The ACD works with many partners to complete several types of habitat improvement projects throughout Anoka County. Projects include prairie restorations, windbreaks, backyard wildlife plantings, forest and woodland improvements. Habitat improvement can be accomplished on a variety of sites, big and small. ACD often works with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to complete habitat improvement projects.
Cost share assistance may be available for the design and/or installation of some of these practices. Currently available cost share funds are identified in the Financial Assistance section of the website. Wildlife habitat improvement : involves many types of practices designed to attract wildlife by providing different forms of food, cover, and water.
- Wildlife habitat improvement projects are typically predominantly vegetative along with the creation of escape cover such as brush piles and rock piles.
- Ecosystem restoration - involves the reestablishment of vegetation complexes that are believed to have existed in an area prior to settlement of the area. Diverse ecosystems of native vegetation are believed by biologist to support a wider variety of wildlife and to be more resilient in the face of natural and man made disturbances.
- Invasive species control - involves the eradication or containment of plant species known to crowd out other plants, creating a colony of only one plant type that provides little benefit to wildlife. Control of invasive species is important to maintain wildlife and biological diversity and to reduce agricultural production losses. Effective control techniques will be provided for Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), Glossy Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula), Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula), Thistle species (Cirsium spp.), Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea), Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), and Eurasian Water Milfoil (Myriophylum spicatum).
- Backyard conservation - involves the installation of practices in small urban and suburban lots that can improve water quality, reduce flooding, enhance soils, attract wildlife, and maximize natural aesthetics.
- Wetland restoration - involves the restoration of wetland ecosystems by managing the soil, hydrology and vegetation of a site to recreate wetland conditions believed to have existing on site prior to the degradation of the wetland due to either natural or anthropogenic influences.