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Learn More About Trees & Native Plants

Programs for Tree Planting Projects
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For landowners interested in tree establishment or management of existing woodlots, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’s (DNR) Forest Stewardship Program provides a couple of opportunities for cost-share to manage your woodlot. To be eligible for the program, you need twenty acres of land. First, a Woodland Management Plan is developed for your acreage by a DNR Forester or an approved Minnesota Woodland Plan Writer (private forester). Once the plan is written, you qualify for several incentive programs.


The Cost-Share for Woodland Owners program provides cost share for several different woodland improvement projects such as planting trees, removing invasive species, controlling erosion, and creating recreational trails.

Programs for Prairie Restoration Projects
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Looking to restore a native prairie, plant a pollinator garden, or install a rain garden? The Rice SWCD can assist you in developing a plan for your property. Financial assistance may also be available for some prairie restoration practices. Contact our office for details. Potential programs that can provide financial assistance to restore prairies include:


  • Lawns to Legumes Program – This state program provides 75% cost share of up to $350 to homeowners to (individual support grants) for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns.  It also offers workshops, coaching, and planting guides (check out their website for tons of information. Apply for the program at this website.

  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) – This federal program can be used to restore cropland to grasslands, provides up to 50% cost-share for practice establishment, and an annual soil rental rate payment.


  • Reinvest In Minnesota (RIM) –  This state program reimburses landowners for enrolling lands into a permanent conservation easement and then provides assistance to restore the area.


  • Pheasants Forever Food Plot Establishment– Rice County Pheasants Forever has cost-share available in Rice County for the establishment of food plots and nesting cover for pheasants. Nesting cover can be either the establishment of native grasses/wildflowers or the planting of trees through this program.


  • Seed A Legacy Pollinator Habitat Program– This new program developed by the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund provides free or discounted pollinator seed mixes to landowners. The minimum project size is two acres and contracts last five years. In this program, two different seed mixes are planted. Half of the acres in the project are planted to native prairie, which provides critical habitat for pollinators such as the Monarch butterfly. The other half of the acres are planted to a seed mix, primarily of legumes, which is specifically designed to provide forage for honey bees and honey production. Haying and grazing are allowed on the project area, except during the period of April 1 through September 30th. Application deadline is August 31, 2018.


  • Scott SWCD Native Prairie Program– If you live in the northwest part of Rice County in the Sand Creek Watershed, you can apply funds to restore native prairie. The program provides 50% cost share for seeding and maintenance of the prairie for a five year period, with the total contract length of 10 years. The program also pays an annual incentive rate of $175 to $275/ acre, depending on current land use, slope, location to a water body, top of bluff, or ravine. The minimal acreage eligible for this program is .5 acres.

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