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LaPorte County
Soil and Water
Conservation District

LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District

December 2014

Community and Classroom
Conservation Newsletter

Our Mission: We provide leadership, education, and technical assistance to empower La Porte County residents to conserve and improve our soil, water and related natural resources.

2015 Tree and Plant Sale Catalog Available Soon!

Here's a way to avoid a post-holiday slump - plan for warmer weather with the 2015 LaPorte Co. SWCD Tree and Plant Sale brochure.

Your SWCD staff has been hard at work preparing for the 2015 Tree and Native Plant Sale.

Remember, your order not only enhances your landscape, bringing benefits such as lower energy costs from shading and wind breaks, soil erosion control and better air quality; it also supports our Conservation Education efforts right here in LaPorte County.

Tree Pick Up date will be Saturday, April 18 - we're offering high quality seedlings from Hensler Nursery like the Concolor (white) fir pictured; an excellent windbreak.

The Native Plant Pick Up date will be Saturday, May 16 - we're again offering 2 1/2" or one gallon pots from Midwest Groundcovers; including a small selection of shrubs.

Brochures wi l l be available in hard copy and on our website the first week of January.

If you're not already on the mailing list, please call the office to be added.

Be sure to tell a friend too - and thank you for your support.

SWCD/Row Crop Annual Meeting

SAVE THE DATE!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Details to be announced soon!

Wilderness Inquiry Canoe mobile visits Trail Creek

Through generous funding provided to the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association from the Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation, the Michigan City Sanitary District and the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County, the SWCD was able to coordinate our third annual Wilderness Inquiry Canoe mobile event on Trail Creek.

Sue Lehman of MC Sanitary Dist. explaining water quality testing equipment Teamwork

The Wilderness Inquiry Education Crew traveled from Minnesota to bring six 24 foot handcrafted Voyageur replica canoes to Trail Creek.

Over 600 Michigan City Area Schools students and families had the opportunity to learn about Trail Creek's history, current importance and natural beauty.

Students had educational opportunities in water safety for recreation with 'Kayak Kenneth' provided by Northwest Indiana Paddling Association. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources showed examples of native and invasive fish species found in Lake Michigan and Trail Creek. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore provided a look at the history of the local fur trade.


DNR electro-fishing demo

Michigan City Sanitary District staff demonstrated water quality monitoring techniques and testing procedures, helping students understand water pollution and everyone's role in keeping water clean.

Special thanks to Michigan City Port Authority for their donation of boat slip space and assistance during the event.

4-H Open House - November 13

Neither cold, nor wind, not even snow kept LaPorte County children, students and their families away from the recent 4-H Open House, held at the County Fairgrounds in the Small Projects Building.

LaPorte Co. SWCD chatted with many of those in attendance as they visited with representatives explaining some of the many types of projects available to match and expand the interests of 4-H participants.

Did you know there are great 4-H projects for all ages about soil and water conservation? And that La Porte Co. SWCD staff collaborated with 4-H educators to include soil and water conservation in the "Nature" project booklet for mini 4-H?

Why not give it a try?

If you couldn't visit the Open House, there's still time to enroll .

Enrollment is online only at: https://in.4honline.com

For more information, please contact Purdue Extension at:
219-324-9407.

Join the club!

Minute with Rick Brown

Suddenly it's cold and snowy, and the year is ending. 2014 was a busy, successful year for MS4 and LaPorte County. We were the only county to implement a 'Performance Bond' on the Enbridge Pipeline project; ensuring funds held locally to implement best management practices immediately, if necessary.

We placed coconut inlet filters manufactured by a local Michigan City company over storm water drains during the Fourth of July parade and held a contest to guess how many cigarette butts collected; over 1,000! Thanks to everyone who visited our fair booth to make a guess, exchange a mercury thermometer for a digital one or just visit and learn about storm water quality and factors affecting it.

Another special project was travelling over 1,000 miles of LaPorte County roads while geo-locating and inspecting 147 individual county outfalls (spots where storm water drains end-of-pipe). The outfalls were all map-identified and inspection documentation for each site prepared.

MS4 also created a library of guidance documents; training and testing, and a Hot -Line, available on the www.laportecounty.org/environment/ms4 website.

Regular operations included over 21 new construction projects reviewed for compliance with storm water pollution prevention, over 100 field evaluations/inspections and 11 project managers & staff trained to evaluate field best management practices (BMP's).

Thank you for helping spread the word about proper disposal of household cleaners and medications (NOT down the drains!), picking up pet waste and proper use of lawn chemicals.

Best wishes for a safe & Happy New Year.
Rick

Conservation in the Trail Creek Watershed

The Fall has been a busy time for the Trail Creek Partnership!

One producer in the headwaters area of Trail Creek airplane seeded 108 acres of cover crops.

Cover crops benefit soil health by scavenging nutrients , increasing soil tilth, encouraging earth worm populations and increasing overall biological activity in the soil.

The collaboration of technical assistance from multiple agencies is nearly complete for a system of conservation practices on a livestock operation. The partners involved look forward to installation in the Spring.

These producers are actively working to protect and improve water quality in Trail Creek. We applaud their efforts and look forward to working with them and others in the future.

Conservation is also being implemented in the urban areas of the Trail Creek watershed.

The Marina South Community along the banks of Trail Creek in Michigan City is installing some innovative conservation practices as well.

The flow-through planter boxes will filter storm water through deep-rooted native plants before the water enters Trail Creek. This will eliminate sediment, nutrients and other pollutants from our waterway.

For more information on Cost-Share assistance contact:

Scott Kuchta (219) 851-3542
TCWatershed.org/fund
info@TCWatershed.org

SWCD Staff, Board of Supervisors & Partners
SWCD Staff ext Partnership Staff
Theresa Wojkovich, District Conservationist
USDA Service Center (219) 362-6633 Ext. 3


Board Of Supervisors
Don Lode, Chairman
Tony Ekovich, Vice Chairman
Myrna Harder, Treasurer
Nate Mrozinski, Secretary
Gene Schmidt, Member
Sheila Batchelor, Office Manager 2116
Ethel Turkowski, Office Assistant 2118
Nicole Messacar, Education Coordinator 2115
MS4
Rick Brown, MS4 Coordinator 2114

Indiana Conservation Partnership
Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
ISDA Division of Soil Conservation
State Soil Conservation Board
Purdue Cooperative Extension Service
USDA Farm Service Agency
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Cover Crop Demonstration Project Launched

This past summer the District began a Cover Crop Demonstration Project to monitor and evaluate the effect of cover crops on soil health. Nate Mrozinski, Supervisor, has designated one of his farm fields to be used as a test plot. Six sites within the field capture multiple soil types; three with cover crops and three without. The project leaders - Don Lode, Supervisor, and Larry Cadwell, Associate Supervisor - along with Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Co-Alliance, and SWCD staff have already done a number of soil health tests establishing a benchmark for quality indicators.

2014 Plat Books Available Now - Last Edition from Local Publisher

Athentic, Inc. has announced that they are going out of business. The 2014 edition will be the last one. Copies are available for purchase at the SWCD office for $18 each (cash or check) only while current stock lasts. This is your final opportunity to purchase an Athentic LaPorte County plat book, don't delay!

Farm Service Agency Presents Farm Bill Meetings

The LaPorte FSA office will host three meetings in December to discuss the 2014 farm bill.  These meetings will provide farmers and landowners with the information they need to know to make farm program decisions.  The meetings will be held at the following locations:

December 9: 6:00-8:00 pm CST at the LaPorte Extension Office, 2857 W State Road 2, LaPorte, Indiana

December 10: 6:00-8:00 pm CST at the Union Mills Conservation Club, 100 Mill Pond Rd. Union Mills, Indiana

December 11: 6:00-8:00 pm EST at the New Carlisle Library, Activity Room, 408 S Bray St. New Carlisle, Indiana

Persons requiring special accommodations need to contact the FSA office at (219) 362-2820 before December 3, 2014.  Thank you.

Tree Planting Workshop

February 11, 2015 - 1:00 - 4:00 PM, Eastern Time
Fulton County Fairgrounds, 1009 West Third Street, Rochester, IN

Don't miss this opportunity to attend a tree planting workshop! The workshop will cover subjects such as ordering trees, planting trees, spacing, which species to use, soil types, weed control and other related subjects.

Proper planting and good plantation maintenance practices will determine the success or failure of your newly planted seedlings. Many people have planted trees for windbreaks, reforestation, or wildlife habitat and have had rather disappointing results. At the same time others have planted seedlings without losing a single one. During this workshop you will learn many useful ways to be successful with the seedlings you plant this year.

All participants will receive a packet of information containing the latest tree planting information and forest industry bulletins.

Top ten reasons to attend a workshop:

  1. What needs to be done to prepare for tree planting?
  2. What kind of trees do I order?
  3. How many trees do I order?
  4. Where do I plant?
  5. When do I plant?
  6. How do I plant?
  7. What about fertilizer?
  8. What about weed control?
  9. What about insect problems?
  10. What steps are needed after planting?

View more information and obtain registration form online.


Happy Holidays from
La Porte County SWCD
Supervisors & Staff

Due to the nature of the work performed by the District staff, occasionally there are times when no one will be in the office. Please call before making a special trip to the office. (219) 326-6808 Ext. 2116
LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District

LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District
2857 W St. Rd 2, Suite B, LaPorte, IN 46350
(new county building at fairgrounds)
Phone (219) 326-6808, ext. 2116
Fax (219) 369-0599
www.laporteswcd.com
sbatchelor@laportecounty.org

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