Projects With The CRWD


The Cedar River Watershed District took the lead on constructing a Rain Garden Demonstration Site at the JC Hormel Nature Center. This Rain Garden site will collect, store and filter the runoff from the parking lot at the Nature Center. Presently the runoff flows into a ravine which then outlets into Dobbins Creek.

What is a Rain Garden? A Rain Garden is a colorful, perennial planting designed to capture and filters rain water that otherwise runoff. It is a garden in a shallow depression. A rain garden holds and filters the runoff for a few hours or a day at the most.

Dan Regner, President of the Watershed District, planned and engineered this project and organized several partners that volunteered their time and equipment. -Austin Park & Rec - Site Prep work

 -Super Fresh – Plants & Plant Selection

 -Lee Hanson Excavating - Backhoe and Operator

 -Bustad Dozing and Excavating - Skid steer and Operator

 -Mower County - Tile, Topsoil and Sand

 -City of Austin – Mulch, Leaf Compost, Rock and Rip Rap

 -Friends of the Nature Center – Funding for Native Plants

 -Board of Managers, Mower SWCD and NRCS, Nature Center Staff- Planting & Mulching Rain Garden

Construction of the rain garden took place in May & June of 2008.


Summary: Provide Cost-Share incentive for projects that provide addition storage than what would be designed for a typical wetland restoration project. Funds may also be used to cost-share a wetland restoration which is not enrolled in a program.

Eligibility: Projects which restore a drained or partially drained wetland and maximize storm water treatment and storage.

Funding: 100% of costs associated with constructing project. Construction plans and cost-estimate need to be provided prior to approval.

Budget: $5,000


The Cedar River Watershed District and the Mower Soil and Water Conservation District have received an $111,000 grant for surface water monitoring from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The grant will cover chemical analysis of 20 samples at 11 sites in the watershed for 2 years. The streams will also be sampled on site for dissolved oxygen, flow, pH, turbidity, and temperature. The collected data will be used for MPCA to assess the Cedar River and its tributaries. Collected data will also be available to the public at at the end of each monitoring season.

As a part of the grant we are looking for volunteers to sign up as citizen stream monitors with MPCA. Citizens would monitor a site near their homes for rainfall, stream stage, turbidity, and general conditions throughout the summer. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the Matt Taylor at the Mower SWCD at 507-434-2603. Information about the MPCA Citizen Stream Monitoring Program is available on the web at