Wood Ducks and Wetlands Workshop

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 info@piscataquisswcd.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.

Southern Aroostook SWCD Announces “Winter Ag School”

Southern Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District
WINTER AG SCHOOL: February 18 – March 29, 2014
Confirm class location and time under each class listing

Tuesday, February 18, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Live video feed from Omaha, NE and soil health discussion with local NRCS staff
Mars Hill High School, Music Room, 35 Pleasant St, Mars Hill
Pre-registration is appreciated – please contact the District
• Panel of farmers will discuss experiences with cover crops and impacts on soil health (live video feed)
• Soil health in Maine discussion
1 Pesticide Credit
2 Nutrient Management Recertification Credits
2 Certified Crop Advisor Credits – Soil &Water

Tuesday, March 4th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Dave Handley, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist, Cooperative Extension
Houlton office of Cooperative Extension, Military St, 2nd Fl
• Basic care of growing small fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries

Tuesday, March 11th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
George McLaughlin, Agricultural Engineer, Maine Potato Board
Houlton High School, Rm 34
• Broad discussion regarding precision ag and its uses, including pros and cons
1 Pesticide Credit

Tuesday, March 18th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Gary Anderson, Animal & Bio-Sciences Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Houlton High School, Room 34
• General overview of estate planning and issues of transferring the farm/generational transfers
• Outcome of determining need and interest level for future day-long workshop on this subject

Thursday, March 27th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Dan Jacobs, District Forester, Keith Kanoti, Water Resources Forester – Maine Forest Service, and Pat Sirois, Director, Maine SFI
Houlton High School, Library
• BMPs to protect water quality
• Maine SFI programs and updates
• Interactive BMP demonstration on the SFI water table
• Intro to new Forestry Rules of Maine
2 QLP Continuing Education Credits
½ day CLP Recertification Credit
2 Continuing Ed Credits for Licensed Foresters

Saturday, March 29th, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Rob Mulvey, Pleasant View Tree Farm
the Callnan’s orchard, 1245 County Rd, New Limerick
Pre-registration is appreciated – please contact the District
• Hands-on opportunity to learn how to effectively prune fruit trees
• Pruning tips for both new and established home orchards

For more information on the classes or if you require special accommodations please call:
Southern Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District: 532-2087 ext.3 or email angela.wotton@me.nacdnet.net

Pasture Management Workshop: Weed Control and Old Field Restoration

Is your pasture or hayfield overrun with buttercup and/or smooth bedstraw? Do you have old fields that you would like to bring back? On Tuesday, July 23 at 6:30 pm, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District is hosting a workshop with Rick Kersbergen, Waldo County Extension Educator in Sustainable Dairy and Forage Systems. Rick will address the problems of how to get weeds under control and manage your fields to keep them under control. Both chemical and non-chemical methods of control will be discussed. The program will be held at Knox-Lincoln County Extension at 377 Manktown Rd, Waldoboro, just across the road from Medomak Valley High School campus. Bring your problems and questions for Rick to solve! NRCS grazing sticks and soil test boxes and forms will be available. This program is free, but please register by contacting Knox-Lincoln SWCD at 596-2040 or info@knox-lincoln.org. Let us know if you need special accommodations to attend.
Richard Kersbergen, an Extension Professor and a cooperating research scientist with the New England Plant Soil and Water lab, is a national expert and leader in the Organic Dairy industry. He has served as the state contact for the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program of the USDA and has just finished as chair of the Northeast Pasture Consortium. Over the years, Rick has worked as an extension agent, farm manager for the UMaine Experiment Station and also worked to support hundreds of Cooperative Extension volunteer Master Gardeners and responded to thousands of home horticulture client calls.
For more information and publications on pastures and a map of the workshop location, visit www.knox-lincoln.org

Maine Community Foundation Awards Grant for New Conservation Summer Camp!

For the past several years the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District has offered a Natural Resources and Agricultural Summer Camp to children ages 7-12. Starting this summer, the PCSWCD will be offering a Teen Conservation Camp for youth ages 13-18! With generous funding provided by the Maine Community Foundation’s Piscataquis County Fund, the PCSWCD will be offering this new full day, two week summer camp so that we can provide continuous exciting learning opportunities for youth of all ages in the Piscataquis County region.

The PCSWCD Summer Camp makes learning fun and gives youth opportunities to learn about agriculture and natural resources first-hand from farmers and natural resource professionals that provide lively presentations, unique demonstrations and engaging hands-on activities. Each day has a different theme to increase the youths’ knowledge about how productive farmland and forests, clean air and drinking water, are all important for a healthy natural ecosystem that benefits our community and the people who live in Piscataquis County.

The summer camp schedule for children ages 7-12 is half day sessions from 9:00AM-Noon, Monday-Friday. Week One is Natural Resources Week and runs from July 15th-19th. Week Two is Agriculture Week and runs from July 29th-August 2nd. Registration forms for this camp were sent home via partnerships with our local schools. There is an early signup rate for this summer camp for registrations postmarked by June 20th. Pre-registration is required by Tuesday, July 9th.

The summer camp schedule for youth ages 13-18 is full day sessions from 9:00AM-4:00PM, Monday-Friday. Week One is Natural Resources Week and runs from August 5th-9th. Week Two is Agriculture Week and runs from August 12th-16th. Pre-registration is required by Tuesday, July 30th.

The integrated curriculum for the youth ages 13-18 will also include learning about the history of our region’s agricultural entrepreneurship and technological innovations, as well as sustainable agriculture. The youth will learn about plant and animal science, nutritional aspects of food, and how our local food and fiber are processed and moved to markets. Youth will also have an opportunity to explore our rich natural resource heritage by going on field trips to learn about the forest products industry, watersheds and water quality, renewable energy, wildlife species and their habitats that contribute to our region’s biodiversity, and other related conservation biology topics.

In addition to the Maine Community Foundation grant for the Teen Conservation Camp, these camps are made possible due to support from the local community businesses, schools, and civic groups, the guest speakers who donate their time to put on presentations, and also the farm families that host our youth. For more information and for pre-registration, please contact the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District by emailing info@piscataquisswcd.org, calling 564-2321, extension 3, or stopping by our office at 42 Pine Crest Drive in Dover-Foxcroft.

About the Maine Community Foundation: The Maine Community Foundation is a statewide nonprofit created by and for the people of Maine. The foundation is a philanthropic leader in building sustainable and vibrant communities for all Maine people. Maine Community Foundation grants cover the full range of nonprofit undertakings, with a special focus in the areas of education, community economic development, the environment, and civic engagement. The Community Building Grant Program, which includes the Piscataquis County Fund, seeks to support organizations and programs that recognize and build on a community’s strengths and assets. The Piscataquis County Fund was established in 1986 by area businesses and individuals to ensure that the county would have the local charitable resources to address community issues. Once a year, grants from the Piscataquis County Fund are awarded to nonprofits to support innovative projects. All grant decisions are made by local volunteers with strong connections to, and knowledge about, Maine communities.