The Soak It Up! Project Award

2018 Award Recipient | Misty’s Dance Unlimited

This project is about rewarding community members who landscape with water in mind. We need to showcase people who are becoming part of the solution to keep polluted runoff out of the waterways that surround us.

2018 marked year one for The Soak it Up! Project Award. By collaborating with local partners, we were able to highlight four finalists and award one with a gift of native landscape material. These homeowners, businesses, and community organizations completed projects on their properties to reduce runoff pollution. Runoff is the #1 source of water pollution in our area, and they have done something about it.

Misty’s Dance Unlimited serves over 800 talented dancers every week. They built a brand new, 16,000 square foot building that is not only amazing on the the inside, but sustainable on the outside. The property produces virtually zero runoff. Any rain or snow melt that falls on the roof and parking lot of Misty’s flows directly into one of three gigantic biofilter rain gardens. They are called biofilters because once the runoff soaks into the garden, its naturally filtered and actually ends up cleaner than when it first fell as a raindrop or snowflake. Misty’s also planted deep rooted native plants, bushes and trees that not only soak up runoff, but provide food and habitat for endangered species.


2018 Finalist: April Rossman, Holmen

When April saw chunks of her land literally falling into Jostad Creek after every heavy rainfall, she knew something had to be done. She created swales directing the flow of water, then added rock beds to slow it and planted deep-rooted plants to soak up water naturally. By controlling runoff from her land, April is controlling the amount of sediment that moves into Jostad Creek. Sediment can destroy stream habitat. It can clog fish gills. It can make swimmers sick. And it can disrupt the natural food chain, causing declines in fish populations.


2018 Finalist: The Hub on 6th, Three Sixty Realty

Any new commercial construction comes with strict runoff regulation from the federal government. The Hub on 6th adheres to these regulations and also went above and beyond, adding additional sustainable features because they believed it was the right thing to do. Rain gardens, a food forest, a specified area for snowmelt drainage and an urban prairie with over 800 native plants make up this amazing property.


2018 Finalist: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse

The members of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse come from a variety of backgrounds, but are allied in their desire to do good. Environmental sustainability is one way they are trying to do good. Two rain gardens with properly placed downspouts catch all roof runoff. These gardens were researched, developed and constructed by members of the fellowship.


Nominate someone today for the 2019 Soak it Up! Project Award.