• Shelby Roberts

2021 Scott SWCD Year in Review

We wish you a very Happy New Year, and sincerely thank you for your continued engagement with the Scott SWCD.

As we look back on 2021, a year of slow transition back to normalcy, we were able to accomplish so much with the help of our amazing staff, partners, and community.


2021 at a glance


With our talented team of conservation specialists and our dedicated partners, we assisted over 200 landowners with conservation questions, planning, and construction. Our team helped prevent 757 tons of sediment and 968 pounds of phosphorous from polluting our lakes, streams, and wetlands. Scott SWCD staff also conducted over 2,400 erosion inspections that helped ensure sediment remained on construction sites and out of Scott County roadways and waterbodies.


LAWNS TO LEGUMES - POLLINATOR HABITAT IN BLOOM

In early 2021 we were awarded a Lawns to Legumes Demonstration Neighborhood grant through the Minnesota Clean Water Fund to establish a series of pollinator plantings in the county. The program had overwhelming success! 9 neighbors banded together and installed 14 native plantings including lakeshore buffers, pollinating lawns, and tree, shrub, & pocket plantings for Minnesota’s state bee: The Rusty Patched Bumblebee.




WEED MANAGEMENT - ERADICATING PARSNIP


Since 2014, we've been working with county officials in targeted efforts to remove noxious weeds like wild parsnip from the county. In 2021, the Cooperative Weed Management Organization continued its wild parsnip eradication and successfully treated over 100 miles of public road ditches!


WATER QUALITY TESTING

In conjunction with local partners, the SWCD collects a various array of water quality and

flow data to ensure that Scott County waterbodies remain well documented and to understand trends in water's behavior. This information is used to improve & maintain waterbodies in the future. In 2021, the Scott SWCD collected routine surface water quality data from 9 monitoring locations around Scott county equating to over 140 samples collected, including 76 water level measurements in a year of significant summer drought.

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE


We work with landowners to increase the adoption of sustainable practices such as cover crops, no-till and crop nutrient management. In 2021 alone, an impressive 994 acres of cover crops, 105 acres of no-till, and 581 acres of nutrient management were enrolled in SWCD programs. These efforts not only save the amount of soil lost from crop fields, but also manage the nutrient content of those soils.


TECHNICAL & COST SHARE ASSISTANCE The Scott SWCD's main mission is to assist landowners with soil and water quality on their land to preserve its natural resources. Continuing that service since 1941, our office assisted 217 landowners in 2021 with both technical and financial assistance in installing 76 new conservation projects within county borders.

NATIVE TREES GALORE!

The annual Scott SWCD tree and plant sale continued contactless pickup this year, but that

did not stop resident's green thumbs! The tree sale added 33,500 Minnesota native trees and shrubs to the county--4,500 more than last year! 100 native seed mixes were also sold, which will grow into valuable prairie habitat. And at the Scott SWCD plant sale, native garden kits were sold and planted in raingardens, around woodland edges, and beside lakeshores.


EDUCATING FOR THE FUTUTRE

We at the Scott SWCD know that the first step towards securing the future of our environment is by educating the next generation. In May of 2021, we were delighted to partner with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Raven Stream Elementary to host forestry lessons and tree planting demonstration for 330 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.

The Scott SWCD offered their educational workshops online once again, and debuted 4 new webinars this year. All recorded webinars are available for viewing anytime on the Scott SWCD YouTube page.

 

As always, we strive to protect the water quality and natural resources of Scott County, but we couldn't do that without the incredible dedication of our landowners and local partners in conservation. Together, we've accomplished great things, and we look forward to achieving even more in 2022! For Scott SWCD updates, subscribe to our blog. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @scott_soil_and_water

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