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Clean water funds awarded in Stearns County

WAITE PARK, Minn. -- The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources recently awarded Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District $1.3 million in grants to address water quality concerns.

With these funds, the district will improve water quality in lakes, rivers and streams.

"We are excited to be partnering with local farmers, landowners, and communities on these projects," said Dennis Fuchs, Stearns County SWCD Administrator.

These funds — from the Clean Water Fund portion of the Minnesota Legacy Amendment — were awarded through a competitive application process.

The funds will go to four projects:

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1. Central Stearns County Cover Crop Demonstration – $195,500. This grant will prevent detrimental runoff by increasing establishment of cover crops to hold soil and nutrients in place. The focus area between St. Martin and St. Joseph contains more than 38,000 acres of cropland.

2. Riverside Avenue/County Road 1 Stormwater Improvement Project –$294,950. The project will construct up to 10 stormwater drains and stabilize up to 400 feet of streambank.

3. St. Cloud Lime Filtration Project – $613,100. The City of St. Cloud will install drains to treat 935 acres of currently untreated urban stormwater. Filtration structures will capture lime and remove excess phosphorus and sediment before discharging it into the river.

4. Stearns County Highly Vulnerable Drinking Water Supply Management Areas (DWSMAs): Nitrogen Management Practices for Safe Drinking Water – $202,450. This project will implement nitrogen Best Management Practices such as cover crops, nutrient management and irrigation management in the drinking water supply areas, which will recharge municipal public water supply wells, throughout Stearns County.

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