This Week 2 winner of the 2021 Cedar Scenes contest is a photo by Jens Raffelson of a geese family in May 2021 along the Cedar River State Water Trail at Austin Mill Pond near the Austin Public Library.

Cedar Scenes returns for 5th year

CRWD’s weekly photo contest runs to Oct. 3 on social media

May 28, 2021 — After a record year, the weekly Cedar Scenes photo contest has returned online for another run of sharing water-related photos by the public.

Children fishing; a paddler’s perspective from a kayak; ducks on a pond; a beautiful sunset at East Side Lake — all kinds of photos come in each year showing scenes from parts of Minnesota’s Cedar River Watershed.

In 2020, CRWD saw a record year for Cedar Scenes with 78 individual participants who submitted 533 images overall during an 18-week run. This year’s Cedar Scenes is running for 22 weeks through Oct. 3.

Once again, each submitted photo will count as one entry for the drawing in October for a 10-foot, sit-in kayak sponsored by the Austin Runnings store. Each person is limited to two photo entries per week.

Every week, CRWD staff choose a winning photo that earns the submitter $15 in Chamber Bucks to use at most Austin-area businesses. That prize is paid for by a sponsorship with state Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) funds to raise awareness for “Clean In, Clean Out” when fishing and boating to protect Minnesota’s waters from aquatic invaders. Through the Impact Austin MN program, the $300 purchase of Chamber Bucks is matched by a $300 donation to the Austin Salvation Army to help people in need.

A sign at Austin’s East Side Lake boat ramp reminds boaters and anglers to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in Minnesota waters. State AIS funds are sponsoring Cedar Scenes.

Austin Area Arts, a local nonprofit, also is providing a weekly prize through July that each consists of four tickets to its Wednesday movies at the Historic Paramount Theatre with popcorn included.

How to participate

CRWD encourages people to submit as many water-related photos as they have of the Cedar River watershed; staff then will take two each week from that group for the contest. This way, more photos hopefully will be shared with the public and people will not have to remember each week to submit pictures.

As usual, all photos submitted to CRWD can be used by the watershed district for future, nonprofit uses as a local government unit that communicates with and educates the public on the watershed and water-related issues.

“Cedar Scenes is a ton of fun for us and those who follow the CRWD on social media,” Ruzek said. “We also learn a great deal about our watershed — what type of fish are being caught; how people are choosing to enjoy the Cedar River State Water Trail and its streams; and what are favorite paddling routes by locals.”

Cedar Scenes showcases the local waterways within Minnesota, including the Cedar River State Water Trail, Dobbins Creek, Rose Creek and others. CRWD also accepts photos of other waterways outside of its political boundaries if they are in the greater Cedar River Watershed in Minnesota. This includes Turtle Creek and the Little Cedar River.

Photos for Cedar Scenes can be new or old but must showcase a water-related scene — with or without people — in the CRWD’s boundaries. Aside from the Cedar River — which includes Austin Mill Pond and Ramsey Mill Pond — other streams that have been photographed for the contest include Dobbins Creek (flows through the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center and is part of East Side Lake); and Wolf Creek (Todd Park).

Banfield Elementary School submitted the Week 3 winning

All photos entered for Cedar Scenes are shared on CRWD’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cedarriverwd and can be used by CRWD for future public uses. Photos also can be submitted via email to: tim@mowerdistrict.org

Submitted images must be the person’s own photo or have been approved for submission by the photographer. Entries must include the submitter’s name and general information on the photo’s location and date. All ages can participate.

Weekly winners will be announced on CRWD’s Facebook page. The grand prize winner of the kayak needs to be at least age 18 or come with a parent or guardian to get the kayak.

Week 1’s Cedar Scenes winner is a photo by Dave & Ann Forland from their restaurant The Old Mill in April showing kayaking anglers on the Cedar River State Water Trail below Ramsey Dam.

Formed in 2007, CRWD works to reduce flooding and improve water quality on the Cedar River State Water Trail and its tributaries in southern Minnesota.