Engeseth-Rinde Restoration Fund

The Engeseth-Rinde Restoration Fund at Northfield Shares awarded its first grants in 2018-19 for a total of $33,617. Distributions from the Fund will be used primarily for the purpose of restoration, research, silviculture and related educational activities on the Engeseth-Rinde Unit of the Prairie Creek Wildlife Management Area. Grant recipients included the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (planting and invasive species control), and the University of Minnesota Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (balancing local adaptation and evolutionary potential).


The Engeseth-Rinde Restoration Fund was established in 2016 by Don Nelson. In establishing the fund, Nelson worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Northfield Shares to arrange the sale of his property, the Engeseth-Rinde Farm. Nelson sold the farm to the DNR and donated the proceeds to Northfield Shares to create an endowment that would support restoration, research and education activities.

When originally asked about this donation, Nelson said, “I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I visited this farm often. I wanted to keep the farm in the family. Since there is no one in my family who would like to farm the land, I had to find another way to protect it. Selling the land to the DNR was the best way to make sure that the land would be protected.”

The fund was named after Nelson’s ancestors who originally owned the land, Hans and Randi Rinde and Anders and Helena (Rinde) Engeseth. Distributions​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Fund​ ​are​ ​used​ ​primarily​ ​for​ ​the​ ​purpose​ ​of​ ​restoration,​ ​research,​ ​silviculture and​ ​related​ ​educational​ ​activities​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Engeseth-Rinde​ ​Unit​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Prairie​ ​Creek​ ​Wildlife​ ​Management Area.

Secondarily, disbursements​ ​from​ ​the​ ​fund​ ​can be​ ​used​ ​for the​ ​restoration,​ ​research, silviculture​ ​and​ ​related​ ​educational​ ​activities​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​units​ ​of​ ​Prairie​ ​Creek​ ​Wildlife​ ​Management Area​ ​and​ ​other​ ​properties​ ​within​ ​a​ ​defined​ ​corridor​ ​between​ ​Nerstrand​ ​and​ ​Dennison,​ ​Minnesota.​ ​Currently,​the​ ​only​ ​other​ ​unit​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Prairie​ ​Creek​ ​Wildlife​ ​Management​ ​Area​ ​is​ ​the​ ​Koester Prairie​ ​Unit. Over the coming years, the current crops and woods will gradually return to prairie, wetland and oak savanna as restoration activities supported by the Engeseth-Rinde Restoration Fund take effect.

For more information about this fund’s application process, CLICK HERE.

Please note: The Engeseth-Rinde Restoration Fund has a separate grant application process managed by an independent advisory committee that reviews applications and makes grant recommendations to Northfield Shares. The committee is comprised of​ ​representatives​ ​of​ ​each​ ​of the​ ​following​ ​groups: the​ ​Don ​Nelson​ ​Family, Minnesota​ ​Department​ ​of​ ​Natural​ ​Resources, St.​​Olaf​ ​College, Carleton​ ​College, Friends​ ​of​ ​Prairie​ ​Creek​ ​Wildlife​ ​Management Area and Northfield​ ​Shares. The​ ​Committee​ ​may​ ​invite​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​public​ ​interested​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​goals​ ​of​ ​the​ ​fund to​ ​attend​ ​and​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​its​ ​meetings.