In September 2017, the Minnesota Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (MN CREP) sign-up began taking applications for floodplain and wetland restorations, filter strips, and wellhead protection areas. Marginal cropland is the focus of this program to provide permanent protection for Minnesota’s most important resource, water. MN CREP is a partnership between the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the states Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM). This is a voluntary program that allows landowners to enroll land into a permanent easement to protect Minnesota’s water resources as well as retain ownership and still control access to the land by the public.
Wetlands and floodplains are important areas that allow infiltration of water that recharge ground water aquifers and provide important habitat for Minnesota wildlife. Floodplains and wetlands also store water on the surface, and reduce peak discharge in flowing water systems like those of drainage ditches and streams. Reducing peak flows in these systems reduces bank erosion and sedimentation of stream beds, and is an incredibly high priority to improve water quality. Reduction of sedimentation can reduce the frequency of ditch cleaning that needs to be done to maintain drainage.
Filter strips keep tillage equipment and sprayers away from the edge of ditches and streams. They reduce the amount of sediment and spray drift that reaches water. Buffers also stabilize banks and filter subsurface water that flows into streams and ditches. Native vegetation roots grow deep, slowing the horizontal flow of ground water from the water table to the ditches. MN CREP filter strips are also an option to comply with Minnesota’s Buffer Law. These are just a few benefits that MN CREP provide to you and our water.
Contact the Yellow Medicine Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office in Clarkfield to find out more information about this program, or call Ian Olson at (320) 669-4442 ext. 114. Our website also has a lot of information on all of our programs and services. Visit www.yellowmedicineswcd.org to learn more and stay up to date on all Yellow Medicine SWCD has to offer and what we are working on. You can also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!