Washington Conservation District (WCD) can connect you with cost share, grant, and loan programs that protect land and water in Washington County. Refer to our interactive map for past conservation projects in the county. We can also help you navigate the Rural Preserve Property Tax Program (RPPTP) and Green Acres Program. Contact WCD staff to schedule a free site visit at your property and to learn which of these programs is right for you.
The WCD manages the State Cost Share program, which provides technical, design, construction, and financial assistance to land owners to solve erosion and water quality problems. The program can provide up to 75% of the total project costs.
WCD provides small grants to land owners wishing to improve surface water quality in Washington County. 50% match grants of up to $5,000 are available. Eligible practices include rainwater gardens, infiltration systems, and other innovative approaches to treat stormwater runoff at the source.
The Rural Preserve Program provides property tax relief for qualifying owners of rural vacant land in areas where the market value of the land is being affected by development pressure, sales of recreational land or other factors (eligible class 2b vacant land). To find out if you are eligible, contact the Washington County Property Tax Records Department at 651-430-6175.
If you are eligible, the County Assessor’s office will provide information on the application process. A conservation and management plan will be required for any parcels enrolled in the RPPTP program, and the WCD will assist you in developing this plan. Learn more.
The Green Acres Program provides property tax relief for owners of productive agricultual property in areas where the market value of land is being affected by development pressure, sales of recreational land, or other non-agricultural factors. Learn more.
The Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Program strives to protect and improve water quality by encouraging landowners to retire environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production. The program reimburses landowners for enrolling their land in a permanent conservation easement, and then provides assistance to restore the area to grass, trees, or wetlands. Eligible Lands:
Funds are available for surveying and engineering assistance to design conservation projects. This fund is called the Non-Point Engineering and Assistance Program (NPEAP). NPEAP can be used with other grant and cost-share funds to help pay for much of the overall project costs.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service offers additional cost-share programs to protect water quality, improve wildlife habitat, and conserve soil resources. Contact the WCD staff or the local NRCS office for more information on these programs.
Certain watershed management organizations within Washington County run grant programs. These watershed-based grant programs fund shoreline restoration, habitat improvement, stormwater management, and many other projects. Contact the WCD staff or your local watershed management organization to learn what funds are available.
Annually, funds become available for special projects. These grants come from a variety of sources, including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service and require more complex applications and coordination.
Provides low interest financing to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses to encourage agricultural best management practices (BMPs) that prevent or reduce runoff from feedlots and farm fields and other pollution problems. Provides loans for projects that reduce existing water quality problems caused by agricultural activities or failing septic systems. Eligible activities include: