Conservation plantings, including pheasant habitat, pollinator habitat, prairie and grassland restorations, and buffer plantings have become more common in Chisago County. With upcoming cost share and technical assistance funding potentially available in the near future, as well as with the new buffer law (requiring buffers on public waters including ditches), the Chisago Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) expects to see an increase in conservation plantings in the near future.

Conservation plantings typically require site preparation to remove the existing vegetation, either manually or with herbicides. On large areas, this is typically done by boom spraying and disking.  Once the site has been prepared, planting can commence.  Seeds are usually drilled using a no-till drill or broadcast.  The first year after planting, and potentially periodically thereafter, the site requires mowing (with removal of the cut vegetation) for maintenance.

Many of the people who are installing conservation plantings do not own the proper equipment or have the knowledge to operate the equipment to accomplish site preparation, seeding, and maintenance mowing. Therefore, the Chisago SWCD is looking for people around the county who are interested in performing custom conservation tasks for hire.  Jobs may range from small to large and could include spraying, disking, smoothing, mowing, and seeding.

The Chisago SWCD would like to put together a list of contractors willing to do custom conservation jobs, which would be available for people who are installing conservation plantings, but need to hire the work out. Each contractor can set his or her own rate and would use his or her own equipment.  *Limited rental equipment may be available through local dealers or agencies.

If you are interested in being on the list, please contact Craig Mell at the Chisago SWCD at 651-674-2333 or email him at