Brainerd

Monster bog finally moved from beach

The monster bog that beached itself in front of the Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center, forcing the cancellation of summer programs for 600 youngsters, has finally been moved after weeks of effort by volunteers.

After cutting the bog into pieces with steel cables, workers floated the final chunk away from the beach last month, said Kevin Martini, a regional officer with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The bog broke loose last fall from the shore of North Long Lake near Brainerd and floated around the lake for several days, damaging docks and a boat lift before coming to rest on the beach at Legionville, a summer camp for school safety guards. The American Legion, which runs the camp, canceled its summer programs over concerns that campers could fall through the mat of vegetation and be trapped underneath.

Legion officials added that water safety is an important part of the training students receive, so it’s important to have the beach open for boating, canoeing and safety classes.

Workers first tried to get the bog off the beach with a flotilla of powerful boats pulling on stout ropes, while earth movers and Bobcat-type vehicles pushed it from shore. But the bog wouldn’t budge.

Cutting it into smaller pieces proved to be the solution, but the work was hard and time-consuming.

Breakaway bogs are common on Minnesota lakes. The marshy mats of trees, vegetation and earth can break loose when high water levels lift them from their roots. But few, if any, are as large as the one on North Long Lake. DNR officials estimated the Legionville bog measured 4 to 5 acres and weighed as much as 8 million pounds.

Volunteers moved the pieces about 400 yards along the lakeshore, where they’re being held in place with cables and a log boom until they can take root again.

Legionville did not reschedule its youth programs for the final weeks of summer.

John Reinan

Crosslake

Loon Center plan gains momentum

The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources recently agreed to recommend to the Legislature that it allocate $4 million to build a National Loon Center in the north central Minnesota town of Crosslake.

The money, drawn primarily from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, would go toward building a 15,000-square-foot facility in the summer of 2021 that would include water and wildlife habitat exhibits, a loon and freshwater research center.

Plans also call for construction in spring 2020 of 3,100 feet of shoreline protection and a 7-acre environmental recreation area.

Dan Browning