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The 7 Mile Creek Watershed Partnership is a coalition of 25+ agriculture, conservation, community, business, and government groups led by Great River Greening and Nicollet SWCD.

Seven Mile Creek drains water from 24,000 acres of prime Nicollet County farmland through a popular county park and into the Minnesota River just upstream of Saint Peter, MN. Our Partnership is driven by the conviction that modern farming methods, a vibrant farm economy, and excellent water quality are all dependent on one another. We cannot have one without all three.


Working with landowners to improve water quality

Field Day
Our Partnership seeks to demonstrate that the best way to reverse Minnesota’s troubling water quality trends is to ensure that conservation activities focus more on the people who have the power to make change. We do this by taking a flexible and collaborative approach to traditional conservation assistance, ensuring that projects add to a landowner or farm’s bottom line, and seeking more sustainable long-term solutions for the future. We brought our community together to create a grassroots vision and a strategic plan for the watershed and we have enlisted leaders from the community to spur neighbors to action.

Resources for Landowners 
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What we’ve done and what’s to come

We have concentrated our efforts on customer service, and poured resources into one-on-one landowner outreach, and fostered community around our Creek. About 25% of the watershed’s farmers and other landowners are working with us so far. We’ve worked with those folks to complete 65 conservation best management practices; and we’ve planted more than 100  marginal acres to perennial vegetation. Several farmers are incorporating conservation drainage, strip & no till, and cover crops. Over the next five years we will eliminate the bacteria impairment in 7 Mile Creek, reduce sediment by 40%, and reduce nitrates by 25%.

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Join us

We welcome members of the community to volunteer for conservation events, as photographers, as stream monitors, and to help spread the word about our Partnership.

Get Involved 

Funding

Our Partnership has attracted nearly $2 million in investment from private foundations, public-private partnerships, and from the State of Minnesota as one of its targeted watershed demonstration projects. Thanks to the Bush Foundation, Minnesota Clean Water Fund, MN Board of Water Resources, the McKnight Foundation, and Fishers and Farmers Partnership.

Support our Work 
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Partners

Nicollet SWCDNicollet Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was organized by local landowners in 1961 to fill the crucial niche of providing land and water conservation services to owners of private lands. Managing private lands in a way that promotes a sound economy and sustains and enhances natural resources is key to Minnesota’s environmental health. Private landowners trust SWCDs to provide needed technology, funding and educational services because they are established in each community, governed by local leaders and focused on conservation of local soil and water resources. SWCDs work to reduce the non-point source of pollution to make Minnesota’s lakes and rivers fishable and swimmable.

Great River GreeningGreat River Greening is a conservation nonprofit begun in 1995, working throughout Minnesota, with a mission to inspire and lead local communities in restoring and conserving the land and water that enrich our lives. As Minnesota’s leader in community-based restoration, devoted solely to stewardship, we engage volunteers on a scale no other environmental organization can match. Our ecologists implement state-of-the-art restoration, lead partnerships with volunteers, landowners and communities, and also help the next generation discover opportunities in environmental sciences. Established in 1995, we have worked side-by-side with 38,000 volunteers to improve, restore and care for Minnesota’s natural heritage—17,000 acres and counting. In agricultural watersheds, Great River Greening partners with landowners and agencies to organize locally-led, community-focused initiatives aimed at finding effective, long-term solutions to the challenges facing Minnesota’s natural and agricultural heritage, most specifically preserving the health of our lakes, rivers, and streams. We aren’t the experts on farming, but we know them.

Gustavus Adolphus College Gustavus Adolphus Collegehas launched a five to 10-year project to explore water improvement when farmers and homeowners try new approaches on their land. The project is funded by a $75,000 grant from the McKnight Foundation that supports hiring student researchers, scientific research on clean rivers, and building research opportunities into regular classroom assignments during the academic year. Additional funding and support for the Minnesota River basin research came through the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, a Gustavus Presidential Faculty-Student Collaboration Grant, and the College’s Environmental Studies Program.

 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

NRCS

NRCS

Minnesota Farm Bureau

Minnesota Farm Bureau

CHS

CHS

Fishers and Farmers Partnership

Fishers and Farmers Partnership

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

I+S Group

I+S Group

US Army Corps of Engineers

US Army Corps of Engineers

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Minnesota DNR

Minnesota DNR

Nicollet County

Nicollet County

Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Minnesota Corn Growers Association

MAWRC

MAWRC

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

The Prairie Enthusiasts

The Prairie Enthusiasts

Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited

Mankato Area Mountain Bikers

Mankato Area Mountain Bikers

Greater Mankato Multisports Club

Minnesota Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

Minnesota Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

Carolyn Foundation

Carolyn Foundation

The McKnight Foundation

The McKnight Foundation

Bush Foundation

Bush Foundation