The Allen County SWCD along with the Southwest Conservation Club (SWCC), Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, Indiana DNR, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service partnered for a prescribed burn workshop. This workshop informed attendees about wildlife habitat and the various ways to manage it. It also gave a basis on who to contact, what permits are necessary, what to do in an urban situation, and what equipment is necessary to perform a prescribed burn.
Due to the inclement weather, we were unable to do a live demonstration of the burn, but attendees were still able to go outside and learn techniques and dive into the equipment. Both Jessica Merkling with InDNR and Ryan Owen with Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and the NRCS, did an amazing job presenting and gave great insight into performing a burn.
The SWCC Prescribed Burn Workshop was the first hybrid event that the Allen County SWCD had ever done, meaning it was both in person and virtual. We learned a lot through this event, and we’re looking forward to improve ourselves in both virtual and in-person events.
Below is the recording of this workshop. If you’re interested in doing a burn on your property, this is a great place to start!
This fall, the Allen County SWCD and the Maumee Watershed Alliance had numerous opportunities to give tours of Fort Wayne’s three rivers – the St. Mary’s, the St. Joseph’s, and the Maumee. These tours were designed to educate both farmers and urbanites on the importance of water quality and the part everyone plays in maintaining and improving the water quality around Allen County. Greg Lake, the Allen Co. SWCD Director, and Dan Wire, an Associate SWCD Board Member and Maumee Watershed Alliance Member, expressed how important it is to get people on the water. According to Dan Wire, “When people get on the river, they realize it’s not as bad as they thought.” Riding the river also gives an understanding of the programs already in place to improve and maintain water quality and the opportunities to get involved.
The Allen County SWCD even had the chance to give a tour to both Tom Bechman, the editor for the Indiana Prairie Farmer, and Jerry Raynor, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist. Dan Wire and Greg Lake shared about the programs that improve water quality locally, and Jerry Raynor spoke about what is happening statewide in the promotion of conservation. Tom Bechman wrote several stories about his trip to Allen County and published them in the October 2020 issue of the Indiana Prairie Farmer. Now the message of water quality is being spread across Indiana.
Take a look at these articles written by Tom Bechman from his visit to Allen County!
An update on the SWCD and USGS partnership: Edge of Field Project. This project collaborates with local farmers to collect water samples for an estimate five years to measure nutrients, sediment, and other critical elements for USGS research.
In January 2021, the SWCD staff were trained how to collect samples and send the collection and other information to USGS. Information is collected and sent after significant rain/snow fall events when water has entered the systems.
The systems are built on the land of cooperating landowners and farmers, at no cost to the farmer. USGS incurs all of the installation costs and other necessary elements. USGS is always looking for new sites to host these Edge of Field sites. Contact our office if you would like more information about this project.
Leaders, innovators, elected officials, and community members come together to discuss the state of our rivers, the fluid economics of good water, and how to turn challenges into opportunities.
Our Wednesday evening event begins at 6 p.m. and will take place at Promenade Park featuring a social hour, discussions on the local impacts of riverfront development, the smart sustainable Great Lakes Region cluster, and the economics of harmful algal blooms.
The Rivers Summit III September 16th event will begin at 9 a.m. and be held at The Grand Wayne Center. The Summit will address federal commitments to water quality, partnerships that succeed, the state of the lake (Erie), and feature a panel discussion with leaders in water quality followed by a Q&A session.
This year’s guest speakers include Jim Banks– U.S. Congressman; Susan Crouch– Indiana Lieutenant Governor; Dave Heine– Indiana State Representative; Dr. Chris Winslow– Director, Ohio Sea Grant Program; Richard Batiuk– Retired Associate Director for Science, Analysis, and Implementation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office; JeffReuter– Former Director, Ohio Sea Grant Program; Matt Fisher– Lake Erie Foundation; Jordan Hoewischer, Ohio Farm Bureau; Jeff Leonard, Defiance City Administrator; with introductions given by Tom Henry– Fort Wayne Mayor; Ann Marie Smrchek– Maumee Watershed Alliance and Dick Waterfield– Waterfield Capital.
Tickets for the evening event are priced at $10 each and include a beverage ticket. The day event is priced at $30 and includes lunch and refreshments. Our General Admission ticket includes entry to both events and is priced at only $35. We are offering a 50% student discount and limited scholarships are available. Email email@example.com for scholarship application and information.
Buy Tickets for the Rivers Summit III here https://maumeewatershedalliance.org/riverssummit/