Do you live or own property in the Thornapple River Watershed (see green area on map below)? If so, then you may be eligible to apply for funding to assist in improvements to your property or agricultural operation. The USDA-NRCS recently announced a sign up for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) in the Thornapple River Watershed area, which covers a large portion of Eaton County. If you are interested in soil health practices, grazing practices, wildlife practices or even forestry related practices then this might be the right time to apply and take advantage of this limited funding only available to this watershed. Some of the many practices that are available include: cover crops, nutrient management, no-till, filter strips, grassed waterways, fence, prescribed grazing, livestock waterline, stream crossings, tree plantings, forest management plans, invasive species treatment and many others. If you are interested or have questions about whether your property or farm may qualify, give the Charlotte NRCS office a call at (517) 543-1512 x 3. Applications are currently being accepted from now until November 1st, so don’t wait!
Please join us for our annual fall field day. This year, we will have nationally recognized speaker, Dave Brandt, to share his insights into the value of soil health practices on the farm. Dave is one of the early adopters of no-till and cover crops farming in Carroll, OH. You can learn a little more about him and his soil health profile here. Along with Dave, we will have other industry experts and local farmers on-hand to offer their experiences and perspectives on the importance of soil health.
We will have two separate sessions: a morning session (10am-12:30pm) for landowners and an afternoon session (3pm-6:30pm) for farmers/producers. You can register online or call us at (517) 543-1512 x5. You can view the Field Day Agenda below.
The Eaton Conservation District (ECD) was founded July 7, 1946 . Upon formation, the District set forth goals to remediate soil erosion because of the catastrophic effects of the dust bowl. Today, ECD continues to meet foundational agriculture goals while also expanding services related to other forms of natural resource conservation.
Every five years, ECD asks for your feedback about natural resources and conservation in our county. This survey helps us prioritize resources for the most important needs identified by our residents, helping us to educate, promote, and implement voluntary conservation. All responses will be anonymous. Please complete the survey by June 30, 2021. Contact us at the office at 517-543-1512 x5 with any questions.
Steve Tennes, owner of the Country Mill and Sue Spagnuolo, Executive Director at ECD will give helpful tips and tricks on how to prune your fruit trees during this virtual workshop. There will also be time for questions. If you would like to pre-register and attend the workshop on zoom, please register below. Please note we are only accepting a maximum of 28 participants on zoom. If you do not receive a zoom registration link that means we have reached capacity on zoom and ask that you head over to our Facebook page to attend the workshop live (no registration required). Thank you!
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Every 2nd Tuesday of each month, as part of our year long 75th anniversary celebration, we will be hosting "Eatin' with Eaton", a Facebook live event series featuring a different Eaton County food product! We will not only highlight a local business or farm, but we will be providing district program updates so you will always be in the loop. Grab your lunch and join us for our first Eatin’ with Eaton on Tuesday, March 9th at 12:15 PM! We’ll be talking with Steve Tennes, owner of the Country Mill, about MAEAP, the Mill, and a dash of conservation history. We’ll see you then!
maeap offering free well water screening
The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Technician will be offering free well water screening for Eaton and Ingham county residents on private drinking water wells during tree sale pick-up on Friday, April 17th. The screening will be for nitrates/nitrites only.
When: 8am-5pm: Friday, April 23rd
Where: Kardell Hall, Eaton County Fairgrounds: 1025 S. Cochran Ave. Charlotte, MI 48813
The Sample Information Sheet must be included with your water sample. The sample information sheet, along with sample collection instructions, can be found below. Please call Allie at the office at (517) 588-6300 if you have any questions.
We are excited to announce that the Michigan Water Stewardship Program (MWSP) website has finally been released! MWSP is a program of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Stewardship Division. Broadly speaking, this grant funded program is made possible by the state of Michigan’s Groundwater/Freshwater fund. MWSP is a partnership of organizations that provide educational assistance to Michigan’s residents to identify and reduce contamination risks to water and other natural resources. The program encourages individuals to take voluntary proactive steps to protect Michigan’s water quality – our drinking water – as well as protect our other valuable natural resources while caring for our family’s health.
The new website features a Water Story that has three characters or 'paths' that users can navigate. They can choose between Professor Dew, Droplette, and Trickle. Each character explores different aspects of the water cycle and will help students and adults make important connections to our water resources and why its important we care for them.
Please see attachment below for official press release.
Water quality has been popping up on the news a lot lately and it may have you wondering what is being done to protect your water locally. The Barry and Eaton Conservation Districts were awarded a grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to fund Thornapple River Watershed Management Plan implementation starting back in 2017. We are now nearing the end of the grant, which will be wrapping up in November. This grant provides the funding for the Conservation Districts to be able to assist farmers and landowners in implementing agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and proper septic system maintenance to improve the water quality in our community. Given the predominately rural nature of the two counties, the main focuses of the grant are agriculture and on-site waste water treatment (septic systems). On the land management side, we have money available to help farmers and landowners implement practices such as grassed waterways, filter strips, cattle fencing along streams and planting of cover crops just to name a few. Alternatively, at the home owner level, we are offering funding to cover the costs of voluntary septic system inspections to look for failing septic systems as well as a cost share option to replace or repair any problem septic systems to help ease the financial burden of such a task. The funding for both aspects of the project could cover up to 100% of the costs of repairs and replacements. The project scope covers over 57,000 acres in three of the most impaired sub-watersheds in the Thornapple River watershed: Mud Creek, Fish Creek, and Milbourn Drain. The main goal of this project is to reduce pollutants within the watershed such as nutrients, sediment and E. coli. By accomplishing these goals, we will be contributing to better water health not only locally but downstream as well. This eventually leads to positive impacts all the way up to the Great Lakes level. With voluntary community support, we hope to work together with farmers and landowners to ensure clean water for many generations to come. If you live in one of these sub-watersheds, please feel free to contact David Comeau at 269-908-4099 to discuss ways in which we can work together to improve water quality in our community. See maps below to see if you live in one of the eligible subwatersheds.
We are so excited to celebrate Conservation District Day on Friday, July 17 with the recognition proclaimed by Governor Whitmer. Click below to view the official proclamation!
BOARD MEETING NOTICE:
Eaton Conservation District’s regularly scheduled Board meeting for Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 9am has been changed to an electronic meeting, held via phone teleconferencing, in accordance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Directive #2020-48. This is being done to continue social distancing efforts and limit in-person contact due to COVID-19 concerns.
Both the general public and members of the public body may participate, and will be considered present and in attendance at the meeting, and allowed to participate as if they were physically present at the meeting. Executive Order 2020-48, the April meeting agenda, February meeting minutes, and the district's financial reports can be found below. If you would like to participate in the meeting, please follow these steps:
To join phone meeting: