Join the PCSWCD for a Wood Duck Workshop and Trek to a Local Wetland!
The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) will hold an educational workshop on wood duck nesting ecology on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM. This is a two-part workshop – a classroom session followed by a hands-on field demonstration, and is an ideal workshop for anyone interested in wetland ecology.
The classroom presentation will be held at the USDA Service Center building in the Pine Crest Business Park, 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426. During the classroom session, workshop participants will have a chance to learn about the habitat and food needs of wood ducks, golden eyes and hooded mergansers. Presenters will cover why it is important to aid the ducks by offering them a place to nest and raise young. Scott McLellan, a wildlife biologist from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Gordon Moore, Piscataquis County district forester for the Maine Forest Service, will present information and will be available to answer questions.
After the classroom discussion, the group will travel to a local wetland area to monitor and explore existing wood duck boxes, construct a new baffle and place a new box. As the snow is still quite deep, wear your boots and/or your snowshoes for this fun and educational expedition into the wetland!
The PCSWCD will be holding a drawing at the workshop to give away a wood duck box building kit to one lucky workshop participant! The PCSWCD also has wood duck box kits available year round for purchase.
If you or your group would like to join us and learn more about these beautiful native birds, please call (207) 564-2321 extension 3, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Preregistration is requested, and there is a suggested donation of $10/person to attend this workshop. For more information about any of our educational workshops, please contact us at the phone number above or email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the best way to keep up with information about our free and affordable, family-friendly programs, please “like” and follow us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/PCSWCD.
Groundwater Awareness Week, March 9-15, 2014: Time to check your water wells
Just as you check your furnace or smoke detector batteries seasonally, spring is a good season to have an annual water well checkup before the peak water use season begins, according to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).
Also, preventative maintenance usually is less costly than emergency maintenance, and good well maintenance — like good car maintenance — can prolong the life of your well and related equipment. NGWA further recommends you test your water whenever there is a change in taste, odor, or appearance, or when the system is serviced.
Wells can provide high-quality drinking water, and about half the U.S. population receives its drinking water from wells. But with well ownership comes the responsibility of keeping the water well in good working order. A check of your well by a qualified water well contractor may include:
• A flow test to determine system output, along with a check of the water level before and during pumping (if possible), pump motor performance (check amp load, grounding, and line voltage), pressure tank and pressure switch contact, and general water quality (odor, cloudiness, etc.).
• A well equipment inspection to assure it’s sanitary and meets local code.
• A test of your water for coliform bacteria and nitrates, and anything else of local concern. Other optional tests are those for iron, manganese, water hardness, sulfides, and other water constituents that cause problems with plumbing, staining, water appearance, and odor.
The Maine Association of Conservation Districts also recommends that well owners:
• Keep hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides, and motor oil far away from your well, and maintain a “clean” zone of at least 50 feet between your well and any kennels and livestock operations.
• Maintain proper separation between your well and buildings, waste systems, and chemical storage areas.
• Periodically check the well cover or well cap on top of the casing (well) to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out insects and rodents.
• Keep your well records in a safe place. These include the construction report, and annual water well system maintenance and water testing results.