The Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District presented the 2017 Outstanding Conservationists Award to Dave and Bev Medvecky on Nov. 21. Pictured from left are Wayne Calander, Bev Medvecky, Dave Medvecky and Tiffany Determan. Photo by Noelle Olson

Dave and Bev Medvecky are the recipients of the 2017 Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District’s Outstanding Conservationist Award.

The Medvecky’s will be recognized at the Outstanding Conservationist luncheon held in conjunction with the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2017 annual convention on Dec. 5. Each year the Isanti SWCD recognizes individuals and/or organizations for outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources.

“We’re proud of Dave and Bev for what they’ve done for conserving the natural resources in Isanti County,” said Wayne Calander, board chair of the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District. “It’s evident that the Medvecky’s have invested in conservation because they feel that it is the right thing to do for the land” Calander said.

Dave and Bev Medvecky purchased their Isanti County property in 1978 with dreams of a building a farm centered on conservation. The dream included wetland restorations, cover crops for soil health, native buffers and prairies, pollinator gardens, a sustainable and healthy “big-woods” forest, organic vegetables and a multi-story cropping system that would include maple syrup, honey, ginseng, and mushrooms. The Medvecky’s did more than dream. With time and commitment they slowly purchased land on which they could implement their conservation dreams using state and federal funding and, more often than not, their own hard-earned money.

Below are just a few of the many conservation projects that Dave and Bev have implemented over the years:

• Multi Story Cropping to improve utilization and recycling of soil nutrients—this cropping system consists of mushrooms, maple syrup, honey, ginseng and sustainably harvested wood.

• Soil Health management on over 40 acres of cropland—this program consists of planting of a variety of cover crops on corn and soybean fields

• Over 3 acres Wetland Restoration within a field that was historically farmed.

• Installation of seven vernal pools within the Maple-Basswood Forest.

• Over 1 acre of pollinator plantings.

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