SWCD awards Austin for conservation

Published 8:43 am Monday, August 15, 2011

In a typical year, the Mower County Soil and Water Conservation District chooses a landowner or farmer in the County who has excelled in efforts to control soil erosion and improve habitat on his land. For several years, the City of Austin took conservation efforts far above and beyond what is expected from a municipality. In response to those efforts, the SWCD decided to recognize this year’s Outstanding Conservationist award to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center and Parks and Recreation departments of the City.

It’s impossible to ignore the laundry list of projects and initiatives Austin has taken on to improve soil erosion runoff and incorporate environmental initiatives within the borders of the city, SWCD officials said. The Jay C. Hormel Nature Center has provided environmental education on this very topic for years. Sharing the importance of Conservation on the landscape and providing visual proof of natural settings all through the acreage of prairie and forest planted trees. The nature center has also taken a proactive approach to water monitoring along Dobbins Creek.

The Parks department has also spread their wings over the past several years, recognizing opportunities to take extra steps for conserving sensitive land along the Cedar River and throughout town. Projects completed over the last year include; Mill Pond stormwater runoff planting, Todd and Wildwood Park prairie plantings. They have also taken steps to conserve flood plain areas such as Widdier Park and approximately a mile of streambank stabilization throughout town.

The SWCD will recognize the staff on these great accomplishments at the City Council meeting on Aug. 15. They will be recognized statewide at the annual SWCD convention during the first week of December.

The SWCD will recognize the City of Austin at the Monday, Aug.15 City Council meeting.