Dave Schuler and John Blackstone have been partners, Commissioners and friends of VLAWMO for probably a collective 40+ years. Both were engineers for the St. Paul Regional Water Service. Both were visionaries willing to help on large projects and small to help improve the water resources in Vadnais Lake Area WMO. In a small way VLAWMO wanted to continue their gift to the watershed by planting trees in their memory in the Sucker-Vadnais Regional Park. Four small oak trees were planted in the last two years at the sites identified on the map.
Dave Schuler was one of the founding fathers of VLAWMO who helped shape policy and the water plan when VLAWMO was formed in 1983 and again when it was restructured in 2007. He guided the Lambert Creek diagnostic study in the late 1980's and secured grant funds on behalf of VLAWMO to do the Rice Lake and Grass Lake restoration projects and served as project manager. These half million dollar projects were awarded the North American Lake Management Society Award for Technical Excellence. The projects also made future restoration work on the creek possible by reducing flashes of water flow in the system. Besides all that Dave Schuler was a great friend, always willing to help and share some of his amazing store of knowledge, tell a good story or just share a good grin.
John Blackstone was always well dressed with his trademark fedora and a feather. John brought experience and insight from the Corps of Engineers to SPRWS and to VLAWMO. He served as engineering project manager for the Lambert Lake project which restored wetland function, corrected flooding problems and helped a team of University Capstone students who developed the feasible alternatives. He helped VLAWMO with Upper Mississippi Source Water Protection grant funds and with a master contract that gave us access to better pricing for services. John was our liaison with SPRWS for several years. He reminded us at TEC meetings of how much we were getting done and how far VLAWMO had come.
We like to think that both Dave and John would enjoy having the oaks at the park. They will continue to have an impact at VLAWMO and the park for years to come.