Rock Island County Soil and Water Conservation District

Latest News

Consider Illinois Conservation Easement Options

Funding is now available for the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) program. The ALE program can help address development and population pressures that pose a threat to Illinois farmland acres currently used for agricultural production. Through use of these conservation easements, NRCS can provide financial assistance to eligible partners, that will be used to purchase Agricultural Land Easements (ALE). These easements help farmers/landowners keep working croplands and grasslands in active, profitable agriculture production. The ALE sign-up is continuous but the funding cut-off for this fiscal year runs through June 19, 2020.

Interested partners need to sign up for ALE now at their local NRCS office. The first funding cutoff will be June 19th, 2020. Interested landowners need to find a partner who is willing to assist in the purchase of the easement. If they do not know of a partner, they can contact their local NRCS office to get more information about the type of partner that would hold an Agriculture Land Easement. 



Due to social distancing requirements in place for Illinois, our office is currently closed through April 30th. SWCD staff continues to work remotely and are available via email. See “About Us” page for links to staff emails. NRCS staff are available by appointment only. Please call the office for assistance. Our spring tree and native plant sales are cancelled. Currently our fish sale is postponed and we are working on trying out an online ordering system. Follow our facebook page for updates! We hope to have plants available for a walk-in sale in late May or early June. We are still accepting applications for conservation projects including continuous CRP, EQIP, Copperas Creek watershed, and PFC. Delays in site visits and project implementation may be incurred, but we will do our best to continue to provide technical and financial assistance during this unprecedented time.


Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim announced Rock Island Soil and Water Conservation District will receive just over $180,000 in grant funding to provide technical and financial assistance to rural landowners to voluntarily implement the locally developed Copperas Creek Watershed Plan. “This project will help landowners implement best management practices (BMPs) in the Copperas Creek Watershed, a tributary of the Mississippi River, to reduce nonpoint source pollution, soil erosion, and nutrient and sediment loading, in order to improve overall water quality,” Director Kim said. “This watershed is identified by Illinois EPA as a priority watershed for nonpoint source implementation activities this year.” In addition to BMPs, the Copperas Creek Watershed Plan includes a public education program with the implementation of a nutrient management forum, signage, a BMP tour, newsletters, and a forestry management workshop. The overall outcome of the project is expected to reduce pollutant loadings of approximately 360 tons of sediment, 413 pounds of phosphorus, and 795 pounds of nitrogen annually.

Our 7.5 foot Great Plains No-Till Seeding Drill is available for rent for spring seeding.

Can be used for grain, small seed or native grasses. Rent our drill for $100/day + $12/acre. Pick-up at our office in Milan. All proceeds support conservation in Rock Island County.

Upcoming Events

Name Day Loc and Time
Board Meeting 7/7 5pm
PACG Earth Day Event @ Freight House Farmers Market 7/18  
2nd Round of Sign-Ups for Copperas Creek Watershed 7/15 - 10/1  
Copperas Creek Stakeholder Virtual Meeting 7/29 Time TBD
Board Meeting 8/4 5pm
Watershed BMP Driving Tour beginning at Illinois City Town Hall 8/26 10:30am - 1pm
Board Meeting 9/1 5pm
"Give Back to Your Roots" Forest Management Workshop @ Loud Thunder Forest Preserve 9/12 9am - Noon
Tree Sale 9/12 - 10/16  
Tree Sale Pick-Up 10/29 - 10/30  

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Contact Us

Rock Island SWCD
NRCS Milan Service Center
3020 1st Avenue East
(309) 764-1486 X 3