Miner Conservation District Leads Community Tree Planting Project with Support from a Friends of NACD District Grant

In 2022, the Miner Conservation District in South Dakota was awarded a Friends of NACD District Grant. Together with a grant from a local utility, Central Electric Cooperative, the combined funding supported the purchase of trees for a community tree planting project.

“We anticipate that Emerald Ash Borer will become a serious issue in Miner County,” says Miner Conservation District manager, Tami Moore, “as over seventy percent of our trees are Green Ash.” Moore anticipates this will lead to more tree removal over the next 20 years, foresight that motivated this community tree planting project.

“Conservation, especially of trees,” says Moore, “is very important to Miner County residents.” The county is home to small towns, with the largest just 800 residents, and very active community members. To implement the project, the Miner Conservation District relied on community volunteers. The issue, explains Moore, “is never finding volunteers to help out with the projects, but getting funding and finding someone to take charge of projects.” For this project, Moore shares, “the Miner Conservation District was not in a position to fund the project, but we are great project leaders!”

In Miner County, the communities of Epiphany, Howard, and Canova collectively planted about one hundred trees, with the involvement of about 30 volunteers. In Epiphany, volunteer community members planted trees around town. In Howard, 5th and 6th grade students, along with volunteer community members, planted trees at the Howard Golf Course, as well as in parks, a campground, and around a swimming pool and baseball fields for added shade and protection. In Canova, volunteer community members planted trees around their baseball fields and American Legion building.

In addition to engaging community volunteers, the Miner County Conservation District also worked with partners to implement the project, including the Cities of Epiphany, Howard, and Canova, Miner County 4-H, the Epiphany Gun Club, Epiphany Catholic Church, Howard Baseball, Howard Community Improvement, Canova Community Club, Canova Baseball, and the Artesian City Cemetery.

With no state funding available, the Friends of NACD District Grant and funding from the local electric utility were crucial for the success of the community tree planting project. “This was an awesome project for Miner County, many children of the community have been seen watering and caring for the trees” shares Moore. “Thank you, Friends of NACD!”

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