Isanti Soil & Water Conservation District

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Isanti SWCD

Serving the residents and conserving our natural resources

The Mission of the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District is to provide guidance, to inspire action, and to bring innovative resources to the table so that people can become leaders in keeping land and water healthy for future generations.
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Our Office is Open

Our office is open to the public! We are here to help you Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.

Staff may not be in the office at all times due to the outdoor nature of our work. Consider calling our office before your visit at 763-689-3271. See the Contact Us page for other ways to contact staff members.

Smart Salt Training in North Branch

On November 28th from 9am to 2:30pm there will be a Smart Salt Training in North Branch. These trainings will teach best practices for applying salt on roads, driveways, parking lots and sidewalks to maximize efficiency and reduce chloride pollution.

These trainings are best for state, city, and county road maintenance staff, private winter maintenance contractors, property management staff, and snowplow drivers.

RSVP Online

Keith Stamm Selected as Outstanding Conservationist

Congratulations to Keith Stamm, recipient of the 2023 Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outstanding Conservationist Award! Each year, the Isanti SWCD recognizes an individual or organization for their outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources. This year, the Isanti SWCD board of supervisors voted unanimously to name Keith Stamm an Outstanding Conservationist in recognition of his proactive efforts in building and promoting Soil Health.
Read about Keith's conservation work

Alum Treatment Completed on Blue Lake

Alum Treatment Success on Blue Lake!

The Isanti SWCD secured a Clean Water Fund Grant to perform an alum treatment on Blue Lake that was done on September 14th. The treatment would not be possible without the Blue Lake Improvement District, who is providing a necessary 25% grant match and have been working with the Isanti SWCD to make this a reality. The Isanti SWCD has been working to protect the health of Blue Lake by completing conservation projects in the area surrounding the lake. Now, an alum treatment has been identified as the next most logical and cost-effective way to protect Blue Lake.
Learn About the Alum Treatment

Watch the webinar recording

Living Large on a Small Lake Webinar

In the land of 10,000 lakes, not all lakes are created equal. Watch our recorded webinar to learn more about natural environment lakes, a classification reserved for smaller, shallower lakes that have a more limited capacity to absorb the impacts of development and traditional recreational use.
Watch the webinar

Learn to Find Aquatic Invasive Species

Watch Our "How to Identify Zebra Mussels" Video

Watch this short video to learn how to find zebra mussels. These small creatures are very damaging to a lake's ecosystem and recreation. Unfortunately, once they are in a lake, zebra mussels are impossible to eradicate, making prevention the best method. You can help by learning how to identify these creatures and remembering to clean, drain, and dry your watercraft.
Watch the video
Conservation Opportunity

Funding for Cover Crops through Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa is accepting applications for their cover crop cost-share program! This program is available to midwestern farmers, including those in Isanti and neighboring counties. Payment rates are $10 per acre on an unlimited number of acres, and they may be stacked with other publicly funded cost-share programs. Deadline to apply is December 1st.
Apply Online
Our Green Lake Mission
We have made a lot of progress towards our goal of getting Green Lake off the impaired waterbodies list! 2022 was the second of a 16-year grant program to improve the health of Green Lake. The first phase of the grant is finding projects that have a direct impact on the lake.

We have made a short storyboard that will take you through the progress made on Green Lake.

View the Storyboard

The Beauty of Oxford Township Lakes

Oxford Township in Southern Isanti County is home to seven natural environment lakes. These lakes are remarkably healthy and unique. Watch this video explaining what makes natural environment lakes so special.

All of the footage was shot on the Oxford Township lakes!

Watch the video here

Isanti SWCD Awarded Soil Health Grant

The Isanti SWCD received a Soil Health Grant to fund and promote projects that will improve soil health in Isanti County. If you’ve been considering doing a soil health project, now is a great time to try it! We can provide funding for non-structural ag BMP projects such as cover crops, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, and tillage management. This grant will also allow us to increase our outreach to farmers.

Local Farmer Vows to Protect Clean Water

Holly Pearson and Rocky DeVries are one of the dedicated farmers in Minnesota who can proudly display the MAWQCP sign on their property. MAWQCP stands for Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, a voluntary initiative recognizing farmers who implement and maintain best practices to protect water quality. To become certified, farmers have to undergo an assessment of their land and water resources and adopt a conservation plan that meets or exceeds state standards. Holly and Rocky have done that on their small livestock farm outside Isanti, where they raise goats, sheep, and horses. Holly stated it was important for their farm to get certified because they "are into conservation. We are in favor of putting carbon back in the ground and protecting clean water." They use many tactics on their farm to capture carbon and protect water quality. Their farm practices prescribed grazing, which means they rotate their animals among different pastures to improve and diversify its biology. They also no-till their fields to prevent erosion and protect water quality. Holly keeps a beautiful pollinator garden of native species and keeps honey bees to pollinate her crops and flowers. Their farm is dedicated to conservation because, as Holly sees it, conservation means "leaving your farm or property better than you found it".

Holly Pearson is not only a certified water steward, but also a leader in the local sustainable farming community. She serves on the local Sustainable Farming Association board, sharing her knowledge and experience with other farmers who want to improve their environmental performance. Holly and Rocky are examples of how farming can be both profitable and eco-friendly and how MAWQCP can help farmers achieve both goals.

For the latest happening at the Isanti SCWD, please view or download our newsletter.

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2022 was a busy year for Isanti SWCD. Click here to read all about our most recent Conservation programs and priorities. We would like to send out a special thank you to all our Federal, State, and Local partners who support our mission to preserve, protect and enhance water quality, soil, and other natural resources in Isanti County. We’re already planning great things for 2023 including targeted agricultural outreach, lakeshore restorations on Green Lake and Skogman Lake, and agriculture projects in the Lower St. Croix Watershed.

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One of our conservation technicians got to speak with KBEK about their work. Todd Kulaf discussed the Isanti SWCD and his conservation project at Spectacle Lake. Thank you to KBEK for talking to us! If you missed it you can listen to it here.

logo SWCD Isanti Final MWA 8       KBEK

  • View a map of all completed SWCD projects. Click on individual projects to read more about them.
    We have made a lot of progress towards our goal of getting Green Lake off the impaired waterbodies list! 2021 was the first of a 16-year grant program to improve the health of Green Lake. We have made a short storyboard that will take you through everything we have done on Green Lake.
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    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 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.
    The Isanti SWCD rents a seed drill suitable for planting native grasses and wildflowers. Cost is $12/acre. Rental must be within 20 miles of the City of Isanti. Rental has a $150 minimum fee within Isanti County. Rental minimum outside of Isanti county is $250. A $161.81 damage deposit is required at the time of rental. For safety reasons, we ask that you don't drive over 20 mph while towing the seeder. Call Matthew Remer at 763-689-3271 to schedule.
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    The Isanti SWCD can help you with conservation efforts on your property with guidance and financial assistance.We are here for your questions and to help.
    Enhance your property with trees that are especially suited to your property. Container, bare root and seedlings are all available through the Isanti SWCD. The Isanti SWCD tree sale is now open for all your landscaping and conservation needs.