Every year the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) honors a local organization or resident with the Conservation Leader Award. The Conservation Leader for 2018 was Scott County in Partnership with Three Rivers Park District. The recipient is chosen based on the conservation practices that they have done and the impact their actions have had on the community. The purpose of the Conservation Leaders Award is two-fold. First, the award recognizes those who are actively working to conserve natural resources. Second, the award shows the community that conservation is happening all around them, helping them to see conservation as an activity that everyone can participate in.
Scott County in Partnership with Three Rivers Park District was chosen as the Conservation Leader because they are a local leader in conservation. They have worked hard to improve their parkland and to increase conservation here in Scott County. They have worked with the Scott SWCD on conservation plans for two future parks: Doyle-Kennefick Regional Park and Blakeley Bluffs Park Reserve. Theses conservation plans are currently being implemented and already over 24 acres of cropland has been converted to native prairie with more to come. Blakeley Bluffs Park Reserve had a few areas of severe erosion which have been addressed by two grassed waterways and a grade stabilization structure. They have worked with the SWCD on a variety of additional conservation practices including native buffers, shoreline stabilizations, and a wetland restoration.
In addition to their work in conservation, they allow the Scott SWCD to hold Outdoor Education Days at Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park and provide their employees’ time to set up the park for the event. This annual five day educational event has been held at Cedar Lake Farm Park since 2016, with a total of 3800 students attending in the last three years.
Through their many partnerships, they have brought multiple organizations to the table to work together for a wise use of resources. It is this commitment to conservation that makes the Scott County in Partnership with Three Rivers Park District a great fit for the Conservation Leader Award.
Scott SWCD Supervisor, Doug Schoenecker presented the award to the Scott County Commissioners and the Three Rivers Park District Commissioners at their annual joint board meeting in December.
Along with the Conservation Leader Award, the Scott SWCD nominated Scott County in Partnership with Three Rivers Park District for the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ Outstanding Conservationist Award. They were recognized for the nomination in December at the MASWCD’s annual convention.