Grant funding available for tree plantingsSWCD will assist with new groves, furthering existing growth
The Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation District has more than $10,000 in state cost-share money to assist landowners in establishing new groves and shelterbelts, or to repair or enhance existing tree growth.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation District has more than $10,000 in state cost-share money to assist landowners in establishing new groves and shelterbelts, or to repair or enhance existing tree growth.
The grant money must be allocated before the end of the year or it will go back to the state, according to SWCD Technical Coordinator Ed Lenz. He encourages landowners to stop by the local office early to ensure access to a wider variety of trees.
The SWCD has access to several different funding sources, including the federal Conservation Reserve Program, Environmental Quality Incentive and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program that can be utilized to assist in tree plantings.
“The SWCD (cost-share program) is kind of a catch-all for projects that don’t fit in other programs,” said Lenz.
The tree program has been popular with landowners, said Lenz, adding that in the past, people had to be turned down because larger projects quickly ate up the available funds. Now that most of the larger projects have been completed around the county, Lenz encourages those who are considering shelterbelts and living snow fences to apply for the cost-share.
Depending on the type of program landowners qualify for, the cost-share can range from 50 percent to 90 percent, with the landowner to pay for the remainder.
Farmstead shelterbelts are the most common tree plantings conducted through the cost-share program.
“We have a lot of aging groves out there that need repair or replacement,” said Lenz.
Living snowfences, which are encouraged along state and interstate highways are also popular.
The Nobles SWCD has a list of approximately 20 different tree varieties landowners can choose from for their tree planting project, including dogwood, honeysuckle, Black Hills spruce and red cedar.
In addition to assisting landowners in accessing the cost-share dollars, the local SWCD also offers planting services and tree fabric to help with weed prevention.
For more information about the cost-share programs available for tree plantings, contact Lenz at 376-9150, Ext. 117, or visit the Web site at www.noblesswcd.org.
“We’re trying to pick up those smaller projects we haven’t had time for in the past,” Lenz said.