Corey Kreutzbender, center, won a free kayak sponsored by Austin Runnings when his name was drawn in October 2018 from all who submitted photos for the Cedar River Watershed District’s Cedar Scenes weekly photo contest. CRWD outreach coordinator Tim Ruzek (left) and Austin Runnings manager Everett Hackensmith awarded the kayak along the Cedar River State Water Trail at Ramsey Dam.

CRWD’s Cedar Scenes returns

3rd annual, weekly photo contest to run from April 22-Sept. 29

Friday, April 19, 2019 — With an emphasis on getting people out on or near local waters, the weekly Cedar Scenes photo contest is returning Monday, April 22, for a third season.

Cedar River Watershed District is starting its first of 23 weeks for the contest that will run through Sept. 29, concluding in October with a drawing from all who submitted photos for a free kayak sponsored by the Austin Runnings store.

Cedar Scenes is starting earlier than usual to coincide with the upcoming We Are Water MN statewide traveling exhibit coming to the watershed from April 27 to June 16 at Austin’s Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, with CRWD as a co-host.

CRWD’s Tim Ruzek below Austin’s Roosevelt Bridge on the Cedar River.

“Our staff has a great time seeing all the beauty and creativity that comes in through the Cedar Scenes photos, and we also have learned a lot about the watershed in the process,” said Tim Ruzek, CRWD’s outreach coordinator. “With smartphones, it’s really easy to take photos of water scenes when you’re outdoors and send them in.”

In 2018, Cedar Scenes attracted 335 photos of local water-related scenes (an increase of 45 images from the inaugural year in 2017) submitted by 55 individuals (down by four from the prior year). Corey Kreutzbender, who submitted 23 photos for the contest, had his name drawn by Runnings staff for the free kayak.

Cedar Scenes showcases the local waterways within Minnesota, including the Cedar River State Water Trail, Dobbins Creek, Rose Creek and others. This year, CRWD also will accept 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.

Cedar Scenes will run weekly (Monday to Sunday) through Sept. 29. To qualify, each photo entered will count as one entry for the kayak drawing in October. Weekly prizes will be about $10 in value, such as Chamber Bucks to use at most local businesses, with the week’s winning photo picked by CRWD staff.

Becky Koopal was selected by CRWD staff as the Cedar Scenes’ Week 10 winner with this photo of the Cedar River State Water Trail at the railroad bridge between Mower County 6 in Lyle Township and Stateline Road.

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); Wolf Creek (Todd Park area); Rose Creek; and Orchard Creek.

Photo from 1981 on the Cedar River in Austin submitted by Rena Langowski for the 2018 Cedar Scenes. This image was one of the weekly winners chosen by CRWD staff.

All photos entered for Cedar Scenes will be shared on CRWD’s Facebook page at and can be used by CRWD for future public uses. 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, photo location and date. All ages can participate.

Photos also can be submitted via email to or by bringing them to the CRWD office at 1408 21st Ave. N.W. in Austin behind Runnings.

Weekly winners will be announced on CRWD’s Facebook page, with prizes picked up at the CRWD office.

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.

Cedar River Watershed District

In 2007, state and local officials formed the Cedar River Watershed District in response to the Cedar River Watershed’s worst-known floods occurring in 2000 and 2004. CRWD’s top priorities are aimed at reducing flooding and improving water quality within the Cedar River Watershed.

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.

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