Conservation Starts at Home

ACD makes it easy to spread the word about conservation by developing a series of "Conservation Starts at Home" tabletop displays and brochures. Whether you're hosting a table at an event or distributing information in another way, like at a public library, church or school, ACD's educational materials make it fast and simple for members of the community to have an impact.

Each year community members and agency partners use these materials at local events and distribute hundreds of brochures to the public across a wide variety of topics.

• Backyard Habitat* - Attracting Wildlife to Your Property
• Ecosystem Health - Improving Landscapes by Increasing Diversity
• Groundwater* - Protecting Drinking Water for Generations to Come
• Invasive Species - Combating a Threat to Native Ecosystems
• Lakeshore Restorations* - Bringing Water Quality & Wildlife to Your Shore
• Native Plants* - Restoring Habitat in Anoka County
• Natural Resource Threats - Threats to Our Natural Resources
• Open Space Protection - Establishing an Enduring Legacy
• Pollinators* - Enabling Our Farms, Gardens and Natural Spaces to Thrive.
• Rain Gardens* - Treating Runoff at the Source
• Riverbank Stabilization* - Understanding Flow & Managing Erosion
• Soil Health - Unlock the Secrets in the Soil
• Stormwater Management* - Improving Water Quality and Reducing Runoff
• Water-smart* - Conserving Water at Home
• Wetlands* - Benefiting Wildlife and People

(*Display has companion brochure) 

These resources are available to the public free of charge. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 763-434- 2030 x 100 and provide the displays you'd like to check out and when you will need them. Up to three displays typically fit nicely on a table. Many of the displays have companion brochures. Upon request, we are happy to provide up to twenty brochures for each topic free of charge. 

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ACD Welcomes Aviva Meyerhoff!

Aviva joined the District in April of 2024 as the Outreach Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Geography from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Aviva supports communication and outreach efforts to promote District programs and activities while fostering partnerships, collaboration, and engagement across the District. Aviva can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 763-434-2030 x120. 

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Empowering Individuals Towards Sustainable Behavior

It can sometimes feel that the individual actions you make in your daily life cannot combat the massive environmental crisis facing our planet. The scale of action that needs to occur to curb climate change can feel overwhelming and give the impression that individual choices don't make a difference, so what's the point. This type of thinking is incorrect and unproductive. Although decisions we make as individuals may seem like a slow route to a more sustainable planet, these actions are what allow for larger scale social progress.

The MPCA developed an exceptional report: The Psychology of Sustainable Behavior, tips for empowering people to take environmentally positive action. This report focuses on the ideas behind why it is difficult for us as humans to change our behavior even when we know the negative environmental impacts. The MPCA provides insight into how to motivate and empower sustainable actions with the goal of creating social conditions where sustainable choices are the more appealing and natural choice. There are a few arguments to why individual sustainability matters and why it is a crucial component to overall social change.

  • "Small changes do add up." - When small changes are made by many individuals, or when one individual makes many small changes, it begins to add up to make a significant difference.
  • "Personal changes are the gateways to public change." - All the work put towards influencing individual change helps pave the way and provides the building blocks for future policy changes.
  • "Understanding individual motivations help create a new frame." - Gaining insight into how individuals think about environmental problems and sustainability provides the framework to develop new effective ways to talk about environmental issues and can engage a broader segment of the population.
  • "Individual change makes sustainable behavior normal." - The more that people see other people living a certain way and talking about things a certain way, the more they come to accept it as a normal way to be and live.

Check out the full MPCA report on influencing sustainable behavior below. 

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“Our Riverbank Connection” Animated Video

Recent extreme flooding has highlighted the dynamic and powerful nature of flowing water. If you live on a river or even a smaller stream, you've likely witnessed these characteristics and their impacts firsthand. With flood waters receding, now is a great time to assess the condition of your riverbank and consider stewardship and stabilization approaches that will help protect your property and the water you live on. Fortunately, we've created a brand new resource to help guide you through this process – the "Our Riverbank Connection" animated video!

Living by a creek, stream, or river provides many benefits and a unique opportunity to support water quality and wildlife. It also comes with some challenges such as erosion, which can eat away at your land over time. In this video, you will learn how to create a river-friendly lawn and riverbank that also protects your property by reducing or repairing losses from erosion. Video topics include:

  • Recommended lawn care practices
  • Signs of erosion and factors that may make your bank more susceptible to it
  • Creating a well-vegetated bank
  • Bank stabilization approaches to address active erosion
  • Project planning and construction – what to expect

Watch "Our Riverbank Connection" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et9wLuIrRuA

Want to learn more about streams and rivers and how you can help them, even if you don't live on their banks? Watch Part 1 of the "Our River" Installment – "Our River Connection" – here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdQEcmLyQJI 

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Garlic Mustard Pull at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard Pull at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
May 16th, from 9:00 am - 11:00 am


Join ACD and Cedar Creek staff to remove an invasive Garlic Mustard patch from the interior of Cedar Creek property. Bring bug spray, water bottle, long pants and hiking boots as we walk to the site. Utilize this on-hands training to learn more about how to identify and remove garlic mustard.

Work tools and other supplies will be provided.

For more information visit the event page or contact
Carrie Taylor at 763-434-2030 ext. 190 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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SHORELINE STABILIZATION PRESENTATION

Anoka Conservation District staff were invited to provide a presentation at the annual Stearns County Shoreland Workshop. The workshop is required for contractors conducting shoreland work in Stearns County to ensure an understanding of permit requirements and best practices. Stormwater and Shoreland Specialist, Mitch Haustein, provided a 45-minute presentation to approximately 120 attendees. Topics included site prioritization, funding, partnering with landowners, design, permitting, bidding, construction, project closeout, and establishment and maintenance. Lessons learned were also shared throughout the presentation. The presentation was very well received by attendees.

ACD Contact: Mitch Haustein,  763.434.2030 x150, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Well Sealing Funding Extended Through 2023!

Unused wells can serve as direct conduits for surface contaminants to reach our aquifers. The Anoka Conservation District was awarded a grant in 2020 through the Clean Water Fund to help eligible landowners seal unused wells located within Anoka County, targeting vulnerable groundwater areas such as Drinking Water Supply Management Areas (DWSMAs). This program has been extended to run through 2023 in order to continue to help local residents with the cost of sealing an unused well on their property! 

A well is defined as "not in use," when the well is not functional, cannot readily pump water, or has not been operated on a daily, regular or seasonal basis. A "not in use" well has not been sealed by a licensed well contractor. A well that is "not in use" (i.e., "abandoned") must be repaired and put back into use, permanently sealed by a licensed well contractor, or the owner must obtain a maintenance permit for the well. In many cases, placing an old well back into use is not practical.

If your house was built before public water was available, the property may have one or more wells. Wells can be located either inside or outside a residence.
Indoors look for:

  • Glass block or concrete patch in an exterior step.
  • Wells are often housed in a small room in the basement, many times under exterior concrete steps.
  • Pipe sticking up out of the floor in your basement, or a concrete patch in the floor where the well was located.

Outdoors look for:

  • Low spot or sunken area in the ground.
  • Metal, wood, or concrete cover or manhole.
  • Areas that stay wet can be caused by an unsealed flowing well.
  • Windmill, an old shed or well house, or an old pump.
  • Dug wells typically appear as a ring anywhere from 1 foot or several feet in diameter, made of concrete, tile, bricks, or rocks.
  • Pipes 1 to 8 inches wide above, at, or below the surface may indicate a well.


Visit the ACD website today to get more information or to download an application to apply. If you are unsure if you have a well on your property or questioning if you would qualify for funding simply contact our office.

ACD Contact: Kris Larson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 763-434-2030 *110

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Linwood Lakers Try Out Native Shoreline Plants

Property owners at the Linwood Lake Association annual picnic took home native plants to try in their shoreline landscaping. The plants of 12 species were chosen for their beauty, as well as for providing shoreline stability & habitat.

"Try it, and you'll like it. The first one's free." A free trial can be just what's needed to break through to new customers. At the 2021 & 2022 Linwood Lake Improvement Association annual picnics, the Anoka Conservation District distributed nearly 200 native shoreline plants to be planted all around the lake at 25+ different properties.

Native plants can mean "weeds" to some folks. Or just out of the comfort zone. But the right plant in the right place is beautiful and effective. On shorelines there are a variety of native plants that are the perfect choice– beautiful, strong, and well-adapted to the wet. Good habitat too. They're key to a stable shore and healthy lake.

Thanks to Minnesota Native Landscapes, Inc. who provided the giveaway plants this year. ACD offers technical help and grants for those wanting to do a larger shore stabilization or buffer project.

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Isanti 5th Grade Conservation Day

On a cool and cloudy May morning, ACD participated in Isanti Conservation Day, an annual event designed to teach students about natural resource stewardship. Approximately 475 fifth graders were given a chance to get outside for a morning to learn about the natural world around them, and how to protect it, by rotating through stations scattered throughout Becklin Homestead Park. ACD collected a myriad of live aquatic invertebrates from local streams to give the students a hands-on way to learn about the unseen creatures that live in their favorite water bodies.

Each group examined trays containing wriggling nymphs of mayflies, damselflies, and dragonflies, case-building caddis fly larvae, freshwater shrimp, snails, and more. They excitedly gathered around their tables to observe the activity in their trays and tallied how many kinds of invertebrates they were able to identify from a provided list. This led to discussions on what the diversity and types of creatures found in the water could tell them about river health. Looking at their lists, students learned that they could make inferences about water quality based on the pollution tolerance of the invertebrates that they found. Each session was wrapped up by sharing ideas on actions and practices that they could take to protect the health of their local rivers. The event was engaging for the fifth graders and provided them with new perspectives on how people can learn about water quality.  

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Mississippi River Erosion Inventory Highlights Bank Stabilization Needs, Gives Project Opportunities

The Mississippi River fulfills the water resource needs of millions of people and provides hydrological and habitat benefits of national significance. It is a powerful waterbody that has shaped the U.S. landscape for millions of years. Erosion is a naturally occurring process in flowing water systems such as the Mississippi River, but it can become exacerbated with increases in extreme weather events and in developed landscapes where stormwater drainage networks contribute to increased surface water volumes. Bank erosion can threaten adjacent urban and agricultural infrastructure and contributes to sediment and nutrient loading that impacts local water quality. Thus, riverbank stabilization practices that minimize erosion serve as mechanisms to combat these environmental challenges.

Using 360° photos captured from a watercraft on the Mississippi River, ACD identified the location and severity of eroded banks spanning from Coon Rapids to Fridley. Altogether, nearly 50 separate stretches of moderately to severely eroded banks were identified, collectively contributing to an estimated 8,517 tons of sediment inputs to the river each year. These stretches were present along both private and public properties ranging from dense residential areas to expansive county parks. A recommended stabilization approach and corresponding project cost estimate was applied to each eroded bank, thus providing cost: benefit scenarios for each potential stabilization project and facilitating the strategic pursuit of those which maximize environmental benefits.

These findings are detailed in a comprehensive report located here, which also includes further details on ACD's erosion inventory methodology, profile pages for each potential stabilization project, and information on a variety of riverbank stewardship and stabilization approaches. To view examples of completed stabilization projects identified through previous erosion inventories, view our interactive projects map here. For more information please contact Breanna Keith, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.763-434-2030 x160

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New Outreach Collaborative Builds Lasting Partnerships in Anoka County

Investment in water education is vital for the continued health of the environment and people. By building strong new partnerships, the Water Resource Outreach Collaborative (WROC) in Anoka County is doing just that.

The purpose of this shared outreach and engagement partnership is to inform community residents, businesses, staff, and decision-makers about issues affecting local waterbodies and groundwater resources. Through enhancement of existing outreach programming and collaborative development of new programming, WROC engages people in activities and individual behavior changes that will positively impact the health of our surface and groundwater.

Through collaboration, WROC partners are able to maximize the effectiveness of their water outreach. Partners benefit from regular resource sharing, consistent messaging, and reduced duplication of effort. Outreach efficiency is maximized because partners are able to pool their resources to develop professional materials with minimal financial stress on any one organization. Many water health outreach topics are common between partners, so having a centralized group to facilitate delivery of those topics has proven vital. Finally, through increased communication between partners, there is greater cross-coordination and promotion of events, thus extending the reach of individual partner programs.

Since January 2019, Anoka County's Water Resource Outreach Collaborative has created new resources including a Conservation Resource Library and a brochure, display, and animated video on groundwater. In addition, the Collaborative has had a presence at 40 community outreach events throughout the county and facilitated or collaborated with partners to host 22 workshops, presentations, and trainings. Notable activities from the past year include presenting to over 630 5th graders in 7 schools in the county, hosting the best-attended private well and septic system training in with 58 attendees compared to 8-12 attendees in previous years, and hosting two smart salting trainings for 85 road maintenance staff from several previously untrained municipalities including Oak Grove, Columbus, Nowthen, Linwood Township, St. Francis, and Ramsey.

In the future, the Anoka County Water Resource Outreach Collaborative will continue partnering to reach new and diverse audiences with messages of water health and conservation. The WROC partnership is an investment in the future of water education in our area. Prioritizing public education is critical to empowering everyone to act as water stewards and create a healthier world for future generations.

The Water Resource Outreach Collaborative (WROC) is a fledgling partnership of cities and watershed management organizations in Anoka County dedicated to working together for efficient and effective public education about water health in our area. It is currently funded with a Watershed Based Funding grant through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources and is facilitated by the Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, Emily Johnson, who works out of the Anoka Conservation District office. Contact Emily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Learn more here: Water Resource Outreach Collaborative

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