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ACD’s Mission is to holistically conserve and enhance Anoka County’s natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations through partnerships and innovation.

Strong partnerships. Innovative solutions. Healthy environments.

ACD's 2021-2030 Comprehensive Plan Update

Anoka County has exceptional natural resources to conserve and enhance for the enjoyment and benefit of current and future generations.

  • 30% of our land area is wetland, teeming with wildlife
  • Home to more ranked pristine ecosystems than any other metro county
  • Supports 30 recreational and 98 natural environment lakes
  • Offers 2 recreational rivers and hundreds of miles of creeks and streams
  • Home to 95 federal and state listed rare species (16% of all MN listed species)
  • Multiple aquifers of clean drinking water
  • Unparalleled access to public outdoor recreation spaces for a metro county (WMA, SNAs, county and city parks)

Our 2021-2030 plan lays out strategies to work toward ACD’s vision and mission by prioritizing soil, surface water, groundwater, and ecological resources. By developing a method to rank all potential activities against each in terms of return on investment (ROI), ACD is able to optimize the utilization of finite technical, financial, and human resources to maximize positive outcomes over the coming decade.

The plan was developed and refined in collaboration with many entities through convened technical advisory committees. Through this process, sixteen natural resource benefits and related goals were identified and ranked. Twenty-seven threats to resource benefits were identified as well. Following that, ACD staff and supervisors took the reins to populate the ROI Matrix and complete the plan narrative.

The action wheel above highlights the keystone initiatives ACD plans to pursue for our soil, surface water, groundwater, ecological, and community resources for 2021 through 2030. These will inform actions in ACD annual plans over the coming decade.

At year-end, ACD will reflect on our performance in each of the action categories over the past year and award a ‘grade’ to each. The resultant ‘report card’ will provide a transparent method of measuring progress toward goals and benefits to Anoka County residents.

Learn more about ACD's 2021-2030 Comprehensive Planning process and look out for updates coming soon.

ACD Tree Sale Pre-Order Open Now

The Anoka Conservation District is currently taking Tree Sale pre-orders for April 24th pick up at the Anoka County Fair Grounds. The District offers a wide variety of native stock, including black cherry trees, mixed oak trees, maple trees, and pine trees.

The trees and shrubs are sold in bare root seedlings or transplants and range from 8" to 24" in height. They may be purchased in bundles of ten for $18.50, or twenty-five for $33 not including tax. Native prairie seed and tree aides are also available. You do not need to be an Anoka County resident to order.

Thank You Outgoing Supervisor Laitinen and Welcome Supervisor Werdien!

We send our special thanks to outgoing ACD Supervisor Steve Laitinen of District 1 for his years of service to Anoka County. His passion for natural resources management has been an asset and contributed to numerous projects. We wish Steve all the best in his next community service endeavors! Read more about Supervisor Laitinen's service and join us in welcoming incoming Supervisor Colleen Werdien to our Board!

2020 Outstanding Conservationist

The Anoka Conservation District selected the City of Blaine as the 2020 Anoka County Outstanding Conservationist. The City of Blaine is a great partner and has over 800 acres of dedicated open space throughout the city creating greenway corridors, opportunities to protect and restore biological diversity, and outdoor education and recreational opportunities. Congratulations!

Join the Growing Community of Storm Drain Adopters in Anoka County!

Since the start of the Adopt a Drain program, over 7,500 people have adopted drains throughout Minnesota and collectively prevented 250,000 pounds of pollution from getting into our waters. This is the largest community engagement program of its type in the entire United States!

Getting involved is simple and only takes a few minutes. Learn more here or at

Adopt a Drain

Project Updates

The riverbank stabilization project on the Mississippi River in Ramsey has been completed. Stabilization of this severely eroding riverbank reduces annual sediment loading to the river by an estimated 224,000 lbs and total phosphorus loading by an estimated 112 lbs. Read more here and here.
ACD installed approximately 650 linear feet of cedar tree revetment at Rum River Central Regional Park in October. The project will protect a walking trail that was at risk of washing out and will keep 30 tons of sediment out of the river every year! 

Learn more about the project and the partnerships that made it possible here: Cedar Tree Revetment
Approximately 1,500 linear feet of eroding riverbank within Mississippi River Community Park in Anoka will be stabilized in 2021. This project will make over ¼ mile of unsafe riverbank more accessible, stable, and fishable for users.
One rain garden and two stormwater pond renovations were completed in November to treat stormwater before it reaches Martin and Coon Lakes. The projects will collectively treat 39 acres of residential development that previously were draining to the lakes with little or no treatment. They will keep 2,100 pounds of sediment and 5 pounds of phosphorus from reaching the lakes each year. Full story here.

Anoka County is 100% Compliant with the MN Buffer Law

The Anoka Conservation District is proud to announce that Anoka County is 100% compliant with the state's buffer law! The law was passed back in 2015 with the goal of improving water quality throughout the state by reducing pollutants entering public ditches and public waters. This achievement doesn't mean that the hard work is over, but it does represent what is possible for the state of Minnesota when strong environmental policy is handled on the local level. Thank you partners!
Look Out for Oriental Bittersweet

Now that there are no leaves on the trees, it is a good time to look for Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). This invasive species is on the ERADICATE list! 

It is a vine that girdles and smothers trees and shrubs. Look for the bright red fruit with yellow capsules.

Be sure to check your ID with the native American bittersweet, which has orange fruit capsules instead of yellow. American bittersweet fruits are found only at the end of the vine while Oriental bittersweet has fruit at the leaf axils.
Well Sealing Cost-Share Grants Available
If you have an old well that you no longer use, you may be eligible for cost-share funding to seal it! Unused wells could be direct conduits for pollution to reach our drinking water supply, so it is important to have unused wells sealed by a professional. Learn more about the program and see if you qualify here: Well Sealing

Clean Water Funds for Eroding Rum Riverbanks

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is recommending $440,000 in funding to ACD from the Clean Water Fund competitive grant fund for stabilizing eroding Rum Riverbanks. With additional matching funds from Anoka County, the Upper and Lower Rum River WMOs, ACD and landowners, over $1.5M-worth of streambank projects will be installed over the next three years to help the Rum River.

Campus Groundwater Conservation Planning Initiative Complete

The Metropolitan Conservation Districts (MCD), through funding provided by a Clean Water Fund Accelerated Implementation Grant, created the Campus Groundwater Conservation Planning (CGCP) protocol with the ultimate goal of water conservation project implementation. ACD served as the host district and led protocol development, provided staff training, conducted final report reviews for all 11 Metro counties, and prepared a final report summarizing all completed analyses.

Learn about the Campus Groundwater Conservation Planning Initiative here.

Educational Videos
Minnesotans love their lakes, but we've got a growing problem with salt pollution. This short, fun video from our partners in Washington County explains the problem and offers suggestions on what we can do to help protect Minnesota's water.
We are excited to announce that the "Our Groundwater Connection" video is now available with subtitles in six languages! Watch it on YouTube: Our Groundwater Connection

Top Ten Winter Bird Feeding Tips

Do you have a bird feeder? Check out these winter bird feeding tips:

10. Make sure seed is accessible and dry
9. Make a windbreak
8. Keep extra feeders for use in bad weather
7. Scatter seed in sheltered places
6. Put out high-energy foods
5. Use a birdbath heater wisely

4. Offer mealworms in a heavy dish or small crock
3. Furnish your bird houses
2. Plug the air vent holes in your bird houses with removable weather stripping
1. Be ready for big changes in weather

Upcoming Events
January 19th, 2020
January Board of Supervisors Meeting
Email for meeting agenda and teleconference meeting link.

February 16th, 2020
February Board of Supervisors Meeting
Email for meeting agenda and teleconference meeting link.

March 15th, 2020
March Board of Supervisors Meeting
Email for meeting agenda and teleconference meeting link.
Ask a Conservationist

Have a question you'd like answered by Anoka SWCD staff? Leave your question in this form and we'll try to answer it in our next newsletter.
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Copyright © 2020 Anoka Conservation District, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1318 McKay Dr. NE, Suite 300
Ham Lake, MN 55304

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Anoka Conservation District · 1318 McKay Dr NE Unit 300 · Ham Lake, MN 55304-6155 · USA

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