By: Holly Kovarik, Manager 320-634-5327
Every Earth Day, we at the Pope Soil and Water Conservation District reflect on the wonderful natural resources we get to enjoy in Pope County. Our staff is grateful for the opportunity to work with members of the community to facilitate voluntary initiatives to conserve land, water, forests and wildlife in our area. We are one of 89 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) across the state – and nearly 3,000 across the nation – that provide a neighborly presence to help preserve and protect the natural resources that we all love. The Pope SWCD has been around for more than 68 years, and we’re proud of the impact we’ve made.
Recent highlights of our work completed in 2016 include: 47 structural practices, 1 alternative rock inlet project, and 3 shoreline restorations, 6 abandoned wells sealed, 10 certified Minnesota Ag Water Quality Farms totaling 5,573 acres, plus many other tree and grass plantings and conservation projects. These are just a few examples of the work we are trying to accomplish to improve and protect our natural resources in Pope County.
SWCDs are local units of government that carry out natural resource management programs at the local level. We provide voluntary, incentive-driven approaches to landowners for better soil and cleaner water in the State of Minnesota. Private landowners – using financial and technical assistance from local SWCDs – are implementing a wide variety of conservation practices including restoring wetlands, planting shelterbelts and buffers, and preventing soil erosion.
Born in the wake of the Dust Bowl, SWCDs have been involved in delivering conservation across America for more than 70 years. Because Minnesota has a wide variety of landscapes and conservation needs, each district operates at the direction of locally elected board supervisors. This local perspective allows SWCDs to manage the resources and serve the needs of the citizens in their district.
Soil and Water Conservation District staff and supervisors build partnerships with public and private, local, state and federal entities in an effort to develop locally-driven solutions to natural resource concerns. We work with landowners every step of the way from planning to implementation.
Our work results in cleaner water, healthier wildlife habitat, better soil, and a trusted, collaborative relationship with the community. What a great thing to celebrate this Earth Day.
To learn more about how your SWCD can help you, visit our website at www.popeswcd.org.