Author: ryanmedley

Spring Newsletter

Check out our Spring 2018 Newsletter!

Spring 2018

 

Soil Stewardship Week

This year’s theme for Soil Stewardship Week is Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home. Everyone lives in a watershed, and watersheds provide the water for drinking and recreation. For more resources for Soil Stewardship Week, follow this link: http://www.nacdnet.org/general-resources/stewardship-program/.  Coshocton County is in the Muskingum Watershed, and to visit the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s website, follow this link: https://www.mwcd.org/. There are additional watershed information and watershed bookmarks in the links below. 

Information

Bookmark

 

Big Tree Contest

The Big Tree Contest is open to all species of trees growing on privately owned property in Coshocton County. Property line trees and trees growing on federal, state, or local government land are not eligible. Any person can enter a tree physically located in Coshocton County whether or not the tree is growing on the nominator’s property. The Big Tree Contest is a county-wide contest, while the “Coshocton Is Blooming” category is limited to trees growing within the City of Coshocton. Coshocton SWCD encourages you to submit as many entries as you like for you and your neighbors.  The two winners will be acknowledged at our Annual Meeting on October 18.

Entry deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018. 

Big Tree Entry Form

If you would like to see how the trees are measured, the document below shows the process. You do not have to measure a tree prior to entering it in the contest.

Measuring a Big Tree

 

Technical Assistance

Coshocton SWCD provides technical assistance through a cooperative working agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service.  All technical assistance provided by the Coshocton SWCD MUST follow USDA-NRCS standards and specifications.  If the landowner wishes to install the practice without following these guidelines, our assistance will be withdrawn immediately.

Coshocton SWCD and USDA-NRCS provide technical assistance for the construction of conservation practices with the following guidelines:

Technical Assistance will be provided for site evaluation, conservation planning, design of the engineering plan and on-site supervision of the construction only if USDA-NRCS Standards & Specifications are followed.

What we DO
 
Assistance is provided for:
           •  Site evaluations.
           •  Conservation plan development.
           •  Engineering assistance- including plan and design.
•  Technical assistance provided at site:
           •  Provide technical assistance during construction.
           •  Answer questions about the construction of the practice.
           •  Materials- MUST meet USDA-NRCS specifications.
           •  USDA-NRCS standards and specifications MUST be followed.  
           •  Pre-construction meetings to review with landowner and contractor.
           •  Any changes to plan- needs to be approved by person with the proper
                job approval authority.
          •  All USDA-NRCS safety requirements must be followed and met.
          •  OUPS MUST be called 48 hours prior to digging, at 1-800-362-2764.
          •  Ohio Oil & Gas Association MUST be called 48 hours prior to digging, at
               1-800-925-0988.
•  Assistance for the installation of tile drainage:
          •  Site review and soils information.

What we DON’T do
•  Assist with projects that DO NOT follow USDA-NRCS standards and
     specifications.

•  We DO NOT operate equipment for the contractor.
•  We DO NOT supply the labor to install the practice.
•  We DO NOT provide assistance with construction of any practice without an
     approved conservation and engineering plan.

•  We DO NOT provide assistance if the materials do not meet USDA-NRCS
     standards and specifications.

Failure to follow any guidelines will result in our withdrawal of technical assistance and could effect the eligibility of cost-sharing funds.

Coshocton SWCD Board of Supervisors have prioritized the workload of our technical staff and will follow the priorities as set by our stakeholders.  
Priorities are as follows:
          1. CONSERVATION EDUCATION
          2.  IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
          3.  FOREST MANAGEMENT
          4.  PASTURE MANAGEMENT

Soils and Technical Assistance
     
•  Information on soil types and limitations for different uses- basements,
          septic tanks, roads, etc.

     •  Information about suitable crops, rotations for each kind of soil, and
          development of conservation plan.

     •  Information about manure application rates and development of
          comprehensive nutrient management plans to properly handle manure and
          commercial fertilizer.

     •  Assistance in designing, laying out, and supervising construction of
          conservation practices; for example, grassed waterways, diversions,
          contour strips, spring developments, structures, and animal manure
          storage facilities.

     •  Information about alternative land uses and treatments for controlling
          erosion and reducing sedimentation.

     •  Aerial and soil maps of Coshocton County.

 

Conservation Education

Enviroscape Model

This model is available for Classroom Demonstrations for grades K-12. It is used as an educational tool to demonstrate how everyday activities can result in Non-Point Source Water Pollution (NPS). Non-Point Source pollution refers to pollution which does not come from one single identifiable source, however it includes runoff from lawns, streets, farms and other surfaces. With the model, students are able to see and discuss the cause and effect of daily activities within the watershed. The model is designed for grades K-6, however high school students can benefit from the presentation as well. The model involves a hands-on approach for students.

Groundwater Model

The groundwater model is available for classroom demonstrations for grades 4-12. The model is designed to help teach principles of groundwater movement and contamination. The model is a cross-section of a soil profile, highlighting the different textures (sand, silt, clay and rock) which make up our soils. Dye is added to the model to demonstrate various types of groundwater pollution. Students can see how pollution can enter into the groundwater supply and how it travels.

Ag Awareness Day

Coshocton County Farm Bureau sponsors an Ag Awareness Day for all fourth graders in Coshocton County every fall. Several volunteers from Coshocton County Farm Bureau, agricultural related businesses and agencies as well as individuals participate. The Farm Bureau puts the program together for the day with stations set up to give students a chance to participate in activities directly related to farming. Some stations include honeybees, food production, dairy cattle, fish, forestry, goats, grain production, greenhouse, llama, safety and 4-wheelers, sheep, soybean uses, swine, GPS technology, watershed education and soil conservation.

Due to limited school funding for special events such as Ag Awareness Day, Coshocton SWCD and Coshocton County Farm Bureau work together to generate funds for the schools’ transportation costs.

Thank You
to these area individuals, businesses and
organizations for donating towards transportation
costs over the past several years:

Bluck & Sons, Inc. • Chase Bank • Coshocton Broadcasting Company • Coshocton County Advertiser • Coshocton County Beacon • Coshocton County Farm Bureau • Coshocton Grain Company • Coshocton Soil & Water Conservation District • Finton Equipment-John Deere • Frontier Power Company • Hopewell PTO • Ridgewood FFA • River View FFA • Tim & Nanci Rogers • Tumblin Farms-David Tumblin • WenMar Farms, Inc.

AEP’s Earth Day Celebration

Each year Coshocton SWCD assists the American Electric Power Company with their Annual Earth Day Celebration. More than 400 students from area schools grades 6-8 take part in several different activities throughout the day
. This event has been held on AEP Conesville’s reclaimed acreage and at the Muskingum Valley Boy Scout Camp. Wtih the SWCD, students collect samples for stream monitoring. Depending on macroinvertebrates found, students can determine the quality of water.
Macroinvertebrates are identified and listed on a stream assessment in groups. Group 1 are pollution-sensitive organisms found in good water quality. Group 2 are somewhat pollution tolerant and can survive in good or fair water quality. Group 3 includes pollution tolerant organisms and can be in any quality of water. Students learn how people can make a difference in the environment by using conservation practices to help protect the environment from pollutants.

Envirothon Competition

This is a competitive outdoor team event for high school students that tests their knowledge in 5 areas: aquatic ecology, forestry, soils, wildlife and current environmental issues. The contest is designed to stimulate and reinforce their interests in the environment and our natural resources. The event is sponsored by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

All area high schools are encouraged to participate in this competition. Each participating school is permitted to have a maximum of two teams. Teams should consist of 5 students per team. For more information contact us or visit OFSWCD’s Envirothon page.

 Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp – Scholarships Available

Coshocton SWCD co-sponsors delegates to the Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp held at Camp Muskingum in Carroll County. Students participate in hands on conservation training and develop a better understanding and appreciation of our natural resources. They participate in classes covering tree identification, silviculture, ecology and forest products. Students will also learn how to measure the size of standing trees and logs and determine their value. This camp is held in June each year. Those interested in being considered for a scholarship must contact the office in April.

5th Grade Poster Contest

Coshocton SWCD sponsors a 5th Grade Poster Contest in conjunction with our display at the Coshocton County Fair. Coshocton city and county fifth graders receive a classroom presentation titled “Have You Eaten Any Soil Lately?” Students are then asked to draw a poster about something they learned from the lesson that everything we eat can be traced back to a plant grown in the soil. Teachers select the best poster for their classroom. All entries are displayed in the Coshocton SWCD Fair Booth, and the fair going public takes it upon themselves to decide a winner. First place receives $25 and a pizza party for their class, second place $15 and an ice cream party for their class, and third place $10 and an ice cream party for their class.

Junior Fair Hay Show

The Coshocton SWCD sponsors the Junior Fair Hay Show every year as part of the Coshocton County Fair. Five classes are judged – Alfalfa, Clover, Grass, Light Mixed Hay and Mixed Hay. The top winner in each class is given a complimentary ticket to the Coshocton SWCD Annual Banquet, a rosette for their class and a $25 cash prize for attending the banquet.

Project Wet Workshop For Teachers

The goal of Project Wet is to facilitate and promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge and stewardship of water resources through classroom resources and a Project Wet Curriculum Guide for grades K-12. For more information on Project Wet in Ohio go to ODNR’s webpage.

Bird, Bat & Squirrel House Plans

The links below are helpful resources and plans for building bird, bat, and squirrel houses.

Dimensions & Placement

Barred Owl Box

Bat House

Eastern Bluebird & Tree Swallow Box

Kestrel & Screech Owl Box

Purple Martin House

Squirrel Box

Wood Duck Box

 

Historical Aerial Photos

Click on the links below to download the historical aerial photos of Coshocton County.

1940

1950

1958

1965

1971

 

Tree Seedling Sale

The Coshocton SWCD coordinates an annual tree sale; order forms are available beginning in January and are generally due in the middle of March. If you would like to receive an order form in January for the 2019 sale, contact the office at (740)622-8087, ext. 4 or email samanthapriest@coshoctoncounty.net

The following items are available year round:  Marking Flags are available for purchase; flags help with the visibility of the seedlings while they are small. The pink or white flags are 4” x 5” on a 30” wire and come in packs of 25 ($4), 50 ($5), and 100 ($8). Plantskydd Repellent ($20) will also be available; the box contains 1 pound of powder concentrate that will treat approximately 200-400 plants and helps prevent damage to seedlings from browsing deer, rabbits, and opossum. Tree Planting Bars are available for loan; a $40 cash deposit is required and will be refunded if the bar is returned within 14 days.

 

75th Anniversary Video

Student’s Suggestion

Recently a teacher contacted us because one of her students was using our website to research for a project. The student, Dennis, found another helpful website and wanted to see if we would like to add it to our “Useful Links” page. We appreciate the suggestion, and the link appears on that page and below. Thank you Dennis!

Forestry and Conservation for Kids

Beacon Articles

To celebrate this landmark year, we are publishing a series of articles in the Coshocton County Beacon that review our history and the people who have made it all possible.  

75th Anniversary

January Article

February Article

March Article

April Article

May Article

June Article

July Article

August Article

September Article

November Article

Commissioner’s Proclamation

Current and past supervisors and staff attended the Commissioner’s Proclamation presentation.

The Coshocton County Commissioners honored the Coshocton Soil and Water Conservation District with a special proclamation to commemorate their 75th Anniversary at their regular meeting on Wednesday, June 24, 2017. District Supervisors Greg Waters, David Lapp, Adrian Garber, and Beth Mullen accepted the proclamation.

Past Supervisors John Powell, Fred Zimmerman, Vernon Mizer, Knox Porteus, Wendell Waters, and Gerald Finlay attended the ceremony along with SWCD and NRCS staff Ryan Medley, Zach Wallace, Samantha Priest, Gina Schworm, and Deb Bigelow, and former employee Mary Thomas. 

The Coshocton SWCD is a legally organized subdivision of State Government, assigned under law the task of protecting and improving our soil and water resources.  A 95% referendum vote of Coshocton County citizens created the Coshocton SWCD on May 25, 1942.  This was the beginning of the one-on-one technical assistance of the local SWCD program that continues to this day. 

Voluntary Nutrient Management Plan

             On September 30th 2017, Senate Bill 150 will be in effect for the entire state of Ohio.  Part of this law is the responsibility of farmers to develop Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans and have them approved by SWCD board of supervisors or Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).
             Voluntary Nutrient Management Plans (or NMPs) will give affirmative defense to a farmer should anyone complain about use of commercial fertilizer, as long as the plan is being followed.  These plans are for farmers using commercial fertilizer only – anyone using manure must have a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan or CNMP.  Unlike a CNMP, which the district can complete for anyone that needs one, a NMP can be developed by the farmer following the Ohio Nutrient Management Workbook available from OSU Extension. 
Another way to develop an NMP is if grid soil sampling and variable rate application are being used, the recommendations that a farmer receives back from the grid sampling will suffice as long as the time of year and method of fertilizer application are included.  These plans also must follow Tri-state recommendations for P and K to be approved.  
If a farmer would like the SWCD to develop a NMP, we can do that as well.  We just need a current soil test for every field and the fertilizer products used, time of year they will be applied, and application method.  ODA is in the process of approving a very nice spreadsheet that will make NMPs fairly quick and easy to read.  The spreadsheet will also have a records page for each field where a farmer can write down the time, date, field conditions, 2 day weather forecast, what product was applied, etc.  Good record keeping is paramount for defense in the event of a complaint.  If anyone has any interest in developing an NMP or has any questions please feel free to contact us at the Coshocton SWCD.