Lead Contamination in Urban Soils – Free Webinar Virtual Panel

Hosted by Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District

 
What’s in Your Soil? Let’s Talk About Lead in Maine’s Soils
Free Webinar Tuesday, September 22nd 4:00 to 5:30 PM   Join us for a virtual panel to learn about healthy soils and lead contamination in Maine’s urban soils. The panel will cover soil health, testing for contaminants, exposure pathways, and safety on soils.   Register Here          
    VISIT OUR WEBSITE!

In addition to the webinar, we are organizing the Portland SoilSHOP at the Portland Farmer’s Market on Saturday, September 26th. A SoilSHOP is a free soil testing event where anyone can drop off soil samples to be screened for lead contamination for free.

Have You Seen Me? Invasive Forest Pest Community Detectors – Free Webinars

The Maine Association of Conservation Districts is offering free regional webinars to highlight how to protect Maine forests from invasive forest pests. Webinars will be presented by local soil and water conservation district (SWCD) staff and will focus on statewide and regional pest problems. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry staff will be on-hand with information on current local forest pest management issues.   Presentations are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020; Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020; Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020; and Tuesday, Oct, 13, 2020. Webinars are free and sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).   Click here to register for the webinar series.

Oxford County SWCD Photo Contest

The Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District would like to announce the 2020 Conservation Photo Contest. We are looking for your best conservation photo in the field of Agriculture, Forestry, Soil & Water or Wildlife to grace the cover of our 2020 Annual Report.

A prize package provided by Aubuchon Hardware, Tractor Supply and Young’s Greenhouse will be awarded to the First Place Winner. Three Honorable Mention winners will also be selected. All of the winning photos will be framed and on display at the 2020 District Annual Meeting.

For more information and entry forms please call 744-3119, or email oxfordcountyswcd@gmail.com.

Piscataquis County SWCD –

PCSWCD will be welcoming 20-25 working livestock animals that will consist of Katahdin sheep, donkeys and goats to the Law Farm in Dover-Foxcroft. The livestock will be arriving on PCSWCD’s Law Farm Volunteer workday, Saturday June 6th, 2020, and stay for 5 weeks where they will be moved between pastures as needed to increase soil fertility, implement permaculture practices and decrease the use of motorized mowing fuel and costs.

Wendy Russell from Widdershins Farm LLC will be presenting a Rotational Grazing Workshop on June 24th from 9:30-12pm at the Law Farm to demonstrate the general care and instruction of working Katahdin sheep sustainably on your land.

 

Rotational Grazing Workshop Registration Info

Aroostook County Farmers are ‘Soil-ing’ their Underwear… for Science

From The County website

HOULTON, Maine (July 17, 2019) — Aroostook County’s three soil and water conservation district organizations are trying out an unusual experiment with area farmers this summer using “soiled underwear” to highlight soil health.

About a dozen farmers and gardeners around Aroostook County are participating in the project by burying all-cotton pairs of underwear in their gardens and crop fields, and planning to dig up what’s left of them in two months.

“The idea is that the more alive your soil, the more the undies will decompose,” said Angela Wotton, district manager at Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. “It’s sort of a fun experiment. It’s a good visual for soil health.”

The more biologically active soil is, with a diversity of bacteria, fungi, earthworms and microorganisms, the quicker the cotton or other natural materials will break down. Agricultural fields with more soil life can better support crops and retain organic matter and nutrients over the long term.

In the last decade, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has helped more farmers adopt soil-building strategies such as cover crops planted over multi-year rotations of cash crops like potatoes and grains.

The demonstration in Aroostook County is a collaboration with the local offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Southern Aroostook, Central Aroostook and the St. John Valley.

Wotton credits the start of the initiative to Kelsey Ramerth, soil conservationist. The St. John Valley team will be digging up the underwear to display during the annual Ploye Festival Aug. 9-11 in Fort Kent.

“Our ultimate goal and our focus has been on building soil health. I feel like a lot of farmers in Southern Aroostook plant a fall or winter cover and try different combinations of cover crops. A picture is worth 1,000 words. It shows how alive the soil is,” said Wotton. “The farmers in our district have made a lot of gains. They’re doing a lot of work on their farms to focus on soil health.”

 

Invasive Forest Insect Outreach Volunteer Training

Invasive Forest Insect Outreach Volunteer Training
Feb 11, 2015 in Greenville
Mar 18, 2015 in Waldoboro

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Forest Pest Outreach Project and its partners are offering two free workshops to train people to recognize, report and spread awareness about the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), emerald ash borer (EAB), hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), and other invasive tree pests. These invasive insects pose serious threats to the trees and forests of Maine. ALB and EAB have not been found in Maine, but the EAB quarantine in NH abuts Maine, and the largest known infestation of ALB outside of its native range was found in Worcester, MA in 2008. The best defense for our trees and forests against these and other invasive insects is early detection by people who work with trees, those who enjoy the outdoors, and those involved in community education.

Karen Coluzzi and Lorraine Taft with the Forest Pest Outreach Project (DACF, Animal and Plant Health), and Allison Kanoti with the Maine Forest Service (DACF), will present these trainings. Participants will learn how to recognize and report key invasive pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and hemlock woolly adelgid. They will be trained to effectively transfer information to the public to help spread awareness of these pests.

Training topics will include the potential impact of ALB, EAB and HWA in the state of Maine, current management activities, pest and infestation identification, pest life cycles, infestation reporting, host tree identification and community response planning. Three credit hours are available for licensed foresters and pesticide applicators attending this training. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Light refreshments provided.

Trainings

Greenville, ME

Date: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 (Snow Date February 12th)

Time: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm

Location: Greenville Town Office, 7 Minden Street, Greenville, ME

Co-Sponsors: Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District and Maine DACF

Registration Details: Free, Pre-registration requested:
Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District 207-564-2321 ext. 3 or info@piscataquisswcd.org.

Continuing Education:
3 Credits
Board of Pesticide, SAF (cat. 1 CFE), Maine Licensed Forester

Waldoboro, ME

Date: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Location: Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension, 377 Manktown Road, Waldoboro, ME

Co-Sponsors: Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension, and Maine DACF

Registration Details: Free, Pre-registration requested: Hildy Ellis at 207-596-2040 or hildy@knox-lincoln.org

Continuing Education
3 Credits each:
Board of Pesticide; SAF (cat. 1 CFE), Maine Licensed Forester

Basic and Advanced Training in Erosion and Sediment Control Practices

Are you certified to work near water bodies? As of July 1, 2013, work within 250 feet of any water body (the shoreland zone) requires a certified contractor on site. The Basic and Advanced Training in Erosion and Sediment Control Practices course will be held on Friday, November 21st from 8:00AM to 4:30PM at the Penquis Higher Education Center in Dover-Foxcroft. This course is necessary in order to become certified in erosion control practices by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and is designed for contractors, municipal code enforcement officers, consultants, engineers and public works employees. By attending this session, you qualify to become DEP certified in erosion and sediment control practices after the completion of a site evaluation.

 

In addition to sections on “Why Erosion Control is Important”, and “Erosion and How it Happens”, participants are provided with information on the proper selection, installation and maintenance of practices such as sediment barriers, mulch, vegetative stabilization, riprap, etc. You will also learn about new state-of-the-art erosion control techniques and ways to save time and money on your construction projects, as well as become eligible for discounts, expedited DEP permitting and other free educational resources.

 

If you are in need of this training, the Maine DEP’s Nonpoint Source Training and Resource Center and the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) urge you to take this Basic and Advanced Training Session in Erosion and Sediment Control Practices this fall. Refreshments, lunch, and a manual will be provided. Code Enforcement Officers will earn 7 Shoreland Zoning Credits. For more information about the benefits of contractor certification, visit www.maine.gov/dep/training or call the PCSWCD at 564-2321, Extension 3. To register for this course, visit the Penquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative’s (PVAEC) on-line registration portal at www.pvaec.maineadulted.org or call the PVAEC at 564-6525. The course is $85.00, or $95.00 if registering after November 7th. The registration deadline is November 14th. Don’t lose work opportunities – get certified – register for this course today.