2018 Award Recipient | Misty’s Dance Unlimited
This project rewards people who landscape with water in mind, to keep polluted runoff out of our local waterways.
2018 marked year one for The Soak it Up! Project Award. Collaborating with local partners, we highlighted four finalists and awarded one with a gift of native landscaping material. These homeowners, businesses, and community organizations completed projects on their own properties, to become part of the solution. Runoff is the number one source of water pollution in our area, and they have done something about it.
In 2018, Misty’s Dance Unlimited was named the first Soak it Up! Project Award recipient. The business’s 16,000 square foot Onalaska International Performing Arts Center, dedicated in 2018, serves more than 800 dancers each week. Through careful design on the property, no stormwater runoff leaves the property. All rain and snowmelt that fall on the roof and parking lot flow directly to three rain gardens, where water soaks into the ground and filters down to restore groundwater. The basins are planted with deep rooted native plants and trees that soak up stormwater and provide natural beauty and habitat for endangered species.
2018 Finalist: April Rossman, Holmen
When April saw chunks of her land falling into Jostad Creek after every heavy rainfall, she knew something had to be done. So she built swales to direct the flow of water, added rock beds to slow it, and planted deep-rooted plants to soak up water naturally. By controlling runoff from her land, April is reducing the amount of sediment that moves into Jostad Creek. Sediment can destroy stream habitat, clog fish gills, and make swimmers sick. It can also disrupt the natural food chain, causing declines in fish population.
2018 Finalist: The Hub on 6th, Three Sixty Realty
New commercial construction must comply with strict runoff regulations. The Hub on 6th adheres to these regulations and goes above and beyond because they believe it is the right thing to do. Voluntary sustainable features on the property include rain gardens, a food forest, specified place for snowmelt infiltration, and urban prairie with more than 800 native plants.
2018 Finalist: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse
Members of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of La Crosse come from a variety of backgrounds, but are allied in their desire to create a healthy, vibrant community. Environmental sustainability is one way they contribute. Members of the Fellowship researched, develope, ,and constructed two rain gardens and properly placed downspouts catch all runoff from the roof of their building.