News & Events

Good Luck to Hopkins HS at the National Envirothon

 Hopkins students will travel to Maryland next week for the national competition

The Minnesota Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD) would like to congratulate and wish good luck to the students from Hopkins High School who will travel to Maryland next week to represent Minnesota in the National Envirothon. The Hopkins team placed first in the Minnesota State Envirothon, earning its bid to nationals.

Envirothon is an annual environmental education program for high school students that combines classroom learning with outdoor activities. Through the Envirothon, students learn about natural resources, develop teamwork skills, gain valuable exposure to a range of disciplines, and explore possible career paths. MASWCD is a proud longtime sponsor of the Minnesota State Envirothon.

Before competing at the state Envirothon, teams must first compete in a regional area Envirothon, which are hosted and managed by local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff members. The top three teams from each area advance to the Minnesota State Envirothon. Students are tested on their knowledge in five topic areas: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current environmental issue.

“The Envirothon is a great hands-on experience for high school students, educating youth on the importance of protecting the future of our natural resources,” said Judy Johnston, Minnesota State Envirothon coordinator from Stevens County SWCD. “It’s also a great opportunity to introduce students to potential career opportunities in the field of natural resource management.”

Each team gives a 10-minute oral presentation which challenges teams to work together and communicate their solution to the environmental issue in front of a panel of judges. For 2017, the current events topic was “Agricultural Soil and Water Stewardship.”

In 2017, 26 teams competed in the Minnesota State Envirothon contest held in Stewartville. Rounding out the podium behind Hopkins were Dilworth-Glendon-Felton High School (second place) and Crookston High School (third place).

“We are so grateful to our SWCD staffers from around the state who dedicate their time and energy to make this event outstanding,” said LeAnn Buck, executive director of MASWCD. “We wish Hopkins High School continued success in the national competition.”

In addition to MASWCD, sponsors of 2017 Minnesota State Envirothon competition included the Minnesota Association of Conservation District Employees (MACDE), Minnesota Corn Growers, Smithfield Foods, and the Minnesota Erosion Control Association (MECA).

For more information about the Minnesota State Envirothon, visit maswcd.org/envirothon.

The first place team from Hopkins High School.

 

The second place team from Dilworth-Glendon-Felton High School.

 

The third place team Crookston High School.

 

Students compete at the wildlife station.

Chris Staebler, Stevens SWCD is a graduate of the State MASWCD Leadership Institute 2016-17

Congratulations are extended to Chris Staebler, Office Manager for the Stevens Soil and Water Conservation District for successfully completing a one-year leadership development program sponsored by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. The program, titled “The MASWCD Leadership Institute” brought together 20 participants from across the state to strengthen their leadership capacity for conservation work in Minnesota.  The group was comprised of locally elected Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors, local SWCD staff, and staff from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.  During six in-depth sessions, participants learned about and practiced leadership lessons, applying those skills to a statewide policy issue. Topics included building facilitative leadership skills, visioning and influencing policy change, framing issues, strengthening team leadership, decision-making, dealing with conflict, effective questioning skills, and working with stakeholders in public issues.  This was the tenth group to complete the statewide leadership program which began in 1996.  The content of the program is designed and delivered by staff of the University of Minnesota Extension.  For further information about the program contact the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts at 651-690-9028 or visit the MASWCD website at www.maswcd.org.

 

Now Hiring!

The West Central Technical Service Area 2, serving twelve Soil and Water Conservation Districts in central Minnesota, is seeking an Advanced Engineering Technician or Engineer in Training with experience in surveying and construction of natural resource and non-point pollution control best management practices. Responsibilities include project planning, design and construction inspection.  Position will be located at the Stevens SWCD Office. Application deadline March 17, 2017. Click here or stop into our office for more information.

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2016 Year in Review

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Stevens SWCD had another successful year in 2016, helping landowners in Stevens County implement conservation practices that will help protect the natural resources in our area.

Click here to read the 2016 Stevens SWCD Annual Review.

2017 Stevens SWCD Board Members

Supervisors Don Huntley and Kirby Hufford retired from the Stevens SWCD board at the end of 2016. Two new supervisors were elected to the board and will begin their terms in January 2017. These new board members are Troy Goodnough and Dennis Feuchtenberger, and they will join existing board members Dave Lonergan, Jim Krosch, and Greg Fynboh. The first meeting of 2017 will be held on January 19 at 9:30 a.m. in the SWCD office. Please see the Board of Supervisors page under the About Us section of our web site for more information about our supervisors and what they do.

General Notice to Control or Eradicate Noxious Weeds

GENERAL NOTICE
TO CONTROL OR ERADICATE
NOXIOUS WEEDS

Notice is hereby given this 15th day of May, 2016, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 18.83, subd. 7, (1992), that all persons in Stevens County, Minnesota, shall control or eradicate all noxious weeds on land they own, occupy or are required to maintain. Control or eradication may be accomplished by any lawful method but the methods may need to be repeated in order to prevent the spread of viable noxious weed seeds and other propagating parts to other lands. Failure to comply with the general notice may mean that an individual notice will be issued. An individual notice may be appealed within two working days or receipt to the appeal committee in the county where the land is located. Failure to comply with the individual notice will mean that the inspector having jurisdiction may either hire the work done or seek a misdemeanor charge against the person(s) who failed to comply. If the work is hired done by the inspector, the cost can be placed as a tax upon the land and collected as other real estate taxes are collected. You may obtain a list of the plants that are designated noxious and of the members of the appeal committee from your County Agricultural Inspector of Local Weed Inspector. The Local Weed Inspectors are township supervisors, city mayors or their appointed assistants.

Matt Solemsaas
Stevens County Agricultural Inspector
12 Hwy 28 E., Suite 2 Morris, MN 56267
Phone  320-589-4886

Minnesota Corn Growers offering free nitrate screening to help farmers address water quality

(May 2, 2016) — The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is encouraging farmers to bring in water samples from wells, ditches, streams or tile outlets for free nitrate screening.

The screening is completely confidential and takes about 20 minutes. Nitrate testing is an easy way for farmers to get a better idea about water conditions and nutrient loss on their own farms.

There will be free screening available in Morris on May 13, 2016, at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, located at 46352 State Highway 329 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Check  MinnesotaCornerstone.com  or follow @mncorn on Twitter for updates and information about additional testing locations and dates throughout the state.

Collecting a sample
Collecting a sample for testing is simple:

  • To take a ditch, stream or tile water sample, collect 1 cup of water in a clean plastic or glass container. Freeze your sample and bring it in cool for testing.
  • For well water, run your cold tap for 5-10 minutes and collect 1 cup of water in a clean plastic or glass container. Freeze your sample and bring it in cool for testing.
  • If a sample is collected within 24 hours of testing, it does not need to be frozen, but should be kept refrigerated.

“Testing is quick, easy and practical,” said Noah Hultgren, MCGA president and a family farmer in Raymond, Minn. “This is another tool we’re making available to farmers as all of us continue to make water quality improvements.”

Our Mission

The mission of the Stevens Soil & Water Conservation District is to work with county landowners in putting conservation practices on the land and to help all citizens be good stewards of our natural resources.