Now hiring! Watershed Coordinator

The Barry Conservation District is now hiring a full-time Watershed Coordinator for agricultural watershed management implementation. The position requires a minimum of a two-year degree in a natural resource, environmental, or agricultural field and at least three years’ professional experience working in a similar field.

Email .pdf versions of a one-page letter of interest and one-page resume by October 15th, 2017 to:

Sarah Nelson, Executive Director
Barry Conservation District

The letter of interest should address the applicant’s qualifications and ability to fulfill the duties of this job specifically. Electronic submissions only. References will be required at the time of interview. See position description below for more details.

Compensation: $50,000-$55,000 plus some benefits, including a bonus upon completion of the full project. Compensation package will be determined based on qualifications.

Watershed Coordinator Position Description

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Public Notice- FY 2018 Budget

The proposed budget of the Barry Conservation District for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017 will be presented to the District Board for final approval at its regular meeting to be held at 6:00 p.m. on September 26, 2017 in the Barry 911 Dispatch Center Conference Room, 2600 Nashville Rd, Hastings, MI 49058. The Public is invited to comment on the proposed budget at this time. Copies of the proposed budget are available for review at the District office located at 1611 S Hanover St., Suite 105, Hastings, MI 49058.

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Special Meeting


 The Barry Conservation District Board of Directors has scheduled a special meeting for

 Wednesday, August 2, 2017

06:00 P.M.

At the Barry County Emergency Dispatch Center Conference Room

Located at 2600 Nashville Rd, Hastings, MI

 To discuss current grant proposal progression and other district activities.

 The public is welcome to attend.

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Spring Tree Sale Orders Pick Up

We had a great tree sale this weekend at Charlton Park! If you ordered trees and did not pick them up please do so this week at our office, 1611 S Hanover St, suite 105, Hastings. Thanks!

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Meeting Cancellation Notice


Please note that the regular meeting scheduled for the Barry Conservation District Board on April 25th, 2017 has been cancelled. The next regular meeting will take place May 23, 2017 at 6:00pm at the Barry 911 Dispatch Center, 2600 Nashville Rd, Hastings MI 49058.

April 23 meeting cancellation bcd

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Spring Tree Sale

It’s that time again!

Our online store is up and running:

The order form can also be downloaded here, printed, and mailed with payment to 1611 S Hanover St, Suite 105 Hastings MI 49058.

Pick up will be on April 21st and 22nd at Charlton Park. We have limited quantities of each species, so don’t delay, get your order in today!

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Fighting the phrag (even in winter!)

Phragmites plume in snow

Phragmites plume in winter. Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

High above the piling snow, the plume-like seed heads of Phragmites australis wave in the winter winds. These fluffy tufts are a beautiful but unwelcome sight on the landscape. That’s because Phragmites australis, or common reed, is a harmful invasive plant that can destroy our wetlands and increase fire risk. This deep-rooted grass is a giant that grows from six to fifteen feet tall, which means it can also block those beautiful waterfront views that we all love. Not to mention, it can lower property values, particularly on waterfront homes.

While phragmites can be a bad sign, its high visibility in the winter months can be helpful to those trying to manage it, like the Barry-Calhoun-Kalamazoo Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (Try saying that ten times fast! For your tongue’s sake we’ll stick with calling it the BCK-CISMA.) This group is on the lookout to find and manage invasive species like phragmites before they get out of hand.

Treatment of well-established populations can take years and the BCK-CISMA’s proactive approach could end up saving millions of dollars. You need not go far to see how much money phragmites control can cost once the plant really spreads- just look at the Saginaw Bay region. Partners have been working there for over a decade to manage hundreds of acres of phragmites, with total project costs well over a quarter of a million dollars. Barry County is lucky to have mostly small pocket populations that could potentially be knocked out before we get to that sort of situation, but only if we act now.

Phragmites stand in winter

Phragmites stands can be easier to spot in the winter, when other vegetation has died back and been matted down. Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

We can’t do it alone, though! We need folks like you to keep an eye out for phragmites and report it. We do not obligate landowners to manage the phragmites, but if we know where it is we can provide education and management options if the landowner wants. If you would like to help in the hunt to find invasive phragmites, here is what you will look for in the winter: a 6′-15′ tall, pale, stiff, dried grass sticking up far above cattails and other plants (in the summer it is a dark bluish green). Its feathery inflorescences (fluffy flower-like seedheads) are quite large and turn dark purple in late summer/early fall and then fade to a pale tan/beige color by winter. Usually other plants will not be growing underneath invasive phragmites, but that is not always the case.

To report phragmites sightings, you can call the Conservation District at (269) 908-4135 or email us at If you know a group that would like to learn more, we can also provide free workshops and educational materials.

Phragmites infestation

If left untreated, phragmites can totally take over an area, choking out native plants. Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

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Tree Sale Order Forms Now Available

BCD is now taking orders for its 2017 Spring Tree Sale. You can find the order form at Keep checking back, our online store should be up and running soon!

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Now accepting nominating petitions

The Barry Conservation District Board of Directors will have two positions up for election at its annual meeting this March. Please contact the District at 269.908.4135 to obtain a copy of the nominating petition if you are interested in becoming a board member. Signed petitions are due by January 27th, 2017.

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Meeting cancellation

The regular meeting of the Barry conservation District board of directors, scheduled for October 25th has been cancelled and rescheduled for November 1st at 6pm at the Barry County 911 Dispatch Center conference room.

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