Thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive land in southern and western Minnesota stand to gain protection from a rural conservation project that is about to receive a major new cash infusion.
This deal, announced Tuesday afternoon by Gov. Mark Dayton, will provide $350 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $150 million in state funds to the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which pays farmers to idle vulnerable land.
The program targets around 60,000 acres of sensitive farmland, including stretches along the Minnesota River, one of the country’s most polluted rivers and a major contributor to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
Unlike other conservation programs, this program would take land out of production permanently.
The program focuses on three conservation practices: planting buffer strips of native plants between farmland and bodies of water; restoring wetlands; and planting land above municipal drinking wells.
What an exciting opportunity for MN to protect sensitive land and our precious waters!
"More than half of electricity generation capacity added to the U.S. grid in 2016 came from renewable resources". Good news for the U.S. - let's hope this trend continues both nationwide and in Minnesota! ... See MoreSee Less
Similar to the story we shared yesterday, St. John's/St. Ben's College is partnering with Geronimo Energy, BHE Renewables and Xcel Energy on their recent solar garden, the Orion Community Solar Garden.
"The solar farm fits with the Benedictine values of caring for the Earth and also fits with the university's aim to reduce its carbon footprint".
Another example of a community making the decision to invest in renewable energy sources while offering educational value; with a solar garden that now covers 27 acres and has three different generations of solar power, these installations are drawing interest from solar experts and students alike!