These area residents currently serve on the Friends of Diamond Lake board of directors.
Friends of Diamond Lake is a volunteer powered organization. These are just some of the people who dedicate their time and energy to restoring, protecting, and improving our community’s premier water resource.
Kerrie Blevins treasurer
I am a lifelong Minneapolis resident and have lived a block from Diamond Lake for nine years with my husband Mike and our two children. We really value the lake because its such a unique natural amenity in the city. I became involved with Friends of Diamond Lake because I want to preserve and protect the lake and I would like to encourage other communities members to do the same. I would also like to see greater sustainable use of the lake by our community.
We previously lived in Field-Regina-Northrop Neighborhood where I served on the NRP Steering Committee and was co-editor of the neighborhood newsletter. I am the Director of the Patrick & Aimee Butler Family Foundation and a consultant to other foundations. One of my professional focus areas is funding in the environment with an emphasis on water quality.
Melanie Countryman secretary
I have lived in the Hale neighborhood, with my husband and two sons, since 1995. My work experience includes over 20 years in the health care industry, primarily in the areas of information systems and data analysis. Since 2005, I have worked as an Epidemiologist, most recently at Dakota County. I served for four years on the Hale-Page-Diamond Lake Community Association Board, including two years as chair. During this time, I became involved with the development of the Diamond Lake Management Plan.
One of the things that I love about living in Minneapolis is the accessibility of natural areas within the city. I think it is important for citizens to become involved to ensure that these resources are preserved. As a lifelong nature lover, I appreciate the unique birds and wildlife that make their homes near Diamond Lake.
I’ve lived in Minneapolis most of my life. I went to North High; I did my undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, and I was a biologist on the U of M faculty for over forty years.
My family has lived in the Diamond Lake neighborhood for forty years, and we love having a wetland lake in the city, ten minutes from downtown. We especially appreciate the variety of plants and animals that live in and around Diamond Lake. I’ve come to realize how fragile the health of Diamond Lake is as a home for the wildlife that lives in and around it, and how easily pollution can damage it as a habitat. I’ve also come to realize how important citizen involvement is in maintaining the health of Diamond Lake. I am a founding board member of FoDL. I’m especially interested in the history of the lake, and in how its health has been monitored over the years.
I have a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and work as a development/project engineer in the design of embedded systems — the process of adding microcomputer ‘smarts’ to just about any gizmo imaginable. I have lived in my home in the HPDL neighborhood for more than 30 years where my wife Fran and I have raised three kids.
About eight years ago, I started doing volunteer monitoring of Lake Nokomis and Diamond Lake for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in the Citizen Lake Monitoring Program (CLMP). This monitoring consists of canoeing out to the deepest part of each lake and using a Secchi disk to determine water clarity. In the time that I have been doing this, I’ve grown familiar with the beauty and natural richness of Diamond Lake. My hope is that my grandkids can share my appreciation of this small refuge in the city.
I marvel daily at the diverse nature of wildlife supported by this little urban lake.
I joined Friends of Diamond Lake to work toward improving the health of the lake’s ecosystems and preserving habitat for the lake’s diverse populations. I believe our local efforts matter greatly and that as concerned citizens we can collaboratively work to preserve and improve Diamond Lake and its watershed, making it a showcase for Minneapolis.
I have lived in the Diamond Lake area since 1999. I enjoy organic gardening, photography, and being outdoors with my dogs and my partner. I am a web designer, graphic designer, and marketing consultant with degrees in photo-journalism and design. In 2002, following 11 years as publications director at Carleton College, I founded Johnson Creative, a design and marketing communications firm.
Mary Martini president
I have lived in the neighborhood with my husband since 1979 and we raised two daughters here. I love this lake – the beauty of the natural world is restorative to my spirit. It’s important to me that society provides and protects natural refuges for people, especially in metropolitan areas, so everyone can have the opportunity to experience natural beauty. Even though Diamond Lake is just south of downtown Minneapolis, it’s a refuge for migrating birds on the Mississippi flyway, and it supports a variety of local wildlife — including muskrats, owls, and bald eagles.
Through my Bachelors degree in Biology, I appreciate the importance of basing actions on state of the art scientific knowledge. And, thanks to my 30-year work experience at HealthPartners analyzing data and leading diverse project teams, I’ve seen the importance of joining with others to address issues and achieve practical outcomes.
I am proud to be a founding board member of FoDL. Although various government agencies have worked to protect this shallow lake at various points in time, implementation is often at or near the bottom of priority lists for agencies to devote resources.
The FoDL board has found that sustainable focus and improvement requires an organized citizen voice, providing the combination of love + passion + local experience to help set agendas & priorities for public servants. We have learned much from experts at the DNR, MCWD, MPRB and WHEP about the lake, its history, and quality measures.
Since FoDL’s founding, I’ve helped lead:
- MCWD partnership in the 2010 “Go Blue! Diamond Lake Community Makeover” (reduced stormwater runoff by 1.5 million gallons annually)
- MetroBlooms’ “Blooming Alleys Program” in 2016 (reduced Stormwater runoff by 600,000 gallons annually)
Partnering can take a lot of time and energy. As a member of FoDL’s board, I promise to partner with others to improve and protect this valuable natural resource — for my family, my community, and for generations to come.
Dave Oltmans past president
I have been a nearly lifelong resident of the Diamond Lake area, growing up and living in two different homes on Clinton Avenue bordering Diamond Lake. I have many memories of spending time around and on the lake as a child. My desire is to preserve this wonderful wildlife resource for young and old to ‘play’ around, observing and savoring its natural beauty and diversity. Diamond Lake is a unique ecological resource within the borders of our city and I am pleased and proud to be a part protecting its uniqueness for future generations.
In the late seventies, I served as president of the Diamond Lake Neighborhood Association and chair of the Environment Committee. Since 2013 I have served on the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s Citizen Advisory Committee as a representative of Minneapolis.
I am an environmental engineer. More important, I am a longtime resident of the Diamond Lake watershed. I have always admired the lake and its ability to provide a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. But not until my children were born did I truly understand its value as a space for learning. My kids love to explore the wooded path, throw rocks in the lake, and search for ducks.
The lake has been and wonderful tool for teaching and learning about environmental conservation, and I love that Friends of Diamond Lake shares this view. I hope to continue working with Friends of Diamond Lake to provide educational opportunities for residents of all ages, so that we may work together to learn and protect the lake for future generations.
Past Board Members
Founding Board Members