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farm pond Courtesy of Winona County SWCD
EIGHTY YEARS AND COUNTING: The Winona County SWCD was originally known as the Burns-Homer-Pleasant Soil Conservation District when it was formally organized in 1938.

Winona SWCD marks 80th anniversary

Minnesota’s first soil and water conservation district will host an Aug. 14 celebration.

Minnesota’s first established Soil and Water Conservation District will celebrate 80 years of assisting landowners Aug. 14, at a special program near Lewiston, Minn.

The Winona County Soil and Water Conservation District was established in 1938 under the name Burns-Homer-Pleasant Soil Conservation District, and it has since enabled conservation partnerships with the goal of protecting and enhancing the area’s valuable water and soil resources.

“From the beginning, our focus has been to promote soil and water conservation in Winona County,” said Leo Speltz, chair of the Winona County SWCD Board of Supervisors, in a news release. “Agencies working together helps us implement conservation practices that work for local landowners while creating a positive impact on our natural resources.”

Winona County SWCD is hosting the special event at Farmers Community Park, 23274 Arches Road (2.5 miles east of Lewiston on Highway 14).

Registration opens at 12:30 p.m. The celebration begins with a 1 p.m. conservation bus tour, after which attendees will return to Farmers Community Park. At 4 p.m., a rainfall and erosion simulator and a Whitewater Watershed Lego model containing 26,000 Legos will be on display.

A program featuring comments from conservation professionals, partner organization representatives and elected officials begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m.

“This anniversary represents a major milestone in voluntary conservation, with landowners not only for the southeast Minnesota region, but for the state as a whole,” said Kurt Beckstrom, president of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. “The Winona County SWCD supervisors and staff should take pride in the legacy of resource stewardship they’ve helped create over the years.”

The event is hosted by the Winona County SWCD in partnership with MASWCD, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

RSVP for the bus tour and/or program by calling Winona County SWCD staff at 507-523-2171, ext. 3.

For information on the SWCD’s conservation work over the years, visit

Source: Winona County SWCD


TAGS: Conservation
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