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Financial Incentives: Native Prairie Restoration Program

Planted Native Prairie

This Dakota County cost-share program makes funds available for the restoration of native prairie vegetation on your land.

Planting native prairie plants offers a wide-range of benefits.

Native prairie species tend to have deep roots that help water infiltrate through the ground (recharging our groundwater supplies) and stabilize the soil, reducing erosion. This in turn protects local water quality, as stormwater runoff is naturally treated and filtered before reaching bodies of water.

Native plants' seeds and stems provide food and habitat for birds and wildlife throughout the seasons. In addition, planting native wildflowers provides valuable pollinator habitat. Pollinators are necessary for human life and for stable ecosystems, but many pollinator species in Minnesota are at risk. Planting diverse swaths of native plants is crucial for the recovery and long-term survival of healthy pollinator populations.

Restored native prairies are also beautiful, and they require fewer inputs and labor over time once they're established.

If you have land that you'd like to restore to native prairie, you may be eligible for the Native Prairie Restoration Program. Landowners can receive cost-share funding for up to 75% of the total project costs for the installation or enhancement of native prairie vegetation. Maximums per acre depend on the type of project and planting:

Landowners who enhance existing native prairie vegetation (primarily grasses) with inter-seeded pollinator-friendly forbs can receive up to $1,000 per acre.
Landowners who establish native prairie vegetation (primarily grasses) can receive up to $2,000 per acre.
Landowners who establish native prairie vegetation (grasses and forbs) can receive up to $3,000 per acre.

Native Prairie Restoration

Funding is always based on a percentage of the actual installation costs.

For more information, check out the factsheet linked here, call 651-480-7777, or email john.stelzner@co.dakota.mn.us.

Further Resources:

Rent our Native Grasses No-Till Drill: http://dakotaswcd.org/grass_fs.html
Interested in a smaller native garden project in your yard? http://dakotaswcd.org/cleanwater.html
More information on native plantings from the Minnesota DNR: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/gardens/nativeplants/index.html