New CRWD board members eager to make difference

Published 4:58 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

The Mower County Board has selected two new members to the Cedar River Watershed District’s Board of Managers, replacing two original members who will not seek re-appointment.

Susan Olson, an attorney from Red Rock Township, and Jason Weis, a Rose Creek resident who owns Weis Landscaping and Design, LLC, were appointed to each serve three-year terms on the CRWD board. Their first monthly CRWD board meeting is slated for June 20.

Olson and Weis will be two of four Mower County residents serving on the seven-member board. The other three represent Dodge, Freeborn and Steele counties. Mower County has four managers, as it encompasses the largest area of the watershed.

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Original CRWD managers Al Layman and Harlen Peck — who served since the CRWD formed in 2007 — recently announced they would not seek re-appointment to another term.

Olson, 47, has lived in the Austin area since 1993 — currently in Red Rock Township. She served as a governor-appointed member of the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council and president of the Mower chapter of Pheasants Forever.

“Everyone has — or should have — an interest in clean water, but not everyone is interested in conservation and preservation of habitat and wetlands, Olson said. “I am. By adding filter strips, restoring wetlands, and creating habitat, we can slow down stormwater runoff, reduce flooding, and improve water quality.”

Last summer, Olson went kayaking for the first time ever, and it was on the Cedar River with a large group of people. She’d love to do it again but wants the river’s water quality to improve.

“A lot of work can be done to make the water more enjoyable for everyone,” Olson said.

Weis, 36, is a life-long Mower County resident and a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Minnesota Nursery and Landscaping Association. His goal is to improve the quality of the area’s waterways and habitats.

Serving on the board, Weis said, will allow him to use his landscaping background and love for the outdoors to improve the community.

“Fishing, camping, and canoeing all have been longtime traditions in my family,” Weis said. “I have many memories of ice fishing behind the Old Mill Restaurant, canoeing down the Cedar River, and camping throughout the watershed.”