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2022 Outstanding Conservationist

In December we had the chance to recognize someone for their outstanding efforts towards conservation in Sibley County. This year the Sibley Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) would like to honor the Friends of High Island. The Friends of High Island are a non-profit conservation group working under the umbrella of the Friends of the Minnesota Valley. This long standing conservation group formed back in 2000, focusing their efforts on improvements within the High Island Lake watershed. Over the years they have pushed for and made great strides towards SSTS and feedlot compliance within the watershed. The group have cost shared on rock tile inlets in addition to helping construct and maintain rain gardens within the City of New Auburn. The Friends of High Island were instrumental in the designating High Island Lake as a wildlife lake, pushing for periodic drawdowns. This past year, the Friends of High Island contributed $40,000 cash match towards a Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grant with the goal of replacing the old dam at the outlet of the lake located near High Island Creek. The now newly constructed dam provides future drawdown capabilities, stabilized the banks from erosion, and features an invasive fish barrier. Through all of the energy and determination it takes when volunteering and fundraising, the Friends of High Island have proven over and over again, to have a true passion for the lake. Sibley SWCD would like to thank them for being such great leaders of conservation for Sibley County!

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