Isanti Soil & Water Conservation District

 

Financial Assistance

Isanti SWCD can connect you with financial assistance in the form of cost sharing (we pay part and you pay part of the project cost) and loan programs that protect land and water in Isanti County.  Contact the SWCD staff for additional details and to learn which of the current programs may apply to you!

State Cost Share: 

The district runs two programs based off the State Cost Share program: 1) Flat rate payments for agricultural non-structural practices and 2) percentage based payments for structural practices.

1)     Flat Rate Payments for Non-Structural Practices:

The goal of this local program is to promote practices that protect both groundwater and soil health.  This local program provides flat payments to agricultural producers for the establishment of cover crops and residue and tillage management.  Payments are based off of a modified NRCS EQIP payment rate schedule.  Eligible applicants must have a field scale conservation plan developed by the NRCS (until the SWCD has the ability to do so). 

Program participants are selected based on scoring related to: 1) whether the majority of the land is located in a sensitive groundwater area (cover crop only), 2) whether or not the majority of the land is located in a watershed with a completed water quality study, and 3) proximity to surface water.   Limited funding is available each year.

2)     Percentage based payment for Structural Practices:

The State cost-Share Program was created to provide funds to SWCDs for the implementation of conservation practices that protect and improve water quality by controlling soil erosion and redce sedimentation.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has an approved list of conservation practices that landowners can request financial assistance for from the Isanti SWCD.  Landowners can receive up to 75% of the project costs through the program as a reimbursement after practice completion.

Conservation practices approved include but are not limited to:

  • Grassed Waterways
  • Riparian Buffer Strips and Filter Strips
  • Wetland Restorations
  • Lakeshore Restorations
  • Rain gardens
  • French Drains
  • Rock infiltration trenches

Sealing Abandoned Wells (50% cost share up to $500)—List of Licensed Well Contractors found here:  http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/lwc/

If you are interested in applying for funding assistance, contact Todd Kulaf or Thomas Zimmermann at: 763-689-3271

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Annual Grant Programs

Annually, grants become available for special projects.  These grants come from a variety of sources including but not limited to:

  • Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Clean Water Fund Grants
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) 319 Small Watersheds Grants
  • Lessard Sam’s Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC)
  • Pheasants Forever

Current Grants:

Lawns To Legumes:  Anyone who lives in Minnesota and has an area for outdoor planting can apply to be reimbursed for up to $350 in costs associated with establishing new pollinator habitat in their yards. Awardees provide a 25% match. This match can be in the form of purchasing materials, hiring contractors or as in-kind time spent planting or maintaining plants. All recipients will attend a workshop or view the program’s introductory webinar. 

Apply online at Blue Thumb’s website. For more information on Lawns to Legumes, see BWSR’s website.

Rum River Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM) Conservation Easements: By placing your land into a permanent conservation easement, you can help protect the health of drinking water for the Twin Cities while also protecting your land for future generations.

The State recently dedicated $3 million dollars of Clean Water Funds to make permanent conservation easements an option for willing landowners in the drainage area of the Rum River. The initial focus centers on the Rum River’s main stem and the west branch, plus Mille Lacs Lake. What is a conservation easement?

Properties will be chosen from submitted applications.  Their selection will be based on habitat quality, amount of nearby natural lands, and lenghth of property along the waterway. The applicaitons will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. Funds are available through 2022.

Contact Tiffany Determan for more information.

St. Croix River Conservation Easements: Although the status of the St. Crois River as a Wild and Scenic River comes with protections, it applies only to the think ribbon of land adjacent to the river. Beyond the River boundary more than 75% of the St. Croix's forestlands remain in private holdings. The Minnesota Land Trust is seeking willing private landowners to protect their property.  The Land Trust will purchase permanent conservation easements with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

Properties will be chosen from submitted appications.  Their selection will be based on habitat quality, amount of nearby natural lands, and the landowners desired price per acre.  Applications are due April 1, August 1 and October 1, 2020.  Apply early as funds are limited. For more information: www.mnland.org or contact Bill Penning: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR 

Blue Lake Priority Protection Grant: this grant provides funding for lakeshore stabilizations and innovative rain water and pollution  reduction practices in the near shore areas of: Blue Lake.  If you live on or near -Blue Lake and you are interested in doing your part to keep the lake clean contact Todd Kulaf.

Project Design and Engineering Assistance
D-esign and Engineering Assistance funds are available for conservation projects located in high priority areas.  This program pays a portion of the funds to design the project and the landowner is responsible for the remainder.  The money from this program can be used with other grant and cost share funds to help pay for much of the overall project costs.  Contact Tiffany Determan for more information.

Free Conservation Planning Assistance: Agricultural opportunity for those in Lower St. Croix Watershed (Oxford and North Branch Townships)

North Branch and Oxford Township residents can contact Mary Jo Youngbauer to discuss concerns that you have about your property. During an on-site visit she can inventory your resource concerns, discuss options for improvements, and help find cost share funding sources. Mary Jo can be reached via phone at 651-401-3329 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Lower St Croix River Watershed Conservation Planning Initiative is a collaborative effort of partners in the Lower St. Croix 1W1P:

  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts (Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington)
  • County governments (Chisago, Isanti, Pine, and Washington)
  • Watershed districts (Brown’s Creek, Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix, Comfort Lake-Forest Lake, and South Washington)
  • Watershed management organizations (Middle St. Croix, Sunrise River)

Click here for a downloadable brochure.

Ag Best Management Practices (AgBMP Loan Program)
The AgBMP Load Program provides low interest financing to farmers, agriculture supply businesses and rural landowners. The purpose is to encourage agricultural Best Management Practices that prevent or reduce runoff from feedlots, farm fields and other pollution problems identified by the county in local water plans.  The program provides loans up to $100,000 with a maximum interest rate of 3% interest plus usual customary fees charged by lenders.  Kanabec SWCD administers this program for Isanti SWCD.

Examples of eligible practices:  Composting structures, feedlot improvements, Livestock improvements, Nutrient management plans, Water Conservation or reuse, River bank or shoreline stabilization, septic system upgrades or repairs.

For a full list of eligible practices and more information visit the MN Department of Agriculture Website or call Anne LeRoy at: 763-689-3271 or 320-679-3982  For more information check out this page: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/agbmploan

Elementary Education-Aquatic Invasive Species Digital Training

Do you have a child at home? We have a fun environmental education activity for them!!

We recently worked with CLIMB Theater to develop an online class and a quiz targeted at elementary students. The goal of the class is to help explain what Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are, how they negatively affect our lakes and how they can help control them.

The password protected site includes a quiz, teacher & parent survey, teacher's guide and the support material for interacting with the video.

Link: https://climb.org/2020/05/15/ais-isanti
Password: AI$anti2020

Education Opportunity

Elementary Education- Aquatic Invasive Species Digital Training

Do you have a child at home? We have a fun environmental education activity for them!!

We recently worked with CLIMB Theater to develop an online class and a quiz targeted at elementary students. The goal of the class is to help explain what Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are, how they negatively affect our lakes and how they can help control them.

The password protected site includes a quiz, teacher & parent survey, teacher's guide and the support material for interacting with the video.

Link: https://climb.org/2020/05/15/ais-isanti
Password: AI$anti2020