Tree Sale & Events
The Barry, Eaton and Ionia Conservation Districts will be hosting a fall tour on Tuesday, September 10, 2013. The day will feature a bus tour through the Eaton Rapids and Charlotte area in the morning, with stops featuring innovative uses of cover crops including an example of cover crops being used as forage for livestock. The afternoon will include a bus trip over to Hickory Corners to visit Hop Head Farms where participants will get to tour the state-of-the-art processing facility and the hop yard while harvest is in full swing.
Those interested in participating in the tour should contact the Eaton Conservation District (517) 543-5848 ext. 5 no later than September 6 to register. Registration is $10.00 which includes lunch and busing. The tour will also feature informational presentations from MSU Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and is a Michigan Agriculture and Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) phase 1 event. 3 RUP credits are available for certified pesticide applicators who attend this event.
2013 Free Well Water Screening on August 16, 2013
Why should you be worried about knowing how much nitrate is in your drinking water? Nitrates and nitrites are molecules made of nitrogen and oxygen that can combine with various organic and inorganic compounds. When high nitrate levels enter the blood stream, the bloods’ ability to carry oxygen can be severely and negatively impacted. This condition can be especially dangerous in young babies less than 6 months old, causing a disease commonly referred to as “blue baby syndrome”. High nitrate levels may also be detrimental to the health of pregnant women and individuals who already have diseases or conditions that impact their bloods’ ability to carry oxygen.
High nitrate levels in water can be caused by multiple factors; however, the major sources include runoff from fertilizer usage, sewage leaking from septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits within the aquifer.
The Barry Conservation District will screen drinking water well samples for nitrate and nitrite on August 16, 2013. The hours are 8:00 am through 5:00pm for dropping off samples. Samples can be brought to the Barry Conservation District office at 1611 S. Hanover Suite #105 (Secretary of State Building), Hastings. There is no fee to participants. The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water. The number of samples that can be tested is limited to 3 per household.
This service is for private drinking water wells only. Please do not bring samples from public water supplies (as these are already tested regularly), or non-drinking water sources. A one-ounce sample of water is sufficient, and can be transported in any small, clean jar. Directions for collecting a good water sample inlcude:
1. Collect samples just before getting them to the sample drop-off. Samples must be less than 48 hours old for a valid nitrate test.
2. Fill out the water sample information sheet. A copy of this form will be available when samples are dropped off; a printable form is also available by clicking here: Water Screening Information Sheet
3. Pick a tap that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well.
4. Run the water for 20 – 30 minutes before collecting the sample. This will give the pump time to flush the water pressure tank and plumbing so you can collect a valid sample. Disconnect any hoses before collecting the sample; do not sample through a hose. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled, and then fill and cap the bottle.
5. Label the bottle clearly with your name, the sampling date and the well name (cottage well, Mom’s well etc.) using a waterproof pen. Put the sample information sheet into a waterproof bag, and then seal the water sample and the information page into a second waterproof bag.
6. Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is dropped off.
All results are confidential. Participants will be mailed a copy of their results in 8 to 10 weeks, with information about what they can do if the concentration of nitrate or nitrite is too high.
You can get more information about this event and copies of submission forms from Rachel Koleda (MAEAP Technician) with the Barry Conservation District Office at (269) 948-8056.
This screening is sponsored by the Barry Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). It is paid for by funds generated from the Michigan pesticide and fertilizer registration and tonnage fees
Thornapple River 18th Annual River Clean-Up
Saturday, September 14th, 2013
To Volunteer register at www.thornappletiver.org or call 269-948-8056 ext. 117
or email email@example.com
To make a Sponsorship Donations: (Make checks payable to Thornapple River Watershed Council) or via Paypal on our
Watershed ($100 &up)
Tributary (up tp $100)
Mail to: Thornapple River Watershed Council
P.O. Box 382
Caledonia, MI 49316
We have two new Board Members
We would like to introduce
Mark Bishop & David Replogle
Mark Bishop David Relogle
Mark Bishop: My love for the outdoors was instilled in me early on in life. Growing up on a small lake in Calhoun County and camping up north with my family, contributed to me choosing a career of managing our natural resources. I am retired from a 34+ year career with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, as a land manager of public lands in Barry and northern Kalamazoo counties. My background includes planning and on the ground implementation of habitat improvement and restoration projects. Being good stewards of our renewable resources and making decisions based on sound scientific research will insure that many generations will enjoy this beautiful place we call Barry County. I look forward to contributing and working with the staff at the BCD in serving the residents of Barry County.
David Replogle: A lifelong resident of and raised in Yankee Springs Township, David is very concerned about the environment and will do whatever he can to help the Conservation Board. He owns a small farm in Yankee Springs Township with his family, just a few short miles of where he was raised. He hopes that he can bring his technological skills to the table as well as his traditional farming knowledge to help be aware of and avoid the threats to this area.
We have a Chapter here at the Barry Conservation District office. FrogWatch USA is program where volunteers will help conserve our nation’s amphibians by monitoring one or more local wetland sites to identify local frog and toad species by their breeding calls, and accurately report their findings.
What is FrogWatch USA: it is a long-term frog and toad monitoring program whose data describe local species diversity, detect rare and invasive species, suggest shifts in species diversity, range, and seasonal timing and may serve as an indicator of wetland health. FrogWatch USA provides volunteers and their families the opportunity to learn about the environment while collecting valuable information about the frogs and toads local to their area.
Why Monitor Frogs? Frogs and toads have held cultural importance for centuries: symbolizing fertility in ancient Egypt, luck in Japan, and rain gods in some Native American cultures. Today Kermit the Frog is a modern-day celebrity. Frogs and toads are vitally important in the field of human medicine and compounds from their skin are currently being tested for anti-cancer and anti-HIV properties.
They also play an important role, serving as both prey and predator, in wetlands ecosystems and are considered indicators of environmental health. Many previously abundant frog and toad populations have experienced dramatic population declines both in the United States and around the world and it’s essential that scientists understand the scope, geographic scale, and cause of the declines.
Here in Michigan we have 13 different species: American Bullfrog, American Toad, Cope’s Treefrog, Fowler’s Toad, Gray Treefrog, Green Frog, Midland Chorus frog, Mink Frog, Northern Cricket Frog, Northern Leopard Frog, Pickerel Frog, Spring Peeper, and Wood Frog.
To hear the different calls of the frogs and toads in Michigan go to
For the Mink Frog call go to
For more information on FrogWatch USA go to
SurveySiteRegistration_2012_Form Click here if you need more copies
ObservationDatasheet_2012_Form Click here if you need more copies
Thornapple River Clean-up was a hit: