Conservation Update
February 26 - March 11, 2015 
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Funding & Programs 

Below are upcoming grants or funding opportunties that are of interest to Districts or producers you work with. These are just a sample of the most recent announcements. Grant opportunities are always available in the latest GrantStation edition on the IASWCD website.

CSP Renewals & Sign Up Deadline

The deadline for farmers and forest landowners with expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts to re-enroll is March 31, 2015.  The deadline for new signups is this Friday, March 13, 2015.

Conservation Events

Envirocert Courses & Exams

The Indiana Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management (INAFSM) will hold Envirocert courses and exams in March on several dates. These are great opportunities to get training and certification. The deadline to sign up is March 12. Click on the links below for the specific session flyers with location and details.

March 16 - CPSWQ (Certified Professional in Stormwater Quality) Review Course

March 17 - CMS4S (Certified MS4 Specialist) Review Course 

March 18 - CPESC (Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control) Review Course 

March 19 - CESSWI (Certified Erosion, Sediment, & Stormwater Inspector) Review Course


 

Exams for all of the courses will be held on March 20 (information included in the links above).


 


Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence

The State of Indiana is seeking nominations for the 2015 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence. These awards recognize Indiana's leaders who have implemented outstanding environmental strategies into their operations and decision-making processes. Visit their website for more information and nominate an organization or leader by April 17.
 

 
District Spotlight

We're looking for stories from your district about what projects you are working on or have completed. If you have an idea to share, email [email protected] to be included in a future newsletter.

With the sun out and temperatures feeling pretty balmy today (at least in Indianapolis), February's snow seems far away now. But just last week, Sullivan County SWCD was out in the snow and ice conducting water sampling. Read on to hear about what their district is up to:

Sullivan County SWCD's

 Winter Water Monitoring


The Sullivan County SWCD has been the sponsoring agency for several IDEM 319 grants in recent years, including two rounds of funding for Planning and Implementation in the Busseron Watershed and a newer initiative in the adjacent "TTK" watershed (Turtle Creek, Turman Creek, and Kelley Bayou).

 


These projects entail water monitoring components where a number of sites are sampled for a range of parameters such as E.coli, NO2, NO3, Phosphorus, TSS, Dissolved O2, macroinvertebrates, and more. Currently, 30 sites are being tested monthly in the TTK watershed, even in winter! February sampling proved difficult, with only a few sites not totally frozen. Some sites are funded by partners, including Hoosier Energy and The Nature Conservancy.

 


District Coordinator, Carrie Green and Watershed Coordinator, Laura Demarest both began work for the Sullivan SWCD in early 2013. They work together to collect water samples for lab analysis each month. This data is being used to create the Watershed Management Plan for the TTK watershed area and will be helpful when it comes to setting goals for pollutant load reductions in the future. The Sullivan Co. SWCD has cooperated with neighboring SWCDs (Clay, Crawford (Illinois), Greene, Knox, and Vigo) to share ideas, equipment, training, technical assistance, and general support. Thanks to all SWCD staff and partners who have provided guidance and service during the past two years! 


 

Story submitted by Carrie Green and Laura Demarest
 
Conservation News

Marion County SWCD Hires Urban Soils Health Specialist

Many soil and water conservation districts that cover urban areas are seeing a growing demand for information on urban conservation, urban farming, and as a result, soil health questions. The Marion County SWCD recently hired an urban soils health specialist to address this burgeoning interest, as a part of the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI).


 

Kevin Allison began working in Indianapolis and its surrounding areas this month, and will provide technical assistance and training related to soil health and soil quality. He will encourage urban landowners and users to plan and apply natural resource conservation on their property.


 


 


 Kevin came to the Marion County SWCD from the Daviess County SWCD, where he worked with the ICP on a cover crop demonstration plot at the Washington service center. "It gave us the opportunity to learn first-hand about conservation cropping systems and to develop and share our thoughts on the science of soil health," he explained. He hopes to draw on this experience and his other work with Daviess County to spread the soil health message in Indianapolis.


Kevin is excited about the opportunities for educating the public about soil health will bring: "In Marion County, educating a diverse public on the principles of soil health will be a fun challenge, and I'm extremely excited about the interest our program has already received.   I look forward to working alongside everyone, and I hope that handfuls of clover seed bring opportunities to teach about a food system that acknowledges the productivity of life and the importance of healthy soils."



American Farmland Trust Hires Former NACD CEO as New Executive Director for Programs

American Farmland Trust recently named John Larson as Executive Director For Programs.  Larson joined AFT after serving the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) as Chief Executive Officer since 2011.

 

AFT President Andrew McElwaine praised Larson's leadership and said, "American Farmland Trust is pleased to welcome our friend and colleague John Larson to our ranks. John partnered with us through numerous legislative and regulatory battles over these past several years, including securing the conservation provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill. We are fortunate that John agreed to lead our program department, where he will oversee more than 25 employees in six regional offices and will manage a budget of $5.5 million."


 

--American Farmland Trust

 
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Events

These are just a few of the upcoming events around the state. You can find many more on the Conservation Calendar and the Soil Health Events Calendar.


Job Openings

Please email job descriptions, instructions for applying, and a deadline in one PDF to [email protected] to be included.

Shelby County - Natural Resource Specialist
Description and instructions to apply are available here.

Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation - Outreach & Marketing Specialist
Visit their website for more information and to apply.

Hamilton County Summer Intern
Visit their website for more information.