The Faribault Soil and Water Conservation District will provide mini-grants to conservation-conscious community organizations who voluntarily construct best management practices that provide storage and treatment of stormwater runoff at its source.
This project will place the Cedar River watershed on a sustainable and clearly understood implementation process for comprehensive water management. All people living in the watershed and all groups operating and managing land in the watershed, are responsible stakeholders in the effort. Objectives for this phase of the project include:
1. Develop a comprehensive watershed restoration and protection strategy.
2. Continue development of a more coordinated and comprehensive citizen participation process.
In the battle to make real progress in sediment reduction to Turtle Creek, buffer strips are on the defensive front lines, holding the land at its most critical point. Grass strips along waterways have long provided a catchment area for agricultural field runoff. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has developed guidance and performance standards that utilize the maximum amount of benefit when installed through that program. In recent years, the Turtle Creek Watershed residents have faced a difficult decision over whether or not to incorporate grass buffers on their farms.
This project will build upon existing planning and implementation efforts already taken on in the project area. The collection of existing information will be used to complement water information in support of a more successful and sustainable water quality improvement and protection implementation program. This will be achieved by active civic engagement activities throughout Phase I of this project.
In the summer of 2011, conservation practices were installed in the upper reaches of Dobbins Creek to stabilize eroding stream banks. We contracted with the non-profit Minnesota Conservation Corps to assist with the labor. The crew worked efficiently, the weather cooperated perfectly, and the project came together exactly as planned. The banks of Dobbins Creek were armored with native cedar trees and anchored to the banks. Once the project was complete, we cut the side slopes back to reduce future erosion in the newly protected banks.
Ninety percent of the land in Mower County is used for agriculture. The County ranks 10th and 13th in the State for corn and bean production, making much of the land vulnerable to erosion due to the planting of row crop. As a result, streams and ditches in the county see high sediment loads.