The “Lake Stories” Project gave staff from the Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the University of Minnesota Center for Changing Landscapes the opportunity to interview residents of two sub-watersheds in southeastern Minnesota to learn about the strengths and challenges they see in their communities and in the lakes and rivers near where they live. The project focused on residents of the Circle Lake area north of Faribault, Minnesota, and the Waterville area.

Staff conducted in-depth (hour-long) interviews and also conducted short interviews. Partner staff presented project findings at two meetings near Circle Lake and one meeting in Waterville. The second Waterville meeting was cancelled due to the September 20 tornadoes that struck the community.

For those who couldn’t attend the meetings, or for anyone interested in what we found, we’ve attached the slide presentations, handouts, and a brainstormed list of possible activities to address clean water concerns.

If you have any questions about this project or it’s results, please contact CRWP Community Engagement Coordinator Kevin Strauss at or at 507-786-3913.

Overall, residents seemed to think that water quality in both Circle Lake and the Waterville Area Lakes is decreasing. Some residents stated that the algae was the worst they had seen in 40 years. See the surveys and information below.

Circle Lake Downloads

Short Survey Results_Circle Lake.docx


Circle Lake PowerPoint 091918

Circle Lake Clean Water Brainstorming Results.docx

Waterville Lakes Handouts

Short Survey Results_Waterville.docx

Waterville PowerPoint 091818