(218) 732-0121 603 North Central Ave, Suite 100. Park Rapids, MN 56470

Programs

What are Wetlands?

Marshes

Marshes are wetlands dominated by soft-stemmed vegetation.

Swamps

Swamps have mostly woody plants.

Bogs

Bogs are freshwater wetlands, often formed in old glacial lakes, characterized by spongy peat deposits, evergreen trees and shrubs, and a floor covered by a thick layer of sphagnum moss.

Fens

Fens are freshwater peat-forming wetlands covered mostly by grasses, sedges, reeds, and wildflowers and have unique water chemistry.

The Importance of Wetlands

There are four general categories of wetlands – marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens. Wetlands provide habitat for diverse plant and animal species. Wetlands absorb and slow floodwaters, absorb excess nutrients, sediment, and other pollutants before they reach rivers, lakes and other bodies of water.

Congress enacted the Wetland Conservation Act to protect these vital natural resources. Preserving, restoring, and protecting the county wetlands are one of the SWCD’s priorities.

Before starting a project that might have an impact on a wetland, review this information and contact our office so you can avoid violating the Wetland Conservation Act. We will assist you in determining if there is a wetland and help you meet the requirements of the Wetland Conservation Act. 

Remember, even if you can not see standing water, it could still be a wetland!


 

Cost-Share Program

The cost-share program was created to provide funds to share the cost of systems or practices for erosion control, sedimentation control, or water quality improvements that are designed to protect and improve soil and water resources. Through the State Cost-Share Program, landowners can request financial and technical assistance for the implementation of conservation practices.

Some of these projects include but are not limited to: Critical Area Stabilization, Diversions, Field Windbreaks, Grassed Waterway, Wastewater and Feedlot Runoff Control, Filter Strips, Sediment Basins, Streambank, Shoreland, and Roadside Protection, Stripcropping, Terraces, Unused Well Sealing, and Forestry Conservation Practices.

We have funds available!  If you think you have a project that meets one of these practices, call our office to apply for cost-share funds.

Cost Share Form


 

Community Partners Program

Spider Lake Association was awarded $25,000 to install practices on 8 separate properties to stop soil erosion and undercutting of the shoreline. These practices will prevent shoreline from eroding into the lake and will reduce runoff to protect water quality and shoreline vegetation integrity.  With the help of this grant, Spider Lake will see a reduction of 7.68 tons/yr of sediment, 7.68 tons/yr of soil and 6.53 lbs/yr of phosphorous from entering the lake. 

Hubbard County Master Gardners was awarded $5,000 to provide rain barrels at a reduced price for homeowners to prevent stormwater from running into lakes or storm sewers. 65 rain barrels were purchased and will provide rainwater for gardening use and reduce storm water runoff within the county.

Fish Hook Lake and River Association was awarded a $22,000 grant to install a storm scepter in Riverside Ave to collect the storm water and filter sediment and solids before discharging water into the Fish Hook River.

We are looking for community partners that want to complete projects that will restore, protect or enhance water quality in lakes, rivers and streams through storm water control. We will be encouraging, advising, and providing technical guidance to eligible groups on the placement and design of rain gardens and native vegetation buffers.  Eligible community partners include non-profit organizations, citizen groups, businesses, student groups, faith organizations, and neighborhood lake, river or homeowner associations.

Projects must reduce stormwater runoff and retain water on the land. Ineligible activities include aquatic invasive species control, in-lake treatments, garbage cleanups, water monitoring and enhancements of a previous project.

 


 

Wild Rice Easements

Hubbard County SWCD is partnering with Ducks Unlimited, Board of Water and Soil Resources, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on an Outdoor Heritage Fund project to protect shorelines on important wild rice lakes in North-Central Minnesota. The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council recommended this project for 2012 funding and Minnesota State Legislation approved recommendation in 2011. Overall project intent is to protect 117 shallow wild rice lakes in Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, St. Louis, and Wadena counties; through the acquisition of voluntary land preservation agreements known as conservation easements. A conservation easement protects land from future development while keeping land in private ownership and on the local tax rolls.

Local, county, state, federal, tribal, and private partners participating in the MNDNR’s “Wild Rice Working Group” recently identified these 117 shallow wild rice lakes as some of the most important wild rice lakes in Minnesota. Additionally, they support approximately 50,000 acres of wild rice habitat. Hubbard County is fortunate to have 5 shallow rice lakes that are eligible for this program.

The parcels submitted will be reviewed to determine which provide the best natural resource investment for the conservation dollar. The landowners and parcels that are selected for funding will be paid 60% of the estimated market value of the tract.

The following Hubbard County lakes are eligible: First Crow Wing, Fourth Crow Wing, Spring Lake, Upper Mud, and Crow Wing Lake.

To apply contact the SWCD at 218-732-0121 or e-mail Julie Kingsley.

In 2016, Hubbard County had 5 approved easements that protected approximately 209 acres of Wild Rice habitat and the watersheds. Primary funding was provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund portion of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.

 


 

Irrigation Scheduler Program

This program is designed to give the farmer a second opinion on in-field soil moisture status that can assist the farmer’s decision on if and when to irrigate. (The decision to irrigate is still up to the farmer.) It’s purpose is to prevent crop loss due to insufficient moisture and prevent ground water contamination due to over application of water and leaching of nutrients. The farmer will receive weekly visits to check soil moisture, weekly computer soil moisture graphs and a year-end summary showing irrigation totals, rainfall amount, and potential leaching events. For more information, please contact Julie at (218) 732-0121.

 


 

Rainfall Monitoring Network

Hubbard County SWCD has a rural rainfall monitoring network throughout Hubbard County that was begun in 1978. Each month volunteers record rainfall and snowfall daily and then submit their reports to the SWCD office who sends the compiled data to the Office of State Climatology. Monitors are supplied with stamped, self-addressed envelopes and monitoring forms, so there is no cost to the volunteer. A rain gauge is also supplied. From time to time a volunteer may retire from the network, so new monitors are needed. If you are interested in being a rainfall monitor, please call the office for more information.

We are currently looking for rainfall monitors in the following townships: Akeley, Arago, Badoura, Fern, Guthrie, Hendrickson, Lake Alice, Lake Hattie, Mantrap, Nevis, Schoolcraft and White Oak.

 


 

Freshwater Festival

The Freshwater Festival is an annual event for sixth graders in Hubbard County. It is sponsored by funds from the Hubbard County Local Water Plan and local donations with administrative support from the Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District. It follows basically the same format each year.

At this event, each class rotates through five stations where individual presenters share their expertise. Presenters are volunteers from organizations such as Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Health, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and others. In addition, there are paid professional educators including Tom Gibson – Environmental Education and the Headwater’s Science Center of Bemidji. Their programs are 45 minutes long and every student will attend those sessions.

Each class stays together throughout the day. Break times are scheduled for snacks and lunch. Presenters and volunteers are provided with a meal prepared by the Mantrap Valley Conservation Club Auxiliary, and students and teaches bring sack lunches. Volunteers from the Coalition of Lake Associations assist with various aspects of the festival from chaperoning classes to handing out snacks. Usually there are around 45 volunteers.

2017 Freshwater Festival – May 17

Held on May 17, 2017 at Camp Wilderness Boy Scout Camp near Emmaville, MN. The festival will start at 9:15 a.m. and end at 1:45 p.m. Students will receive a tree seedling and learn how to plant their seedling by a DNR forester.

Teachers, volunteers and presenters receive schedules and information prior to the festival. They may visit the camp prior to the festival day to familiarize themselves with the various stations they will be attending. Volunteers also help wrap trees and bag materials the day before the festival.

The goal of the Freshwater Festival is to educate sixth grade students about protection, preservation, and conservation of water resources in an atmosphere of fun and learning. Hubbard County has substantial ground and surface water resources. We want to educate children about different aspects of these waters and their relationship to other resources: wetlands, forestry and wildlife. We also want to instill an environmental awareness and a stewardship ethic in students and adults.

 


 

Evapotranspiration (ET) Information

Irrigators and other water users will get daily statistics for corn, beans and turf. This is now a live feed and can be accessed by smart phones or computers from the Department of Agriculture, Hubbard County weather station. By checking the evapotranspiration data, soil water balances can be monitored. Several weather statistics for the day will be given, including potential ET, maximum and minimum air temperatures, precipitation and growing degree days. 

To view ET information, go to East Ottertail SWCD.

 


 

Shoreland Guides

The “Shoreland Guide to Lake Stewardship” was developed by the Local Water Plan and SWCD to educate shoreland owners and recreational users of our lakes. The guide explains the benefits of natural shorelines and wetlands, importance of curbing pollution, erosion, and run-off. It contains important permit and contact information. Guides are available at the SWCD office, Environ-mental Services office, realty companies, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Shoreland Guide

 


 

Envirothon

The Envirothon is an outdoor environmental learning competition for junior high and high school students. Teams of students compete in five learning stations and take a 20 point exam on environmental topics that include: Aquatics, Forestry, Wildlife, Soils, and Current events (which is a new topic each year).

Area 8 North Central Regional Envirothon: Website 
This year’s Envirothon will be held on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at Lake Bemidji State Park.

The top three teams in the area go on to compete in the State Envirothon. The winning team at the State Envirothon advances to the National Envirothon and competes against teams from across the USA and Canada.

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