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The Mission of the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District is to provide technical, financial and educational resources in order to implement practices and projects that preserve, protect and enhance water quality, soil, and other natural resources. 

 

NEWS

Isanti County Geological Atlas Workshop The Minnesota Geologic Survey has recently completed an atlas of Isanti County and there will be a workshop to understand how to use this tool for land decisions, groundwater planning, and understanding surface-groundwater interactions.  Attendees will receive a hard copy of the Atlas, DVD or link to download maps. The workshop will be held on April 3rd, 1-3pm at the Cambridge City Hall - 300 3rd Ave NE Please RSVP to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  See this flyer for more information.

Rain Garden Workshop The Isanti SWCD is proud to partner with the City of Isanti for a rain garden workshop and incentive program.  Rain gardens are great tools to manage stormwater, create pollinator habitats and boost aesthic appeal of your property.  On April 19th from 6-8pm there will be a free rain garden workshop where you can learn rain garden basics and design.  City of Isanti residents are eligible to get financial assistance with planning and installing a raingarden on their property. For more information click here: http://cityofisanti.us/resident/rain-garden-incentive-program

 

 

Spring 2018 Tree Sale - Online Ordering now open for your orders. treesale image

Oak Wilt Resources for Isanti County Residents Oak wilt, caused by the non-native fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, is responsible for killing large numbers of oak trees annually in Minnesota.  Oak Wilt is most severe in red oak group species such as Northern Red Oak and Northern Pin Oak.  The Isanti County Parks Department has put together this brochure as a guide for managing Oak wilt: Oak Wilt in Isanti County  To learn more and see good photos of diseased trees, you can also visit the U of M Extension website: https://www.extension.umn.edu/environment/trees-woodlands/oak-wilt-in-minnesota/  Residents can call the SWCD and the Isanti County Parks Department for names of contractors who can help with trees and root trenching on your property.

SWCD Expands Agricultural Services The SWCD partners with the Farm Service Agency, Pheasants Forever, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to bring technical and financial help to assist agricultural landowners who want to implement conservation practices on their land. Read all about the opportunities here.

SWCD Recieved $251,000 to Protect Blue Lake! The Isanti SWCD, in partnership with the Blue Lake Improvement District and Spencer Brook and Stanford Townships, has been selected to recieve over $250,000 to protect the health of Blue Lake!  The grant, along with matching funds provided by its partners, will pay for the installation of cost-effective projects that will reduce the amount of nutrients draining into the lake.  These nutrients are causing algae blooms and excessive plant growth.  The projects include: two rain gardens and a sump to treat runoff from right-of-ways in Spencer Brook Township, a gully and shoreline repair to treat runoff from a public access in Stanford Township, a sand filter to capture organic materials released from a channelized wetland on the southeast side of the lake, and multiple lakeshore buffers to treat overland flow on private properties.

Thanks to the State's Clean Water Fund, Minnesota was able to support 30 conservation projects across the state totalling $6.5 million.  To learn more about the Clean Water Fund and see what other projects are being done around the state to protect our lakes, rivers and drinking water vist:  http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/cleanwaterfund/

Dave and Bev Medvecky named 2017 Isanti Outstanding Conservationists

Medvecky Cropped

Dave and Bev Medvecky purchased their Isanti County property in 1978 with dreams of a building a farm centered on conservation.  The dream included wetland restorations, cover crops for soil health, native buffers and prairies, pollinator gardens, a sustainable and healthy “big-woods” forest, organic vegetables and a multi-story cropping system that would include maple syrup, honey, ginseng, and mushrooms. The Medvecky’s did more than dream.  With time and commitment they would slowly purchase land on which they could implement their conservation dreams using state and federal funding and, more often than not, their own hard-earned money.  It is evident that the Medvecky’s have invested in conservation because they feel it is the right thing to do.  For this, the dream and the action, the Isanti SWCD feels proud to name Dave and Bev outstanding conservationists.

 

New Buffer One-Stop Website-  Minnesota landowners with questions about compliance waivers and other buffer topics also have another option available today with the launching of a new one-stop website for information and tips to implement the buffer law. The new site, mn.gov/buffer-law, is a user-friendly and convenient resource for landowners and the public to learn about the law, find answers about alternative practices, and get information about financial and technical assistance and more.

Buffer Cost-Share- This summer, the BWSR board approved the buffer cost-share program, allocating almost $5 million dollars to support landowners in meeting the requirments of the buffer law, which requires a buffer on public waters by November 1, 2017 and a buffer on public drainage ditches by November 1, 2018.  Important information regarding the buffer cost-share program and SWCD roles can be found on the BWSR Buffer page.

Recent Buffer Law Changes-  The recently signed Environment and Natural Resouces Omnibus Bill contains the following changes to MN's Buffer Law:

  • 1)  Alternative practices: expanded to include “practices based on local conditions approved by the SWCD that are consistent with the Field Office Technical Guide.”
  • 2)  Seed mixes need to be verified by MDA (to prevent spread of weeds/invasives like Palmer Ameranth)
  • 3)  Waivers/extensions can be sought by filing with the SWCD by Nov. 1, 2017 a “parcel-specific riparian protection compliance plan” which gives landowner until July 1, 2018.

4)  The bill also contains $2 million per year for counties and watershed districts for enforcement of the buffer law, as well as provisions for how it will be distributed.

Also of interest, Cost-share will be make avaliable to SWCD's to work with landowners on buffer and alternative practice installation.  Stay tuned for more details!

Rum River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS)-  The Rum River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) is a management plan for the Rum River, and all the lakes and streams in its watershed.  The process of preparing the WRAPS included extensive monitoring, modeling, stakeholder/public outreach and scientific analysis from 2013-2016.  The WRAP focus is on water quality and overall ecological health.  It includes strategies for fixing impaired waters that do not meet state water quality standards, as well as protecting good quality waterbodies. 

The Rum River WRAPS report and accompanying Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report for impaired waters are on public notice from May 1-31, 2017.  Please visit the MN Pollution Control Agency website to view the draft reports and public comment opportunities.  Please note that other informative reports done as part of the WRAP process are also on the MPCA website including a groundwater report, biota stressor identification report, and monitoring and assessment report. 

Blue Lake Watershed Study Completed- The SWCD, in partnership with Sherburne SWCD and the Blue Lake Improvement District, has completed a stormwater retrofit assessment (SRA) for the area of land draining to Blue Lake.  The SRA identifies and prioritizes opportunities to place projects that will protect the health of Blue Lake.  Check out the Executive Summary here!

2nd Grant Secured for Long Lake- We have secured a state Clean Water Fund grant totalling $30,405 to continue lake restoration efforts on Long Lake!  To date the program has helped 24 homeowners do their part in restoreing lake health by installing native plant gardens and erosion control on their property.  This project has a goal of restoration of 350 linear feet of lakeshore and 6,000 square feet of stormwater treatment.

Grant Secured for Rum River- We have secured $226,766 to restore and enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitat on the Rum River north of Cambridge! This grant will allow us to restore flow to over one mile of river channel that was abandoned due to a man-made diversion.  The funds for this project will come from the DNR Conservation Partners Legacy Grant and The Nature Conservancy will provide the required 10% match.

NRCS Conservation Client Gateway- NRCS has launched the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway which is a secure online portal that lets individual landowners and land managers track their payments, request assistantce, sign documents, and request conservation assistance anytime, anywhere.  The Gateway provides users the flexibility to determine when they want to engage with NRCS online and when they prefer in-person conservation palnning assistance.  click for more info

Seed Drill Rental - The Isanti SWCD rents a seed drill suitable for planting native grasses and wildflowers.  Cost is $12/ac in Isanti  County and $17/ac outside Isanti County.  $150 minimum fee.  $150 damage deposit.  Call Todd at 763-689-3271 to schedule.

 

Education Resources: Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention

Invasive Species

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Regular meetings for the Isanti SWCD Board are the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 8:00 a.m. at the USDA Service Center in Cambridge at eh address listed below.

Isanti SWCD
110 Buchanan Street North
Cambridge MN, 55008