This summer, our Community Conservation Corps program has created a unique opportunity to enhance our partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through shared training and volunteer work. WCSW interns participated in a learning session with NRCS District Conservationist Brittany Hummel and dairy farmer Sue Hunter to learn about nutrient management and the NRCS’ role in helping farmers. They also had an opportunity to assist with soil sampling after training with Megan Facciolo, NRCS Soil Conservationist, after which they completed soil sampling on their own at two other farms.
As you drive along this time of year, you may notice many bushes covered in small white flowers (see pictures). It is the best time to spot a very aggressive invasive plant called multiflora rose, which right now is covered in clusters of small, white blooms and can be easily distinguished. When it’s not blooming, another way to identify it is to look for a fringe at the base of each compound leaf. This thorny bush can create a problem on land managed for grazing as well as for hayfields. It also can completely take over old field areas, forest edges and other areas, crowding out native plants including young trees. Multiflora rose grows vigorously after cutting, and animals will generally graze around it. The best organic method to control it is by digging it out or pulling it with a tractor. Multiflora rose can also be killed with a foliar application of herbicide. If you have a few of these plants on your land, it is best to remove them before they become widely established. Please contact us if you have more questions about multiflora rose or other invasives.
WCSW has FSMA Certified Board Supervisors who can assist you with quesstions regarding the FSMA. Please contact us.
Does the FSMA affect you? Check this flowchart:
You’ll be excited to know that Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCSW) is gearing up for a whole new level of programming and services. This year, we have added a second staff position, with Aleta McKeage joining us as the new Technical Director. We are offering many new services, which you can find out more about on this website (also new!). We are now providing educational workshops on demand in several topic areas, including ecology, mapping and management of invasive plants, and healthy conservation practices for your property. Look for our workshop series on woodland management beginning this season. We have begun a Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) for land owners, which includes an option to certify your property as Conservation Lands or an Eco Landscape. Participating in our Conservation Assistance Program also includes an option to become a WCSW Cooperator.
Our Community Conservation Corps provides an opportunity for young people interested in working in land management, farming, conservation or forestry a chance to help move many worthwhile local projects forward while gaining valuable skills and exploring careers. The Corps members work as interns with the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District and the NRCS for 6-10 weeks each summer.
Our 2017 interns Jamie and Sierra have been busy assisting with the development of a new community center green space in Belfast, the Crosby Center. They have assisted Coastal Mountains Land Trust develop a plan for mapping and management of invasive plants in the new McLelland-Poor Preserve. They’ve also learned about assessing freshwater stream water quality with biologist John Tipping while carrying out sensitive areas monitoring on Sears Island.
Another recent activity included helping Belfast High School science students learn how to sample vegetation in study plots in a mowed field. They will also accompany NRCS soil scientists to an area dairy farm to learn how NRCS helps farmers. All in all, they are making a great contribution to conservation while learning about a wide range conservation efforts in Waldo County.