Invasive Plant Species Threaten the Health of Your Forest

Forests are a wonderful place to relax, enjoy nature, hunt, and engage in other fun activities, but our enjoyment of our forests is threatened by numerous invasive plant species. These plants can outcompete – and sometimes, even replace – native plant species, which significantly impacts the long-term health of our forests.

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Keep Calm and Watch for the Asian Longhorned Beetle

Since the Emerald Ash Borer first invaded Michigan in 2002, it has killed millions of native ash trees across the state, and even more across the country. But despite its continued importance in Michigan, the Emerald Ash Borer is not the only invasive insect responsible forest landowners should be looking out for.

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Does Dirt Hurt?

“Dirt Don’t Hurt”, unless you are talking about sediment. Sediment is made up of loose particles of clay, silt or sand that have been eroded from the soil. Once eroded, they become free flowing in air or water and eventually settle onto land, stream bottoms or lake beds. Sediment is among the most abundant types of non-point source pollution. It is estimated that over 4.5 billion tons of sediment pollute the rivers of the country each year. That is the equivalent of 25,000 football fields, 100 feet deep!

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Never Rake Leaves Into Storm Drains or Waterways

Hopefully most people are aware of the dangers of pouring oil, pesticides and other products into our storm drains or dumping them into our rivers. Now that leaf raking season is fast approaching, remember storm drains and rivers are no place for leaves either.

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What You May Not Know About Electronic Recycling

In 2013, the Shiawassee Conservation District launched a highly success electronic recycling program in partnership with Comprenew. Recently, the District sat down with Scott Vanerkooy at Comprenew to discuss electronic recycling and see what happens to the items that are dropped off during our collections.

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Mound Septic Systems

The mound septic system was originally developed in the 1940s in North Dakota. Known as the “NODAK disposal system”, it was designed in response to the state’s harsh climate and variable site conditions. This septic system featured a septic tank that pumped wastewater to an above-ground gravel mound with distribution pipes running its length and width. The concept is still used today in places with especially slow or fast permeable soils, shallow soils over porous rock, or a high-water table.

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Landscaping a Mound

Your soils are clay, your yard is soggy and your home is in the country, chances you have a mound type of septic field. As a mound septic system owner, one of the first questions you may have is, “What am I going to do with this large hill in my yard?”. It is true that the mound, at three or four feet high and up to 90 feet long, offers unique landscaping challenges. Luckily there are things you can do to both protect the mound and make it visually appealing.

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The Dust Bowl: Lessons Learned in Soil Conservation

“Houses were shut tight, and cloth wedged around doors and windows, but the dust came in so thinly that it could not be seen in the air, and it settled like pollen on the chairs and tables, on the dishes.” John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.

The Dust Bowl devastated the southern Great Plains for eight years during the drought-stricken 1930s. Yellowish-brown dust blew making simple acts such as eating and breathing near impossible. Great dust storms rolled far eastward, darkening skies all the way to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. The areas most severely affected were western Texas, eastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma Panhandle, western Kansas, and eastern Colorado. Drought, the Depression, and poor farming practices created what is considered one of the most serious environmental catastrophes the United States has ever experienced.

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