Welcome to Washington Conservation District.
Our mission is to enhance, protect, and preserve the natural resources of Washington County through conservation projects, technical guidance, and educational services to citizens and local government.
Encouraging voluntary conservation efforts since 1942
Minnesota's buffer initiative
Minnesota’s New Buffer Initiative, signed into law this year, will soon require public waters in the state - lakes, rivers and streams - to be surrounded by vegetated buffers 50-feet wide (on average) and public ditches to have 16.5-foot wide buffers as well. Buffers will need to be installed on public waters by November, 2017 and on public drainage systems by November, 2018.
The new rules will not impact lakeshore residents who have beaches, docks or landscaping. However, those properties will still have to comply with existing DNR, county and watershed district rules.
The WCD will be contacting landowners who may be affected by this new law in the fall of 2016. If you have questions contact Jay Riggs at 651-330-8220.
WONDERING ABOUT YOUR WETLANDS? What to Know Before You Work
Minnesota’s landscape includes roughly 10.6 million acres of wetlands. While many people think of wetlands as swampy, marshy areas with standing water and cattails, the reality is wetlands take on many forms. In addition to swampy, marshy areas, wetlands can vary from grassy meadows, to forested wetlands covered in trees and shrubs, to wet areas of cultivated farm fields. Many wetlands are actually dry for most of the year, with no standing water. It can be very difficult to identify wetlands and wetland regulations can be quite complex. If there is the potential for your project to impact a wetland, before you start it is important to contact your local WCA regulatory authority. If you don’t know where to start, your local Soil and Water Conservation District can help you determine which agency is your local contact.
To learn about education opportunities or projects you can do in your area, check out our education page.