10 Ways to Keep your Lake Clean

lake

If you have a cabin or home on a lake, you want to be able to have the best swimming, fishing and recreational lake possible to enjoy while the sun is shining and the grill is cooking. Although, sometimes we are harming our lake’s water in ways we didn’t realize, so here are 10 practical ways to keep your lake clean according to the Freshwater Society. 

1. If you live on a lake or river, plant strips of native and wild plants along the water. It gives the lake a natural look, is healthy for the water and plants and is easy to take care of.

2. Don’t use fertilizer or pesticides on your lawn if it is located next to the water because the chemicals can travel into the water and could threaten wildlife.

3. Drive slower in your boat near the shore. For many this may sound silly, but big wakes can erode the shoreline.

4. If you have a septic system, make sure it functions properly and meets current standards. Consider looking into an alternative wastewater treatment system, such as a composting toilet.

5. Plant a rain garden, use a rain barrel to catch water from your roof or consider using permeable pavement in your driveway. Runoff that stays on your property will not wash contaminants into streams and lakes.

6. Never dump wastes into a storm drain or on the ground. Storm sewers run directly to rivers and lakes.

7. In the winter, use less salt on your sidewalks and driveways. Chloride from road salt is building up in lakes that runoff from main roads.

8. Believe it or not, don’t use the lake as a bathtub. Soaps and shampoos contain nutrients and pollutants that are harmful to the lake and organisms living in it.

9. When you buy a boat motor, choose a 4-cycle rather than a 2-cycle engine. You will lose less gasoline into the water and cause less air pollution.

10. If you fish, consider putting away your lead sinkers and jigs and switch to non-toxic tackle. Loons, swans and other animals are susceptible to contracting lead poisoning from tackle they pick up off lake bottoms.

These are just some practical simple ways to keep your lakes clean to not only the wildlife, but also for your friends and family and visitors to our area’s lakes. – Billie Ingalls

Great Public Beaches in Burnett & Washburn County

Even if you don’t own property here, you can still enjoy the outdoors Up North. Burnett and Washburn County have some great public beaches with picnic tables, outdoor grills, playgrounds and more for everyone to enjoy. Just remember to grab a towel and some snacks because the kids won’t want to leave when you can spend the day playing in the sun.

Crooked Lake 1

Crooked Lake

Crooked Lake 2

The Pier at Crooked Lake

Crooked Lake 3

The Park at Crooked Lake

Crooked Lake Park in Siren, Wisconsin has an expansive playground right next to the water. There is plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the day swimming and relaxing at the park with covered patios with picnic tables and grills, public restrooms, sand volleyball court and horse shoe. Crooked Lake also has a boat landing for anyone who is ready to get on the water. It’s located just North of Siren and within walking distance from restaurants, hotels and shopping.

Lake 26, 2

Lake 26 beach

Lake 26, 1

Lake 26 public beach and boat landing has a large sandy beach, picnic tables and room to run and play. Located east of Danbury on Elliot Johnson Road, Lake 26 public beach has outdoor grills, restrooms and nature trails adjacent to the beach for more outdoor adventures.

Devils Lake 1

Devils Lake beach

Devils Lake 2

Devils Lake

Located just four miles northeast of Webster on Country Road C, Devil’s Lake has a large sandy beach with great sand bottom swimming and enough room to spread out and enjoy the sun. Some facilities include parking, restrooms, picnic tables and a dock and boat launch for anyone’s use.

Shell Lake1

Shell Lake beach and pier

Shell Lake2

Shell Lake

Shell Lake3

Shell Lake play area

Shell Lake4

Shell Lake shelter

Shell Lake is 36 feet deep at its deepest and is clear and clean with excellent swimming. With lifeguards on duty, Shell Lake public beach has a large sandy beach with two docks and two swimming rafts. Pick a spot either under the shade of one of the many covered pavilions or out on the large sandy beach and start heating up one of the outdoor grills for a cookout. With restrooms, public boat landing, playground and picnic tables this beach has something for everyone to enjoy. Shell Lake public beach is located south of Spooner on Highway 63 and right across the street from restaurants and shopping!

Lake 26, 4

Whether you want to read your book on the beach, plunge into the water or fish from your boat, these local public beaches sit on some of the area’s best recreational lakes. It’s time to get outdoors and hit the water. – Billie Ingalls

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding on Wisconsin’s Pristine Lakes

Have you ever been enjoying an evening on the lake and watched someone glide by on the water to what seemed like they were standing on a giant surf board? Well chances are, they were paddle boarding.

pad

Paddle boarding is a fun, relaxing water activity for any age and athletic ability. Also known as Stand up Paddle Boarding or SUP, is a type of board that was originally made to help surfers to get farther out into the ocean so they could catch more waves. Although in recent years paddle boarding became a derivative of the surf board to which you can stand on the board, using a long paddle to glide yourself along the water’s surface. It wasn’t until 2007 that stand up paddle boarding introduced itself to lakes and rivers besides ocean surfing and has quickly become a growing water sport within the last couple of years.

Stand up paddle boards can range anywhere from $300 to $1500, depending on the size, weight and type of board. Although, the best types of boards for lakes, rivers and beginners – intermediate boarders, are the BIC Dura-Tech Range Stand up Paddle Boards. These types of boards have a cushioned grip for your feet and a handle to carry your board to the water. These boards are easy enough to balance on and go long distances on the perfect lake day.

paddle

If you have a cabin up north and don’t have space to store or travel with a large paddle board, inflatable paddle boards are also an option and can easily fit in a large backpack. These types of paddle boards are also light weight, compact and easy to transport, not to mention for any skill level.

paddleboarding

Paddle boarding is a fun enjoyable activity for any age and athletic ability, whether boarding at a professional level or starting out as a beginner. So next time you’re heading Up North to the lake, don’t forget to grab a paddle and glide along the water with your new paddle board. – Billie Ingalls

In a New Light Art Gallery and the World Record Jordan Buck

IMG_8060

In a New Light Art Gallery showcases more than just photography, but stories through the lens of Northwest Passage’s youth and to bring the community together. This summer, In a New Light is opening their doors for the community to get involved with a community art project featuring a professional artist from Minneapolis Minnesota.

replica

From August 18-23, 2014 come watch Christopher Lutter, Minneapolis-based professional puppet builder construct a life sized replica of the Jordan Buck. The Jordan Buck was a huge white-tail deer whose antler rack measured 206 1/8, which was a world record for 80 years. This buck was harvested in the fall of 1914 by Jim Jordan, who lived in Danbury Wisconsin. To make this re-creating happen, In a New Light is asking for the community to come together of all ages and experiences to help bring this world record buck back to life; literally. This life sized buck will move with the help of trained animators and will be unveiled at the annual Whitetails Unlimited banquet, Saturday September 20th, 2014. No experience is needed, just community enthusiasm to help create this work of art. The construction will take place at the In a New Light Gallery at the corner of highway 35 and North Bass Lake Road., just south of Webster.

IMG_8064

For more information about the In a New Light Art Gallery and upcoming events, check out: http://inanewlight.org/ or stop by the gallery and view some extraordinary photography by Northwest Passage’s youth! – Billie Ingalls

Yellow River Folk Music Festival at Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park

The staff and volunteers at Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park put on a really enjoyable and special event this weekend and we were so proud to not only attend, but also to be sponsors.

Introducing McInnis' Kitchen

Introducing McInnis’ Kitchen

The performances were of such great quality and so full of joy! Attendees were smiling ear-to-ear, everywhere you looked! The enthusiasm was so infectious, that many of the children who were there spontaneously broke out in dance during the performances.

Inspired Kids Dancing

Inspired Kids Dancing

In the Great Room

In the Great Room

A More Intimate Performance

A More Intimate Performance

There were three stages with a variety of performances happening throughout the day – in the Great Room of the Visitor Center, in a large field tent and outdoors in the Ampitheater that overlooks the Yellow River and the crowd was able to mill around the grounds and pop in on performances as they wanted. There were wonderful food vendors on hand to keep the crowd nourished and vendors with unique and interesting items for sale as well.

At the Field Tent

At the Field Tent

Ready to Take the Stage

Ready to Take the Stage

Wild Goose Chase Cloggers

Wild Goose Chase Cloggers

If you were there, you know how good it was. If you weren’t there, be sure to mark your calendar for next year. What a great event! – Wanda Boldon

4th of July Weekend Festivities in Northwestern WI!

The 4th of July weekend is right around the corner and with promising sunshine there’s plenty of fun and activities for everyone to enjoy. From fireworks, to 5K races, from pancakes to parades, the list could go on.  Just don’t forget your swimsuit and sunglasses as you head Up North for some fun in the sun!

Proud veterans start off the parade

Parades, Friday July 4th:
Grab a blanket or lawn chair and grab a spot down Siren Main Street and enjoy several floats, trucks and music as it strolls down Main Street for the 4th of July Grand Parade starting at 11:30 a.m.

If you didn’t get enough candy at the Siren Parade, head north to Webster and watch more floats, tractors and trucks go by at 1:30 p.m. on Main Street in Webster. If you get to warm from the sun, stay after the parade for a water fight at the Webster Fire Department!

After the Grand Parades head down the road to Crooked Lake Park in Siren and watch as many decorated and themed boats cruise by for the Crooked Lake Boat Parade at 2:30 p.m.

IMG_1098

Firework Shows:  
We have some of the greatest firework shows around. Starting at Dusk on July 4th at Crooked Lake Park in Siren is a firework show you won’t want to miss!

On July 5th at dusk, head up to Danbury and find a parking spot near the St. Croix Casino and watch a spectacular firework show to “Ooo and Ahh” about.

Watch a stunning air show over Big Bear Lake in Webb Lake of World War II Aircrafts flown by Vietnam War Pilots on Saturday July 5th at 7:30 p.m. After the airshow, stay to witness one of North America’s 5th largest fireworks show starting at 9:45 p.m. over Big Bear Lake!

IMG_1021

Food & Drinks:
Starting at 8:00 a.m. on July 4th a pancake breakfast will be held at Crooked Lake Park in Siren to help support the Burnett Youth Hockey Association.

To wash down the pancakes, walk across the street to the Lodge to the Queen’s Tea starting at 10:00 a.m. on July 4th.

Starting at 10:00 a.m. before the Webster Parade on July 4th, make your way to the Webster Fire Department on Main Street for a Beer & Brat Feed!

If you have a sweet tooth, Siren United Methodist Church is hosting a Homemade Pie and Ice-Cream Social on July 4th from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m

At 3:00 p.m., on July 4th, the Siren’s Lion’s Club will be hosting a cookout if you haven’t had enough pie, ice-cream and pancakes for your liking!

On July 5th starting from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. head up to Webb Lake for their Sale, Auction and Pig Roast located at 3050 Lake 26 Road, Webb Lake, WI.

If you didn’t get enough pancakes, it’s time to visit Fort Folle Avoine Historical Park’s wild rice pancake breakfast. On Sunday July 6th, get your fill from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Cost is $6.00 for adults (13 years & up), $3.00 (6-12 years old) and 5 & under is free.

IMG_0976

Siren Races, Friday July 4th:  
Lace up your tennis shoes and sign up for the 34th Annual Freedom Five Road Race on Friday morning, July 4th. Walkers and runners are welcome to this 5K (3.1miles) race starting at 8:00 a.m. on Main Street. Register from 6:15-7:45 a.m. at the Siren School for $20 which includes a T-shirt and race snack!

For those that are 10 and under that aren’t quite ready for a 5K race, can sign up for the Mini 5 Race (5 block race) starting at 8:30 on Main Street. Register from 6:15-8:15 a.m. at the Siren School for $10 which includes a T-shirt and race snack!

5K races are one thing, but Bed Races are another. Starting at 10:00 a.m. on Main Street, come watch local business and organizations race a bed down the road with various themes and decorations!

Music:
Put on your dancing shoes July 3rd from 8:00 p.m. – midnight for D’BOYS Street Dance on Main Street in Siren Wisconsin. Tickets are only $5.

Before the firework show on July 4th at the Crooked Lake Park in Siren, walk over to the Band Shell and listen to the 7th annual Siren Community Band Concert starting at 8:00 p.m. with a special holiday performance!
-Billie Ingalls

Chalets That Have It All!

If you can’t get excited about these properties, you’re not very excitable! The chalet style cabin is what most buyers have in their minds when they tell us about their ideal, dream cabin. They want the airy, vaulted ceilings and the wall of glass that gives them a panoramic view of the water. Chalet style cabins come in all price ranges, depending on their size and the bells and whistles they have to offer. Here are a few that toot more than a few horns. Check them out!

Devils Lake

Devils Lake

This cabin is on Devils Lake. I could stop there and that would be enough for a lot of people. Devils Lake is one of the most sought after lakes in our area because of its size and great water clarity. The level sandy beach at this property would be a great place for a little sand volleyball. Then when you’ve outplayed what your body can muster, there’s a nice hot tub room at the cabin where you can soak your weary bones. Ahhh!

Big Bass Lake

Big Bass Lake

If privacy is high on your list, take a closer look at this beauty on Big Bass Lake near Minong. It has 7.58 acres and 291 feet of frontage! No kidding! The lot offers level elevation to gorgeous sand frontage and great water clarity and with 5 bedrooms in the cabin, you have lots of room for friends and family. If you’re really popular, there is unfinished bonus space above the garage that could be finished for even more sleeping space.

Middle McKenzie Lake

Middle McKenzie Lake

Middle McKenzie Lake is another one of those lakes that makes people’s eyes sparkle. This cabin has all the features on your wish list like a wrap-around screen porch, 2 fireplaces, family room with wet bar and a detached garage with bonus space above. An even bigger bonus – there is a vacant lot for sale right next door. Pick it up to ensure some incredible privacy for yourself or for your brother in-law to build his own place. Score!

857594

Minong Flowage

This special cabin is a one of a kind piece of art, built by a seasoned artisan who creates the most luscious hand-scribed log homes that you can imagine. Everywhere you look, there are amazing details that will blow you away, including his signature hand peeled log rail system! The cabin sits on a private lot that offers boating to both the Minong Flowage as well as Cranberry Lake. You have to see this place to believe it!

Yellow River

Yellow River

The Yellow River is a peaceful place to get away from it all. But if you want action and access to the largest lake in our area, you’re just a short boat ride to Big Yellow Lake and the best fishing in the area. This cabin is a great retreat for a couple, with a master suite and jet tub in the loft. But it’s also screaming to host all your friends with a lower level rec room that leads to an incredible brick patio. Got toys? There is a 4 car detached garage and a two car detached garage. (You might want some more toys…)

If you’d like to see any of these chalets and “have it all”, just give us a call or send an email. We’d be happy to schedule a time to get together and look! – Wanda Boldon

J-Birds Flavor in Motion Food Truck

1

Much like me, I’m sure you’ve spied this cute food truck around the area and have wanted to try their food. I’ve asked many people about the food and watched their eyes light up as they describe how good it is. So it’s been on my “wish list” for far too long!

2

Melanie Connor Johnson is the owner of J-Birds Flavor in Motion and for three years, has been serving delicious, fresh food made from local ingredients. She even makes all her own sauces! She started in the food service industry when she was 14 years old at the Webster drive-in and put herself through college by working in the food service industry. Back at home – she said she wanted to offer something different from what’s already available in the area. So she and her husband, Dan found their food truck on Craig’s List and refurbished it to meet their needs.

3

 

4

 

5

Melanie works for Northwest Passage in Frederic during the week, but on Saturday and Sunday from 11am, until they run out of food, you can find her and Dan at their regular location in Webster or out-and-about at local festivals. They will even cater your reunion or special event. This weekend, you can find them at the Yellow River Folk Music Festival at Fort Folle Avoine on Saturday. Do yourself a “flavor” and don’t wait to try this food! – Wanda Boldon

Dairy Days at Burnett Dairy Coop

One of the places in our area that we tell clients is a “can’t miss” is the Cheese Store at the Burnett Dairy Coop in Alpha, WI. You pass it on Hwy 70 as you come and go from your cabin paradise. It’s truly a jewel and is a place that makes us proud and excited to share with others. Whether you crave one of their ice cream cones or you appreciate the dozens of fantastic cheeses they produce, you can’t drive by and not stop!

DSCN9234

This weekend, the Dairy has been celebrating with Dairy Days. It’s a big, beautiful event where you can feel the love and appreciation of the whole community for what goes on there. They’re offering loads and loads of free food, live music, a pedal tractor pull, tractor show, a bounce house, petting zoo and tours of the Dairy.

DSCN9228

 

DSCN9221

Yesterday, they honored their cheesemakers for their recent awards in the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest. Going against hundreds of entries from all over the world, our local cheesemakers brought home 5 awards including Best of Class for Alpha’s Morning Sun with herbs de provence and Best of Class for Smoked String Cheese.

DSCN9240

Bruce Willis is the fourth from the left.

Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker, Bruce Willis has been making cheese for over 35 years and was responsible for the Best in Class for his Alpha’s Morning Sun with herbs de provence. It’s not easy to become a Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker and it’s the only program of its kind outside of Europe. It’s a 3 year program and requires a minimum of 10 years of experience making cheese, 5 of those focused on making the specific cheese you’d like to master. Only 56 cheesemakers have earned the title and Bruce Willis of Burnett Dairy is one of them.

DSCN9243

Yesterday I wanted to buy Bruce’s Best of Class cheese. It’s brand new and the only one of their cheeses I haven’t tasted. What fun to have a World Class cheese to share with my friends! I asked the staff in the Cheese Store if I could get my hands on the Alpha’s Morning Sun with herbs de provence. The woman I asked got a cute, apologetic smile on her face, like there was a story to tell. She said, “I’m sorry we don’t have that. Bruce went with one wheel. When he won, he said, ‘I have to get home and make some more of this!’ We should have some in about a week.” Awesome! What a maverick! He goes to the competition with one wheel – a tester, if you will, and wins. Now that’s a Master! – Wanda Boldon

Scenes From Property Tour: All in a Day’s Work

Our hardworking team logs long hours and countless days without a break and yet, we still pinch ourselves that we get to do this work. Our gracious clients who appreciate our efforts along with the gorgeous moments in our natural environment and the supportive CENTURY 21 team camaraderie are just a few elements that make us thankful for the opportunity to do this work.

Billie Ingalls is a part of our team again for the summer and she tagged along on this week’s Property Tour to share some scenes from our workday. If it piques your interest, just let us know. We’re always looking for new team members! – Wanda Boldon

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7