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Soil & Water Conservation District


The mission of Cook County Soil & Water (SWCD) is to improve water quality in Cook County by fostering responsible land use and by controlling soil erosion and non-point source pollution. The Board will encourage local conservation efforts by providing educational, technical, and financial assistance for local land users."(adopted June 2000)

Filing for SWCD Supervisor : May 17 - 31

Minnesota citizens interested in influencing natural resources issues at the local level are encouraged to run for supervisor of their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

SWCD supervisor positions are filled through general elections which will take place on November 8, 2016. The Cook County districts that are up for election are 1, 3 and 5. Those interested in running for Supervisor should file at the County Auditor’s office from May 17 through May 31, 2016.

Hands on Learning...

Take a Kid Fishing Family Event : Come fish with a friend, learn new skills, take home a goodie bag!

June 11 : 9am-12pm : Kimball Lake, 12 miles up the Gunflint Trail

Aquatic Macro-Invertebrates and Rivers Family Event : Enjoy some time in a river learning about insects that live there!

August 13 : time TBA : Cook County Community Center / Kadunce River

(Check back for more information on these upcoming events!)

NEWS RELEASE: for immediate release


Jerry Hiniker, Cook SWCD Supervisor – District 5, and two staff, Ilena Berg and Theresa Oberg, from Cook Soil and Water Conservation District, attended a legislative briefing and meetings at the State Capitol March 22 in St. Paul.

They joined a group of other officials from the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) who met in St. Paul to gather support for conservation districts’ programs and issues.

BWSR Targeted Watershed Demonstration

legacy logo cmykBWSR logo

BWSR announces $829,000 for Cook County water quality improvements

MN Clean Water Funds - Rain Garden

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Seven hundred fifty perennials, 35 shrubs and six trees native to this region are featured in a rain garden currently under construction north of the Cook County Community Center’s hockey rink in Grand Marais.

The center’s Rain Garden Committee is working with the county’s Soil and Water Conservation District staff and the Minnesota Conservation Corps to construct and plant the 50-foot-by-40-foot rain garden.

Flute Reed River Restoration Projects

FR2012The Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is currently working on the MPCA Flute Reed River Restoration Initiatives grant. The grant involves culvert replacements, bank stabilizations, and stream restoration projects.


Click here to read an article by HealthyLakes.org and watch a project video.

Water Monitoring - thank you volunteers!

15.0 Kemo Lake

During the past summer, Cook County was filled with a flurry of volunteers monitoring water. They were dedicated volunteers, heading out in the rain, rescuing other boaters, and even enjoyed some fishing along the way. The monitors began in May and volunteered through September...

Spruce up the Community Rain Gardens


As part of the 8th Grade Community Service Day five students volunteered to help the Cook County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) complete maintenance on two rain gardens in Grand Marais (the rain gardens at the Courthouse and library).

Lake reports help to provide more information for Lake Associations

12.0a LakeReport

Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was awarded a grant from the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to collaborate with Lake Associations to provide them with a comprehensive report of lake water quality. Three lake associations participated in the study: Gunflint Lake, Pike Lake, and Poplar Lake. Each Lake Association provided a match for the reports as part of the requirement of the grant.

Surface Water Monitoring provides a window into Cook County Lakes

9.0 SWAG

Volunteers can be found throughout Cook County doing a variety of important tasks. Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been working with some of these volunteers over several years monitoring lakes throughout Cook County. Their efforts have aided in developing water quality data on over 25 developed lakes in Cook County.

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Soil & Water

District Manager
Kerrie Berg
Water Plan Coordinator
Ilena Berg
Program Assistant
Theresa Oberg

Cook County Courthouse
411 W. 2nd Street
Grand Marais, MN  55604

8AM-4PM  M-F