller brings his 10th graders to Lake Hallett to learn about lake ecology. We hope to expand this opportunity this year to teachers Tom Fish, Andy Viker and Bob Shoemaker and their 7th and 8th graders. We have five canoes available for the kids to use. Now most of the kids have to supply their own life jackets. If you have any lifejackets that you no longer have a use for we could put them to good use! Please call Trudi at 931-6679 for pickup or drop them off at 302 St. Julien St, St. Peter. THANKS!
Thanks to all the wonderful people who have and continue to donate their time, money, resources and support to the Lake Hallett Association. We could not have accomplished all we have without you. THANKS!
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