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BWSR celebrates 58th Soil and Water Stewardship Week

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Park Rapids Enterprise
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BWSR celebrates 58th Soil and Water Stewardship Week
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

St. Paul, Minn.—It is no secret that natural resources are a big part of what makes living in Minnesota special. Throughout the state, Minnesotans have access to miles of rivers and streams, plentiful lakes and abundant soil resources.

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During the week of April 28 – May 3, 2013, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is honoring those resources and the local governments that manage them during the national 58th annual Soil and Water Stewardship Week.

"Clean water is important to everyone," John Jaschke, BWSR Executive Director said. "Soil and water conservation districts do an excellent job of managing the state's natural resources in partnership with other government units and landowners to ensure our waters are clean and our soils are healthy and productive."

Established in 1938, Minnesota's first soil and water conservation district (SWCD) – the Burns-Homer-Pleasant district in southeastern Minnesota (later renamed the Winona SWCD) – was created in response to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Districts were subsequently developed across the country to encourage landowners to alter their farming techniques in order to more wisely use the state's soil and water resources.

Today, ninety soil and water conservation districts across the state manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level. Districts work in both urban and rural settings, with landowners and with other units of government, to carry out a program for the conservation, use, and development of soil, water, and related resources.

"One crucial niche districts fill is that of providing soil and water conservation services to owners of private lands," LeAnn Buck, Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Executive Director, said. "Privately owned lands make up 78 percent of the land surface in Minnesota. Managing these private lands, whether agriculture, forest, lakes, or urban, is key to Minnesota's quality of life."

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) organizes the annual Soil and Water Stewardship week. Stewardship Week is one of the largest national annual programs to promote conservation. NACD represents the nation's 3,000 conservation districts, which were established to encourage resource conservation across the country.

For more information about Stewardship Week and conservation, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District.

Every day during the week of April 29-May 3, BWSR will be profiling a SWCD staff member on its social media sites. To learn more, follow @MNBWSR or like us at www.facebook.com/MNBWSR.

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