Sue Steinwall

The Minnesota Land Trust is happy to announce that the Cold Spring Fen Habitat Restoration project along the Sauk River has been chosen for funding from the Coors Seltzer Change the Course partnership! On a property first protected by a conservation easement by the Land Trust in 2019, this project is an important partnership effort to protect the water quality of the Sauk River and the Mississippi River downstream.

diversion outlet

Completed diversion outlet – photo by Leah Hall, The Nature Conservancy

The Minnesota Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, the Sauk River Watershed District, Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District, Pheasants Forever, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources worked together with the landowners this summer to achieve a rare win-win for water quality and wildlife habitat. These partners worked together to restore the ecological integrity the Cold Spring Fen, just outside of Cold Spring, Minnesota by ensuring it has adequate water flow to sustain this rare Fen. At the same time, this Fen will filter sediment and pollutants from agricultural run-off above it before it hits the Sauk River.

cold spring fen restoration

Restoration in progress – photo by John Maile

Funding from Coors Seltzer will enable us to undertake the second phase of the project in 2021, focused on peat floodplain restoration. The creation of natural swales, pathways, and depressions will help store water and reduce pollution. These wetland restoration activities help clean the water as it makes its way back to the Sauk River.

The Minnesota Land Trust and our partners have protected over 968 acres and 11.8 miles of shoreline, and restored 137 acres since 2019 in the Sauk River watershed, working with local families to protect the waterways their communities rely on. Funding for the first phase of protection and restoration work was provided by the Minnesota DNR Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program, the Outdoor Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature and recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC), The Nature Conservancy, and a generous donation from the landowner.

Coors Seltzer was crafted with a mission to help save America’s rivers. For every 12-pack sold, Coors Seltzer will work with Change the Course to restore 500 gallons of clean water, and to protect and restore the waterways that provide clean water to wildlife and millions of people in communities across the country.

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