April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18,
October 16, November 20,
December 18, January 16, 2018
and February 20, 2018.
Meetings are held the 3rd Monday of each month at 8:00 a.m. at our office, unless otherwise noted.
2016 Outstanding Forest Stewards
Charles and Cheryl Funk of Sebeka
Both Charles and Cheryl grew up in Wadena County by Nimrod and Sebeka, surrounded by the pines and the Crow Wing River. They continue to live on and maintain the property that his parents purchased. His desire for managing natural resources was passed down from his dad, who used to manage many of the pine plantations in the area for the DNR. Charles grew up watching neighbors try to take the marginal lands, add fertilizer to better the soil, plant contour strips to reduce erosion and then ultimately see no change in land productivity and savings. After seeing this unproductive cycle occurring nearby, he thought why not plant this marginal land to pine trees. Their forest land is certified as a Tree Farm and has been in the program for at least 40 years, with a goal of having a multi-age forest that can be used for family recreation.
A Forest Stewardship Plan for their acres was developed by the DNR in the 1990s. DNR Foresters have assisted them with some of their management questions and forestry decisions throughout years, but as an educator and an avid learner, Charles has done most of the management and has passed the learning down to their children. Beginning in 6th grade, Charles started to receive the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine, where he learned even more about natural resources.
Charles and Cheryl’s main goals for the property are to manage their
woodlands for timber production and wildlife habitat, while continuing to plant
trees where necessary and use their natural resources wisely. They are dedicated to their tree loving
family roots and the practice of sound land stewardship. They are leaving a legacy for generations by
passing on this important land ethic to their children, who have become natural
resource managers and ag teachers.
Pineland Sands Aquifer Pollinator Project
The Hubbard and Wadena Soil and Water Conservation Districts were the recipients of a $40,000 Enbridge Ecofootprint Grant to support water quality work in the Pineland Sands Aquifer through a pollinator project. This project is set up to help landowners cover costs of establishing native cover, including native grasses, trees, and shrubs on less productive agricultural or idle fields. Landowners participating would receive cost – share to pay for the establishment of cover by entering into a 15 year contract that would be approved by the respective SWCD boards. The landowner would be responsible for the cost for site preparation including chemical and mechanical treatment, and the rest of the installation would be covered by cost share. The overall goal of this project is to establish perennial cover on 250 to 300 acres in Hubbard and Wadena Counties.
These practices are well known to positively impact water quality, help with water infiltration, slow down runoff, and provide wildlife and pollinator habitats. Providing habitat and flowering plants provides food for pollinators who have suffered with habitat loss and degradation of habitat. Pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds play an essential role in plant reproduction and in the production of fruits and vegetables.
MN Department of Agriculture's Ag Water Quality Certification Program
This is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Those who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years. For more information, please visit the MDA website: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/awqcp
58 YEARS OF CONSERVATION!
Established on May 26th of 1958, the Wadena Soil & Water Conservation District was organized by local farmers, with help from the Agriculture Extension Service. Early projects consisted of mapping soils on local farms and writing conservation plans.