Veterans and Fly Fishing
Olmsted County Veteran Services partnered with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to sponsor a fly fishing retreat Veterans. Twenty-five veterans and their families participated. The event was funded by the DAV and the DAVMN Foundation.
Improving Soil Health and Reducing Nitrates in the Ground Water
Olmsted County initiated a program to improve soil health while reducing nitrates that leach into the ground water. I supported the initiation of this program. The first phase of the program is to increase the amount of cover crop acres. In the first five days of the sign up period, 52 farmers agreed to plant 5,590 acres of cover crops using the program’s incentive funds. These farmers also planned to plant cover crops in addition to the program’s acres for a total of 13,552 acres. Next year, the program will add options for small grains/alternative crops and haying and grazing. These programs will preserve soil and help reduce nitrate infiltration.
Olmsted County is using $3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to fund this program.
Olmsted County Study on Racial Disparities
In August 2020 the Olmsted County Board directed the Public Health Advisory Board and the Olmsted County Human Rights Commission to study and investigate racial disparities that may exist and to provide recommendations for the Board to consider. Social determinants such as race and racism is recognized in Minnesota and in the U.S. as a public health issue. The county asked the joint study team to examine what the county can do better to insure that all residents have a pathway to achieve health and prosperity. This two-year study culminated with a report by the joint study team. To view the final report, go to: https://www.olmstedcounty.gov/government/about-olmsted-county/joint-study-race-and-racism-public-health-issue
A Use for Waste to Energy Ash and Concrete
Ash that is created when the garbage is burned at the Waste to Energy Facility is mixed with crushed concrete to make road bed material in a pilot project. The road bed will then get a bituminous surface. Olmsted will start to use the ash and crushed concrete as a road base in place of packed gravel. Olmsted has been landfilling the ash since the beginning of the Waste to Energy facility started 30 years ago. The ash and crushed concrete material will save road building money and land fill space.
Here I am with the Environmental Committee at Kalmar Landfill.