Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ag School Days

"Hooked on Fishing"
Learning about being safe around electricity. Washington Electric and Guernsey/Muskingum Electric present this class.

Sheep production, shearing, and a lesson on wool production from the sheep to clothing is always a favorite with the kids. During lunch break, there is a sheep herding demonstation using Border Collies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tree Sale Pick-Up Approaches

The tree sale pickup is scheduled for next week - Thursday and Friday, April 7 & 8th. If you attend the tree planting workshop on Wednesday, the 6th at 5PM, you can pick up your trees after the program. If you'd like to attend the program, call the office to make reservations. There is no charge for it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Outdoor Burning Laws

State law prohibits outdoor open burning statewide in unincorporated areas during the months of March, April, May, October, and November between the hours of 6:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Follow this link for more information:

Ag School Days

Technician Van Slack teaching a group of 3rd graders a session on how soil is the basis of life.
Ag School Days reaches 400+ students from Guernsey and Noble counties per year.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Meeting with Representative Andy Thompson

The Guernsey, Noble, Monroe, and Washington County SWCD staff and board members met Thursday afternoon with Rep Thompson to explain to him what services the districts offer to their community, and to ask for his support during the state budgeting process.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Turkey Terms

Spring turkey hunting season runs from April 18th to May 15th, 2011.
Follow this link to find the regulations.

Caruncle - brightly colored growths on the throat region. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Gizzard - a part of a bird's stomach that contains tiny stones. It helps them grind up food for digestion.

Hen - a female turkey.

- a baby turkey. A chick.

- the flap of skin that hangs over the turkey's beak. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Tom - a male turkey. Also known as a gobbler.

Wattle - the flap of skin under the turkey's chin. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Scientific genus and species: Meleagris gallopavo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Help us celebrate National Agriculture Week!

Agriculture is Part of Your Life
Products we use in our everyday lives come from plant and animal byproducts produced by America's farmers and ranchers: - Health care: Pharmaceuticals, surgical sutures, ointments, latex gloves, x-ray film, gelatin for capsules and heart valves.
Construction: Lumber, paints, brushes, tar paper, dry wall and tool handles.
Transportation: Fuel, lubricants, antifreeze, tires and upholstery.
Manufacturing: Adhesives, solvents and detergents. Printing: Paper, ink and film.
Personal Care Products: Shampoo, cosmetics, lotions, finger nail polish and toothpaste. Education: Crayons, textbooks, chalk, desks, pencils and paper.
Sports: Uniforms, baseball bats, leather equipment and shoes.

Follow this link to the National Ag Day site for more info.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wildflower Hike @ Moore Memorial Woods

The large white trillium was adopted as the official wildflower of Ohio in 1987. It is found in each of Ohio's 88 counties.
Join us for a hike in the woods on Friday, April 29th. Leading the hike will be wildlife specialist Joe Lehman, assisted by local naturalist and master gardener Myron Dellinger. The hike will start at 9:30AM at the shelter house at the woods, and will last for 1.5-2 hours.
Call for directions and to register for the hike. 740-432-5624

Please dress prepared for the weather, keeping in mind that the trails can be steep and rough in places.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Wildlife Specialist Joe Lehman doing stream monitoring with a group of 3rd graders. The type of "bugs" found in a stream help to guage the health of the water.

The Guernsey SWCD, along with our partners, Noble SWCD and Guernesy/Noble OSU Extension, is making plans for the 11th annual Ag School Days at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station near Belle Valley. This event will be held on May 10 & 11th this year.
During the two-day event, more than 400 third grade students from Noble and Guernsey Counties schools are escorted through a series of agricultural-related stations that involve animal science, nutrition, research, reproduction, and food & fiber production. The students will also visit stations that deal with water quality monitoring, soil structure, wildlife identification and hunting safety, Tree ID and forestry products, a presentation on weather, a demonstration on bio-security, electrical safety and a chance to get “Hooked On Fishing”.
Thanks to the generosity of local merchants and organizations, we give each student some souvenirs and educational materials from the activities as well as a tee-shirt with all sponsors names on the back. As school budgets get tighter, we've also committed to paying for the busing to and from the event.
If this sounds like a program that you'd like to see continue, please consider contacting the district to offer your support of time or dollars.

$250 Ohio Forestry Camp Scholarship offered

Guernsey SWCD offers Ohio Forestry Camp Scholarship to County Youth

Have you ever wondered what types of trees are in Ohio's forests? Or about the relationships between wildlife and woodlands? Or are you interested in the products that can be produced from the forest? If so, Ohio Forestry & Wildlife Conservation Camp, sponsored by the Ohio Forestry Association, is the place to be! This camp is held at FFA Camp Muskingum, which is situated on Leesville Lake in the beautiful rolling hills of Carroll County, on June 12-17, 2011. Any student who has completed 8th grade and is at least fifteen (15) years of age is welcomed to participate. Be prepared to obtain valuable forestry information, make many new friends and HAVE FUN!!!
Many past campers have continued their interest in forestry by furthering their education in outdoor-related fields and careers. Other campers have gained a greater understanding and appreciation of Ohio’s forestry heritage.
Campers will attend many different programs and demonstrations led by resource professionals who are employed in both the public and private sectors. Each camper will have opportunity to demonstrate his or her knowledge on the last day of camp. One camper who demonstrates the highest level of knowledge gained at camp will receive a scholarship!
Besides the knowledge gained, each camper will receive a course manual containing the week’s schedule and materials. A tree ID book, tree measuring stick, and T-shirt are also included.
There is time for fun and relaxation each day, as well, to enjoy group and individual activities. These include volleyball, softball, swimming, boating and fishing. Meals are included.
This year, the Guernsey SWCD board of supervisors has approved a scholarship covering $250 of the entire week’s fee of $325 to be offered to a Guernsey county youth who meets the camp criteria of at least 15 years of age and having completed 8th grade.
Applications for this scholarship can be obtained by writing the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District at 9711 East Pike, Cambridge, Ohio 43725 or by calling 740-432-5624. Applications must be completed and postmarked no later than May 5th, 2011 for consideration for this scholarship.

Tree sale deadline approaches

This is the final week to order tree seedlings from the district. The deadline to order is Friday, March 18th. Don't forget to send in your order this week!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Backyard conservation reduces storm water problems

When rains fall on roadways and rooftops, it can’t soak gently into the ground as it would on grass or woodlands. Instead, it flows off roofs and down gutters and through streets and into storm sewers, picking up pollutants as it goes. Besides affecting the quality of water in streams and rivers these storm sewers empty into, all this runoff can cause them to flood more quickly.

While you can’t eliminate runoff entirely, you can do your part to protect water quality and minimize the runoff from your home lot. Here are some suggestions from the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District:

*Install rain barrels to catch water from downspouts instead of running it into storm sewers. This water is ideal for watering lawns, gardens, or indoor plants because it isn’t chlorinated. Besides, it’s free!

*Grow a rain garden in a natural depression or dig a spot for one. Plant water-tolerant plants to filter runoff as it soaks into the soil. Just be make sure the spot will drain within three days to interrupt the mosquito life cycle.

*Terrace steep slopes to slow runoff, allowing more to soak in and reducing erosion.

*Build sidewalks and driveways with materials that allow water to infiltrate, such as gravel, stones, bricks, mulch, wood chips, and ground cover plantings.

*Wash your car at a commercial car wash that treats and recycles wash water, or wash it at home over a grassy area or gravel using biodegradable, phosphorus-free soap.

*Use a drip pan to catch leaks from your car until you can get them fixed. To clean up fluid leaks or spills, soak them up with sand or cat litter. Choose non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners for your driveway.

*Bury pet waste, flush it or bag it and dispose of it in the garbage. It’s a source of bacterial contamination in runoff.

*Minimize the use of pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn and follow label instructions. Careful lawn management can reduce the need for these products.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Tuliptree, found throughout all of Ohio, is named for the appearance of its showy flowers and the silhouette of its large leaves, both of which resemble tulips. It is also known as Tulip Poplar and Yellow Poplar, in reference to the fluttering of its leaves like those of the Poplars, and for the yellow colors of both its flowers and fall foliage.
Tuliptree is the tallest tree of eastern forests with the straightest trunks, achieving heights of well over 100 feet with 4 foot diameters, when not prematurely harvested. It frequents moist woodlands and edges of fields, especially on downslopes where water drains. Its lightweight wood, often used as a base for veneer, is straight-grained, relatively soft for a hardwood, and has a faded olive-green color.
Native throughout most of the Eastern United States, it quickly reaches a height of 80 feet and a breadth of 40 feet, but it can grow much taller. As a member of the Magnolia Family, it is related to the Magnolias (including Cucumbertree) and the only other Tuliptree (Chinese Tuliptree).
Planting Requirements - Tuliptree prefers moist but well-drained, slightly acidic, deep, rich soils, but adapts to average, drier soils of neutral to alkaline pH. It is one of the fastest growing shade trees, achieving leaps of two to three feet per year in youth, when it has a symmetrical, pyramidal outline. As with all members of the Magnolia Family, it is fleshy-rooted without many root hairs, and prefers being transplanted in early spring, rather than autumn. It grows in full sun to partial sun, and is found in zones 4 to 9.
Potential Problems - Tuliptree has one significant pest (aphids), which chew on new growth and secrete a sticky substance (known as honeydew) on the leaves, which serves as food for a sooty mold, rendering the leaves blackened with fungus and unattractive, but not harmed.
Diseases that afflict Tuliptree include Verticillium wilt, root rot, and trunk canker. Tuliptree is one of the most common trees (the Birches as a group are another) that serve as "drought indicators" by dropping their yellowing interior leaves when their soil becomes too dry during summer drought. This is simply how they cope with drought, by cutting down on the number of transpiring "water leaks".
Deadline to order trees is next Friday, March 18th. You can click on the "Tree Sale" page above and print an order blank.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Home Show this weekend!

Look for the district at the Home Show at the Pritchard Laughlin Center on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. On Friday at noon, technician Van Slack will be presenting a program on waste water/drinking water using our waste water Enviroscape model to show how the water each of us uses moves through the treatment system. Van has presented this program in many of the area schools, and it is well received by the students.
On Saturday at noon, wildlife specialist Joe Lehman will be doing a presentation on area wildlife using our educational skins and skulls. If you've never touched a skunk or a fox, or or seen a bear's skull and teeth close-up, you'll really enjoy this hands on presentation.
The district will have a display in the main hall througout the weekend.

Tree Planting Workshop April 6th

Click on the photo to enlarge and print it. If you come to the workshop, you can pick up your tree seedling order at the same time.
Reminder: tree sale orders are due in by March 18th, next Friday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

Persimmon is native to the southern two-thirds of the eastern United States, with an east-west line across central Ohio representing the northernmost limit of its native range. It can be planted much further north in terms of cold hardiness.
This tree is primarily known for its ripened fruits, when provide food for animals and humans alike in mid- to late autumn. It is also known as the tree that provides wood for some of the best wooden golf club heads and billiard cues that can be made; historically, the fine-grained wood was also used in the production of shuttles for the textile industry.
Persimmon may reach 50 feet tall by 30 feet wide when found in the open, sometimes with root suckers that cause it to form colonies or groves. As a member of the Ebony Family, it is related to other species in its genus (one produces ebony wood, another produces much larger persimmon fruits) and other genera in the family, most of which are tropical in origin.
Planting Requirements - Persimmon is quite adaptable to a variety of soil, moisture, and polluted conditions. It prefers moist, well-drained, average soils of various pH's, but easily adapts to poor, rocky, clay, sandy, or even organic soils, of dry or moist constitution. It will not tolerate wet sites, but it can survive on thin soils or strip-mined soils. It is found in zones 4 to 9, in full sun to partial sun.
Potential Problems - Persimmon has relatively few diseases (leafspot on occasion) and pests. Aside from being slow-growing and with the potential in heavy fruiting years to create a sticky mess at the bottom of female trees, it has no liabilities.
The Persimmon is among several varieties which will be offered in the 2011 Tree Sale held by the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District. Also on the sale list are; White Pine, Kentucky Coffeetree, Eastern Redcedar, Chestnut Oak, Paw Paw, Sassafras, Tuliptree, 2 blueberry varieties, and the Navaho thornless blackberry.

To better serve our clients

Hundreds of SWCD staff & volunteer board supervisors from around the state met in Columbus on Monday and Tuesday for the annual partners meeting. Also attending were ODNR soil & water staff, & NRSC staff.
We attended lots of breakout sessions designed to better equip us with the technical knowledge to serve our customer base.