WHAT WE DO
The district serves as a clearinghouse for educational, financial and technical assistance for many conservation programs. Bring us your project idea and we will connect you with the person or program that can help.
EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Less connection to the farm and to the outdoors can result in students and citizens who undervalue the importance of conservation. The districts works hard to restore the connection, through engaging school programs and meaningful field days and workshops.
NRCS, our partners and district staff are available to assist landowners with better understanding their landscape, farming methods and practices, natural resources and conservation concerns.
Terrace/Waterway Design and Construction
Whether you are receiving financial assistance for erosion control practices or not, we can assist with designing and staking out of terraces and waterways. We assist with MILES of terrace construction each year!
Livestock Grazing and Watering Systems
Rely on our years of expertise to help you design the most workable and efficient grazing system for your livestock operation. Watch the website and our Facebook page for field day opportunities and tire tank demonstrations.
We rarely provide financial assistance for pond clean-out or construction, but we can take a look at your problem pond and provide recommendations.
Whether you are working to establish a stand of native grasses and wildflowers or cool season brome, we can help you determine timing of planting, weed control regimen and brush management. You can also purchase native plant seed from us in custom or CRP mixes.
We aim to serve as a clearinghouse for many different sources of financial assistance for landowners, farmers and ranchers who wish to implement conservation practices. For more than 70 years the district has been the local conduit for federal farm bill programs. We also administer state water plan funds and EPA Clean Water Act Funds through the Hillsdale Watershed Restoration program. We partner with other agencies to accomplish conservation goals as well, so never hesitate to contact us with your project idea.
We offer an expanding array of conservation education programs throughout Miami County and the Hillsdale Lake Watershed.
Topics available for grades 5-12 include:
25-40 minute unit with stream trailer (requires water/electricity sources). Subtopics include streambank erosion, deposition, riparian protection, sedimentation of reservoirs, non-point source pollution.
Native Plants and Pollinators
40+ minute unit that may culminate in students planting their own pollinator garden or starting their own plants from seed.
Secrets of Soil
40+ minute unit that may be customized for any subtopics that teachers wish. Examples include soil erodibility, soil biology, mineral content and soil color (painting with soils). This unit may include use of our soil tunnel trailer (subject to availability).
40+ minute unit using our 20 foot, to-scale, inflatable earth balloon. Customizable to many geography lessons including migration, oceans, climate change and more.
Week-long unit that culminates in stream-side water quality monitoring. Subtopics include impacts of land use on watershed, water chemistry, pollutant sources, watershed delineation using topo maps, macroinvertebrates.
Programs should be requested as far in advance as possible. Many educational tools and staff are booked several months in advance.
Each spring, we host Earth Day festivals for county fifth grades, with hands-on learning experiences related to soil conservation, native plants and trees, water pollution, local wildlife, air quality and more.
We are always looking for bright and engaged volunteers to assist with our education programs. Perhaps you have a background in one of the topics that we offer or perhaps you are interested in learning more about our local natural resources so that you can share your knowledge with others. Let us know how you can help!