FAIRMONT - Martin County residents concerned about water quality are invited to participate in lake association sessions over the next week.
Four lake associations - Fox, Amber, Fairmont and South Silver, along with Alex Gehrig of the Freshwater Society - will hold the forums to learn what is important to people living in the area.
The meetings aren't just for those with lakeshore properties.
"The lake water is our drinking water," said Cathy Thiesse of Martin Soil and Water. "Whatever we do affects it."
Thiesse said that during recent debates related to local elections, many people brought up concerns about water quality.
"This is a chance for people within the community to step up and let people know what is important to them," Thiesse said. "By having a strong lake association, you will be able to persuade you leaders."
Lake associations are not new, and are not run or organized by Martin Soil and Water, but they are being revitalized through a state grant.
"It is actually really exciting," Thiesse said. "It really makes a difference what each person thinks."
The Fox Lake Association meeting, serving the watershed in the Sherburn and Trimont areas, will be 7 p.m. Monday at the Welcome Legion.
The Fairmont Lakes Association meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Fairmont Airport.
The South Silver Association meeting will be 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Martin County Conservation Club building on North Silver Lake.
The Amber Lake Association meeting will be Nov. 19, but time and location have not been determined. Call Martin Soil and Water for more information at (507) 235-6680.