Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do you know ERIN?

ERIN is: Earth Resources Information Network

Follow this link to a presentation on what ERIN can do for you, and a list of tutorials on how to get the information you need.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tree ID Workshop

Watch for more information on a tree ID walk through Moore Memorial Woods in September. This is a follow-up on the popular spring wildflower walk. The walk is scheduled for the morning of Friday, September 23rd.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's the Point?

Summertime is here, and with it comes a tradition – the Conservation Camp! Many of Ohio’s 88 Soil & Water Conservation Districts sponsor these camps each year, helping to reach local youngsters in a way that is both fun and educational. It is a well known fact that people need to care about something before it’s important to them. Before we care about something, we need to learn about how it affects our lives to understand why it should be important to us. As conservation districts, one of our main purposes is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources for this generation and those that follow us.

This is the reason why Conservation Camp an important event in the Guernsey SWCD educational programming. It has been held each summer for over 20 years; long enough for some of the “kids” who attended in the past to now send their own children to camp. Our camp runs for 2 days, and is held at Moore Memorial Woods, a property that was donated to the district several years ago to be used as a land lab for educational purposes. Each year, 50 kids attend, and groups are escorted through a series of stations throughout the day. By getting outdoors in the woods, they are able to interact with environment and learn how they affect it, whether in a positive or negative way.

This year, our camp theme is on pollinators, and each station is geared toward learning about why pollination is so important; scientific experiments, games, hiking, and crafts give each student an opportunity to learn in their own way. On July 27th, students will learn about how and why flowers are designed to attract pollinators. They will learn about honey bees and why they are important to humans, and also about hummingbirds and butterflies. They will play games and go on hikes and make crafts. When they return home, they’ll have some great ideas to help make their own backyards better homes for pollinators.

On July 28th, students will spend the morning touring “The Wilds”, a 10,000 acre wildlife conservation center where they will see camels, giraffes, bison, zebras, rhinos and other wild animals. “The Wilds” has a 4 acre butterfly habitat where the students will be able to observe butterflies and the flowers that they pollinate.

Now, what is the point of all this? Well, let’s go back to our original purpose; promoting the conservation and sustained use of natural resources. Pollinators are very important to the environment in that they aid plants in reproduction. And why should that be important to us? We want the kids who attend our conservation camp to leave with the understanding that pollination provides them with food and shelter. We want them to have a better understanding of how they personally help or hinder this process through the things they do in their daily life. But most of all, we hope that they have fun while learning about conserving our natural resources.

If you have a youngster you care about who would enjoy attending a camp, contact your local SWCD office to see if they sponsor a conservation camp in your area. But don’t let the kids be the only ones to have fun and learn! Here are some simple steps you can take in your yard to create habitat and help pollinators survive and thrive!

Plant a pollinator garden. Select a variety of colors, and vary blooming times to provide food all summer.
Reduce chemical misuse. Cut back on insecticides that can harm beneficial insects, too.
Reduce your area of lawn grass. Grass lawns offer little food or shelter for most wildlife, so try planting more native flowers, trees and shrubs.
Provide water. All wildlife, including pollinators, need water. Try putting out a shallow bowl with some rocks to land on. Remember to change water often to avoid hatching mosquitoes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Successful Food Plot Clinic August 10th

The district is hosting a food plot clinic on August 10th from 6-8PM at our Moore Memorial Woods located at 18700 Wings Lane, Salesville. This is just east of Old Washington. Call for reservations and directions. Click flyer above to enlarge and print.

Topics covered will include seed selection, planting dates, soil fertility, planting tools, and managing the plot after the seeding.
The district has put in some food plots at the woods so you can see firsthand how it is done and discuss some of the things that are cause for success or failure of a seeding.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Conservation Camp is FULL!

If you'd like to be on the mailing list next year so you don't miss out on the fun, call the office.