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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Conservation In Action

3 RUP Credits, 3.5 CCA Credits, and a MAEAP Phase 1 Credit available!

Registration at 8:30 A.M. at the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds. Busses leave at 9:00 A.M.

This event is free and includes lunch.

RSVP REQUIRED by September 5, 2018 at Shiawassee Conservation District 989-723-8263 x3.

High Tunnel Systems ~ Transition to Organic ~ Right to Farm ~ Farmer Veteran Coalition ~ Cover Crops ~ Forest Management

  • Join us as we tour two high tunnel systems and learn how Veteran farmers, Richard and Katy Stone are using them to grow their vegetable operation. Also hear steps they have taken and reasons for transitioning to become certified organic. Nick Babcock from the Michigan Farmer Veteran Coalition will also discuss how the coalition helps Veteran farmers in Shiawassee County and across the United States.
  • Cover crops offer so many benefits. Join us to hear why one local farmer is planting no-till soybeans into cover crops, and terminating cover crops after planting and how it benefits soil health among other things.
  • Ben Tirrell, Program Manager for Michigan Right to Farm at Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will break down what this program means for farmers and their neighbors.
  • Following a forest management plan improves wildlife habitat, increases profitability, and increases aesthetics. Jeff Tuller, Consulting Forester will join us to discuss why a forest management plan is so important.

There will be walking around farms or across fields at each stop of the tour

If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact the Shiawassee Conservation District at (989) 723-8263 x3 by September 5, 2018. USDA is an equal opportunity employer, provider and lender.

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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Well Water Screening for Nitrites and Nitrates

This free event is open to everyone in Shiawassee County who uses a private well for their drinking water.

Water samples will be screened for nitrites and nitrates only to help ensure the safety of households who rely on private wells for their drinking water.

Water samples will be accepted and screened at the Shiawassee Conservation District office Tuesday July 17, Wednesday July 18, and Thursday July 19 from 9 AM to 4 PM each day.

Tips on collecting your water sample:

  • Pick a tap which supplies water that does not run through any treatment devices (water softener). An outdoor faucet often works the best.
  • Run the water for 15-20 minutes before collecting the sample. Remove any hoses before collecting a sample.
  • Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water before sampled; then fill and cap the bottle. Three ounces of water is adequate.
  • Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is delivered.

Contact the Shiawassee Conservation District for more information.

Well Water Screening for Nitrites and Nitrates

This free event is open to everyone in Shiawassee County who uses a private well for their drinking water.

Water samples will be screened for nitrites and nitrates only to help ensure the safety of households who rely on private wells for their drinking water.

Water samples will be accepted and screened at the Shiawassee Conservation District office Tuesday July 17, Wednesday July 18, and Thursday July 19 from 9 AM to 4 PM each day.

Tips on collecting your water sample:

  • Pick a tap which supplies water that does not run through any treatment devices (water softener). An outdoor faucet often works the best.
  • Run the water for 15-20 minutes before collecting the sample. Remove any hoses before collecting a sample.
  • Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water before sampled; then fill and cap the bottle. Three ounces of water is adequate.
  • Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is delivered.

Contact the Shiawassee Conservation District for more information.

Well Water Screening for Nitrites and Nitrates

This free event is open to everyone in Shiawassee County who uses a private well for their drinking water.

Water samples will be screened for nitrites and nitrates only to help ensure the safety of households who rely on private wells for their drinking water.

Water samples will be accepted and screened at the Shiawassee Conservation District office Tuesday July 17, Wednesday July 18, and Thursday July 19 from 9 AM to 4 PM each day.

Tips on collecting your water sample:

  • Pick a tap which supplies water that does not run through any treatment devices (water softener). An outdoor faucet often works the best.
  • Run the water for 15-20 minutes before collecting the sample. Remove any hoses before collecting a sample.
  • Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water before sampled; then fill and cap the bottle. Three ounces of water is adequate.
  • Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is delivered.

Contact the Shiawassee Conservation District for more information.

Is Feeding Bread to Ducks and Geese Bad?

What do you do with your leftover and expired food? Would you dump it in a pile in your front yard to feed the wildlife? Most people would not pile food in their yard however; many people seem to think it is ok to drop off their unwanted food in parks. They justify it by saying they are feeding the ducks. In reality, they are doing the ducks more harm than good even if this result is unintentional.

Feeding the wildlife in community parks and other urban areas is a tradition that has remained prevalent for generations of people who frequent these areas. For many, it’s a way to connect with nature, bond with family, or just spend some leisure time. It can seem so hard to resist ducks begging for attention, and it would seem that providing food for them would make them healthy and happy, but it doesn’t.

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Nitrate and Nitrite in Drinking Water

Nitrogen is essential for all living things. It exists in the environment in many forms, including as nitrate and nitrite. Although nitrogen is abundant naturally in the environment, it is also introduced through sewage and fertilizers. Excessive concentrations of nitrates and nitrites in drinking water can be hazardous to human and animal health, especially for infants and pregnant women. The Shiawassee Conservation District is hosting a free well water screening for nitrates and nitrites from July 17-19, 2018. The screening is open to any Shiawassee County resident who relies on a private well for their drinking water.

Common sources of nitrogen in groundwater include septic systems, fertilizers from lawns, golf courses, crop fields, gardens, and livestock operations. Some nitrate enters water from the atmosphere, which carries nitrogen-containing compounds derived naturally from chemical reactions or from the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal and gasoline.

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