Hazelden Foundation honored for conservation efforts

Doug Jurek (left) and Bill Knutson accept their award and certificate from the MASWCD Annual Convention for being named one of eight Outstanding Conservationist award finalists. Photo supplied

Doug Jurek (left) and Bill Knutson accept their award and certificate from the MASWCD Annual Convention for being named one of eight Outstanding Conservationist award finalists. Photo supplied

The Chisago Soil & Water Conservation District would like to recognize Hazelden Foundation. It was chosen as one of eight finalists for the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual Outstanding Conservationist award. Although Hazelden wasn’t chosen as the overall state winner, it is an outstanding example of a local water quality steward.

In the past five years, Hazelden staff, led by Doug Jurek, facilities maintenance technician, and Bill Knutson, manager of facilities operations, have implemented a plan to return the over 500 acres adjacent to campus to its natural state.The steeply sloped and highly erodible farmland has been planted to a permanent hay crop. Over 4,000 trees and shrubs have been planted, along with native prairie grasses and other habitat plantings, to improve habitat quality for pheasants and wildlife.

“We’re proud of the Hazelden Foundation for their initiative in improving their land for water quality and wildlife,” District Supervisor Roland Cleveland said. “With their campus so close to South Center Lake, their actions have a direct impact on the water quality of our community.”

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