In this issue:

Conservation Corps builds careers

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa crews build skills and make connections with potential employers. Soil and water conservation districts gain a trained labor force. "It’s been a huge help for water quality in the state," said Brian Miller, AmeriCorps program director. Visit a Stearns County SWCD project on the Mississippi River north of St. Cloud.

Farmer sees conservation opportunity in Buffer Law

"When the Buffer Law came in, it just encouraged me to get more aggressive in creating habitat." — Barry Springborn, Isanti County landowner
After Minnesota’s Buffer Law was enacted, Cambridge-area farmer Barry Springborn installed pollinator-friendly plants and forested buffers to protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat. Springborn plans to install additional conservation practices, starting with a 2-acre prairie restoration in the spring.

Southwest Prairie TSA buoys training

The addition of an engineer based in the Lincoln County Soil & Water Conservation District office allowed the Southwest Prairie Technical Service Area (TSA 5) to better handle the training and technical support needs of its member SWCDs. The 11-county service area includes Cottonwood County, Jackson County, Lac qui Parle County, Lincoln County, Lyon County, Murray County, Nobles County, Pipestone County, Redwood County, Rock County and Yellow Medicine County.

‘They’re all working together’

"The state, the county, area farmers — they’re all working together to try to stop the nutrient flow as much as possible into the lake, which ultimately is going to affect the entire watershed." — Jay Witty, Lake Volney Association
The Cannon River benefits from the conservation work farmers and lakeshore property owners have accomplished through the Le Sueur Soil & Water Conservation District. A Clean Water Fund grant targeting priority projects to reduce runoff wrapped up in 2018.

A flood, a phone call, a wave of relief

"You’re supposed to leave this place better than you found it. That’s my deal." — Greg Taylor of Marshall, on his extensive conservation work with Area II Minnesota River Basin Projects and Lyon Soil & Water Conservation District
A series of dams built to slow floodwaters held up after hard summer rains, sparing downstream agricultural land from the damage seen elsewhere. The oldest was built nearly 20 years ago.