State Cost-Share Program


The purpose of this program is to provide grants to Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) so they can help local landowners or land occupiers offset the costs of installing conservation practices that protect and improve water quality by controlling soil erosion and reducing sedimentation.



Through the State Cost-Share Program, landowners or occupiers can request financial and technical assistance from their local SWCD to implement state-approved conservation practices. The program, which was originally approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 1977, provides up to 75 percent of the total eligible costs of a practice.

Grant funds are available annually to SWCDs at the beginning of the state's fiscal year with projects being selected based on high priority erosion and water quality problems.

Eligible projects:

BWSR has approved 10 conservation practices that are eligible for this program. Those practices include:

Critical Area Stabilization 
Grassed Waterway 
Wastewater and Feedlot Runoff Control 
Filter Strips 
Sediment Basins 
Streambank, Shoreland Stabilization 
Unused Well Sealing

Approved construction practices include activities that control nutrient runoff; stabilize critical eroding areas; divert runoff to protect and improve water quality; reduce wind erosion; control gully, rill, or sheet erosion; protect shoreland from erosion; control storm water runoff; or protect surface water and ground water quality.


Initial process:

Landowner contacts the SWCD with project information

SWCD staff conduct a site visit to investigate project potential

If the project is eligible for cost-share, a complete technical assessment and cost-estimate will be conducted. If the project is not eligible, technical advice will be given to landowner for best conservation practices.

Selected projects are reviewed by the Conservation district board and approval/denial of project is granted.

Only after an approval letter and contract is received by the landowner can construction begin. If construction begins before the contract has been approved, the project is not eligible for cost share assistance.

The landowner is responsible for full installation of the project before the deadline listed on the contract.

Other information:
Under BWSR guidelines, conservation districts may cost share with land occupiers up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of a project or an SWCD board may set the rate lower than 75 percent.

Primary practices must be designed to meet the purpose of the practice for an effective life of not less than 10 years from the date it is approved for final payment.

Cost share payments will be made directly to the landowner, not to the contractor.

The landowner is responsible to pay, in full, all receipts and invoices directly to the contractor or vendor.  

After a project is completed, periodic site inspections will be completed, most likely once on the 1st,5th, and 9th years following completion.

For more information, landowners should contact the Pine SWCD office.