Red Rock News

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Dear Friends of Red Rock Lake,


To:  Friends of Red Rock Lake

From: Bill Satterness

Date: July 25, 2014

Re: Please attend meeting Monday July 28

Dear Friend of Red Rock Lake,

Typically only a couple of people attend the monthly meetings of the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District.  But on July 2, over 120 citizens showed up!  Why?  They felt the district was overreaching with its proposed land use rules, and resented that they had not been informed about something that could negatively affect their property values.  Because of the uproar, the district’s administrator has recommended that two of the rules be “not implemented”.  And the front-page article in the July 10 EP News said the district would “take a step back”.

There’s still plenty of room for improvement in the wording of the rules.  I am among the many who’ve called for more time, more citizen input, more analysis of the costs versus the benefits, and more careful wording of some of the rules.

But the district’s managers propose to vote on the 80-page package of new rules on Monday, July 28, at their business meeting starting at 7:00 pm in EP City Hall.  They may or may not follow the recommendation of their paid administrator to hold off on two of the rules.

That’s why I’m asking you to be there - to show your concern and collectively convince the 5 managers to, at a minimum, vote to relax the two rules.  Better yet would be for them to delay the vote for six months, notify every landowner who could be affected (the way the city does for a proposed zoning variance), truly listen to reasonable arguments, and demonstrate that these rules would make a significant improvement in the condition of our lakes and streams.  The DNR and the city already have rules governing things like shoreline buffer zones, storm water detention ponds, and using lake water to irrigate your lawn.

From 2010 when we started FORRL through 2013, I attended over 90% of the watershed district’s monthly business meetings, and last year I chaired the monthly Citizen Advisory Committee meetings.  That’s a lot of hours.  But last winter I stopped going.  This set of five managers wasn’t listening.  Instead, we FORRL Directors talked to elected representatives and staff at the City of Eden Prairie, and they listened!  That’s why a plant management study is underway now for Red Rock Lake.

Citizen pressure is what it takes to prevent wrong things from happening.  The right thing would be for the district to take actions that measurably improve the health of our lakes.  But the district is ignoring Red Rock Lake’s big problem - 40 years of surplus nutrients collected in the lake, causing the overgrowth of weeds.  Instead, they’re proposing to place onerous burdens on individual property owners who trigger the rules by making certain changes to their yard.

These are my personal opinions.  Similar views are held by most of the leaders of the Mitchell Lake Association, Lake Riley Improvement Association, and Lotus Lake Conservation Alliance.  Previously many of us worked together as Citizen Advisors to the watershed district; now we meet on our own as the Southwest Metro Lakes Coalition.

Our position is summarized in the attached letter (which has been sent to the county and city officials who are responsible for oversight of the watershed district managers).  Also attached is the administrator’s memo recommending the relaxation of two of the rules.  The 80-page draft rules document is also here; if you’re inclined you can search for more info on the district’s website,

This is a big deal.  Eden Prairie News will again be at the meeting.  I hope you will be too!

Bill Satterness

2014 President, Friends of Red Rock Lake

The next Red Rock Lake Plant Management Meeting is Wednesday, August 13th at 8:00 PM.  Meeting will be held at the City Center in the Heritage Room.

An additional meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 27th.  Please try to attend, Red Rock Lake needs our help!

The DNR has stated that Red Rock Lake had “winterkill” again for 2014.  Very few fish have been spotted in the water this Spring.  20 prespawn sunfish and bass have been stocked.  Likely cause of the winterkill was the late installation of the aerator.  The dissolved oxygen level was already below the acceptable “low” level when the city installed the aerator - January 29th.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 6.23.54 AM


Thanks to all that participated in the lake cleanup!  On a cold windy morning we found lots of stuff in the lake including a tire, balls, old dock pieces and many beer and soda cans.  Take a few minutes and cleanup your shoreline.  Pull any floating debris out of the water and check the shallow water for any junk - thanks.

Happy New Year to all of the Friends of Red Rock Lake!

2014 is going to be a great year for Red Rock.  The board members of FORRL have been working hard to get help for our troubled lake.  Presentations have been made to the city council and we have been promised more support from the City of Eden Prairie in 2014.

Stay tuned to more updates and more ideas on how us as individuals can be more responsible lake shore owners - here’s a start:

Membership Renewal

It's time to renew your membership in Friends of Red Rock Lake.  Please fill out the attached membership form and send it with your check to our Membership Director, Cindy Satterness, 8597 Red Oak Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55347.  

We have secured an “Open Podium” time slot with the Eden Prairie City Council on Tuesday, November 19th from 6:30 pm to 6:55 pm to discuss the health of our lake. We would like to have as many residents as possible at the meeting to help convey that the concerns about our lake are shared by all residents. 

Here is the presentation that will be discussed - 


The objective of this meeting is to cover the following items:

Overarching Theme:  Our lake is the most vulnerable in EP 

1.      Suggesting an updated Use Attainability Analysis study

2.      Need assistance in facilitating our relationship with the watershed district

3.      Would like the City to work with us on recommendations

4.      May need assistance (financial and expertise) in implementing the solution from the City

5.      In the future, would like to partner with all EP lake associations and the City

In summary: Your attendance is requested Tuesday, November 19th from 6:30 pm to 6:55 pm, Council Chambers at City Center (8080 Mitchell Road) to support the efforts to improve the health of Red Rock Lake during the Open Podium portion of the City Council meeting.

FORRL Annual Meeting - Monday, October 28th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the Eden Prairie Library. 

Members of the FORRL Board have been working hard to get the city and the watershed to pay some attention to our troubled lake.  Obviously there is no easy fix to bring Red Rock back to the way it was.  By taking the time to become a member you are making a statement to the city that you are concerned and expect something to be done.  

The FORRL Board also needs more help.  Since the association was created a few years ago, the same people have been involved.  We need some new talent to join the board.  Interested in helping - please send Bill a note or talk with any of the board members. 

It's never been more important to get involved with FORRL.  If you have joined our lake association - thanks for the support.  If you haven't please download the form (below) and mail it in.  We need all of the help we can get to clean up Red Rock.

Summer Barbecue - Sunday, July 28th

Thanks to everyone that attended the Summer party - it was a beautiful cool day!  Once again Matt Adam with his supercharged, nitro injected, bored out, custom 9.9 hp motor took First place!  Look for some pictures (thanks Tom) of the event above.


© FORRL 2014-