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Crow Wing SWCD receives award

Screen grab from Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District website.

The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District was recently awarded Conservation District of the Year at the annual convention of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Districts.

The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District has taken a leadership role in lake and forestry protection, water quality improvement and public education.

To date, it has completed over 18 Reinvest in Minnesota conservation easements for forest and lake protection, which includes 900 acres and almost 9 miles of shoreline of developable land.

The district has also received more than $2 million in Clean Water, Land & Legacy Grant funds and $40,000 in federal grants from 2016-17.

Projects included reducing 24 pounds of phosphorus and 4 tons of sediment in a Deerwood Summer Place project; 17 curb-cut rain gardens and two major stream restoration projects; nine forest stewardship plans for 955 acres; five community partnership groups-$90,000 for shoreline erosion and stormwater runoff projects; cities of Deerwood and Crosby adopting state minimal impact design standard ordinances; and ALUM treatment to Cranberry Lake, tributary to Serpent Lake, reducing 43 pounds of phosphorus to Serpent Lake.

SWCDs are local units of government that manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level. One crucial niche districts fill is that of providing soil and water conservation services to owners of private lands, which make up 78 percent of land ownership.

SWCDs are political subdivisions of the state. Supervisors serve four-year staggered terms; generally, two or three of an SWCD's five supervisors are up for election every two years.