Election for District Board Supervisor and Appointment Open
Election Superintendent Jane Heikkinen announced, "Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District Election Date will be, November 16, 2015 for the position of Board Supervisor. The position, currently held by Arthur Dunlap of Poland, will terminate December 31, 2015. The candidate being elected for the next three year term will begin January 1, 2016.
Persons desiring to run for office of District Board Supervisor for the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District should contact the District Election Superintendent Jane Heikkinen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org ore telephone (207) 753-9400 ext 400 to obtain nomination petition papers. The Conservation District. has one (1) elected supervisor position open for a three year period beginning January 1, 2016. Nomination papers must be received not later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2015.
Persons who desire to run for the office of District Board Supervisor must be a resident, registered voter residing within the boundaries of (Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties) the Conservation District are eligible to run for office. All registered voters living within Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties are eligible to vote for the election of a District Board Supervisor. Ballots will be made available by October 22. Registered voters wishing to participate in this election must contact the Conservation District office or may download the ballot from our website at www.androscogginswcd.org. To have a valid ballot, place the ballot in an envelope and seal it; then place the sealed envelope in another envelope addressed to Election Superintendent, Androscoggin Valley SWCD, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston, ME 04240; finally write in bottom left of addressed envelope " I, ____, am a registered voter in town/city of ___________. Now you may put postage stamp on the envelope and mail it. All ballots must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 16, 2015.
The Conservation District also will be looking for an interested volunteer to recommend before the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to serve as an appointed Board Supervisor for a three year term which begins January 1, 2016. Any person desiring to be recommended for appointment to the office of District Board Supervisor must submit an Information Summary Form not later than 4 p.m. on October 15, 2015. Contact the Conservation District office via email at email@example.com or phone (207) 753-9400 ext 400.
FARM POND Walk and Talk Offered September 26, 2015.
A morning of farm pond construction and maintenance tips will be held Saturday, September 26, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The session will be held at the Bisson Farm at 116 Meadow Road in Topsham. After the classroom instruction, participants will walk to the two farm ponds and discuss management practices and maintenance issues. The walk to the pond will not be handicap accessible. Lightrefreshments will be offered.
Pre-registration is required by September 15. The cost is $7.50 per individual or $10 per couple. Anyone registering after September 15 or the day of the workshop will be charged $11 each person. There will be no refunds for those not showing up at the workshop.
The FARM POND Walk and Talk is being sponsored by the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, hosted by the Bisson Farm and facilitated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Engineer Candi Gilpatric. Both Androsoggin Valley Conservation District and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are equal opportunity employers and program providers. This program will offer a relaxed, informal training opportunity, new pond construction tips, ideas for pond maintenance, helps for planning pond use, view of two farm ponds, practices used and an interactive learning experience with a question and answer time.
Strategic Planning for Upcoming Educational Programming
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District will be partnering with the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission to offer some educational opportunities this fall or early spring. Keep watching or details.
The Invasive Forest Insect Outreach Volunteer Training was held April 1, 2015.
People interested in learning how to recognize invasive tree pests and in protecting our natural resources and people working in the wood products industry attended this training at the USDA Service Center at 254 Goddard Road in Lewiston, which was offered in partnership by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry with Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District. The purpose for this workshop was to train people to recognize, report and to spread awareness about the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the emerald ash borer (EAB), and hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and other invasive tree pests.
Participants learned how to disseminate information to the public to help spread awareness. Contact Jane Heikkinen at 207-753-9400 ext 400 for outreach materials.
Invasive Tree Pests pose a serious threats to the trees and forests of Maine. The best defense for our trees and forests is early detection by people who work with trees, those who enjoy the outdoors, and those involved in community education.
Local Work Group Meeting
On February 20th the Local Work Group Meeting was held. The meeting was very productive with good discussion and many decisions made about the priorities and ranking points to be given to applicants attempting to get cost share funding through the Environmental Quality Improvement Program for the farm conservation practices need to protect our natural resource concerns in Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties.
Maine's Conservation Districts Highlighted--A Great Accolade!
State Officials stress the importance of Conservation Districts to soil health, water quality and wise use of the land, forest and water resources
Released from Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry-Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Augusta - Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) officials are highlighting the important work of Maine Soil and Water Conservation Districts in speeches in Slowhegan and Gorham this week. Commissioner Walt Whitcomb and Deputry Commissioner Dave Lavway are scheduled to speak at meetings of the Maine State Grange and Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District about the value of Conservation Districts to Maime communities, agriculture and the natural resource economy.
"The last Census of Agriculture highlighted the strength of Maine agriculture and its potential to put more food on the table, provide jobs and create economic opportunities," said Governor Paul R. LePage at a debate for the Governor's race. "There are more Maine farms now, and the market value of Maine agricutural products has increased 24 percent. Soil and Water Conservation Districts are an important part of that success. For the amount of money invested, Conservation Districts provide taxpayers witht the biggest bang for the buck in natural resource management. The valuable work that they do does not receive enough attention or financial support."
"Maine needs to develop its natural resources economy through prevention of soil erosion, improvement of soil health, protection and restoration of water quality and wise use of our land, forests, and water," said DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. "Meeting these challenges requires a public-private partnership that Conservation Districts have developed over the past 70 years. The LePage Administration has actively strengthened an important partnership that improves natural resource management."
"Agriculture is growing in Maine, with more farms and more acres devoted to producing locally-grown food with sustainable farming practices," said Deputy Commissioner Lavway. "The Maine Soil and Water Conservation Districts have recognized this trend and are developing programs to promote soil health and public awareness of agriculture."
Benefits of Soil and Water Conservation Districts:
Soil and Water Conservation Districts help prevent soil erosion, improve soil health, protect and restore water quality. They promote wise use of land, forest and water resources. They achieve these objectives by establishing public-private partnerships.
Conservation Districts bring numerous partners together--federal, state agencies, local governments, farmers, woodlot owners, lakeshore residents, business and industry -- to find effective solutions to local natural resource problems.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts are important partners in the merged Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. They epitomize the collaborative approach to natural resource managemnent that Governor LePage envisoned when he and the Legislature combined these three agencies into Maine's largest natural resource Department.
Conservation Districts extend the Department's ability to reach local landowners. Districts are one of the most trusted sources for unbiased information on natural resource management.
Maine's Conservation Districts leverage over $15 million in grants, appropriations, cash contributions, and volunteer labor to conserve, improve and sustain natural resources. Every State dolloar invested in Conservation Districts produces over $18 in additonal funding for conservation work.
Southwestern Regional Envirothon Competition
What is Envirothon? A state and nationwide natural resource problem-solving competition for grades 9-12. Students compete outdoors in five natural resource areas: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and a current national environmental issue. Regional winners compete at state level and the State of Maine winning team goes on to the North American Envirothon finals.
2014 State Champions out of four regional competions: Mt Ararat of Topsham. Congratualtions, team!
Would you like a team from you high school to be pictured here? It's not too late to register. Contact Josh@kcswcd.org.
2015 Southwestern Regional Envirothon is set for May 14 at Packard-Littlefield Farm, 76 Littlefield Road, Lisbon. Schools are urged to sign up early to ensure getting you first choice.
There are many opportunities for you to participate in supporting high school students in your community: volunteer as a team coach, donate $75 to help with team traveling costs to the Regional competition, or make a contribution to cover awards and lunches for the teams attending. Call Office Manager Jane Heikkinen at the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District office at 207-753-9400 ext 400 for specifics.
Andy Valley Succesful Farmer Series
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District received funding from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentive Program Agreement #68-1218-13-17 to offer "The Andy Valley Successful Farmer". For beginning farmers, in business under ten years, there are many opportunities available through the Beginner Farmers Resource Network. Check this site out: http://www.umaine.edu/beginning-farmer-resource-network/.
During the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we held 5 workshop sessions. These included Forest Harvesting Management, Vegetable and Fruit Crop Management, Soil Health and Nutrient Management, Pest Management for Fruit and Vegetables, Transitioning To and Organic Production, and Irrigation for Field and High Tunnel Production.
Professional Development Workshop
Maine Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Project was funded through a grant with SARE. February 24, 2014 a Professional Develoment Workshop was held for those providing services to farmers.
The Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District hosted a meeting of the Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties USDA Local Work Group Meeting on December 19, 2013. Fifteen people attended the meeting.
The local resource categories and percentages in the funding pools will be animal waste with 75%, cropland and pasture with 20%, and small farms with 5% for 2014. The Local Working Group identified and prioritized the resource concerns and points allocated to these concerns:
High 33 points for questions related to the resource concerns
Integrated pest management (vegetables, small berries and orchards)
Soil Health/Cropland Issues
Nutrient management (waste mangement and soil health)
Water quality (surface and groundwater)
Erosion (farmland and streambank)
Medium 10 points for questions associated with the resource concerns
Community Engagement (Ag education and recreation activities on farms that support local communities
Forestry (timber stand improvement)
Low 6 points with questions related to the resource concerns
Farm Pond Workshop
The Farm Pond Walk and Talk Workshop was held Saturday, October 19, 2013, from 8:30 to 12 noon. This workshop was held on the Hemond Farm and MotorX area, at 695 Woodman Hill Road, Minot. The session included inside classroom time and an outside walk to three farm ponds for further discussion on farm pond uses.
This workshop was relaxed and informal, covered new pond construction tips, built pond maintenance ideas, planning for pond use and provided opportunity to learn from questions of the other attendees and answers that were given.
The Farm Pond Walk and Tak Workshop was sponsored by the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, hosted by the Hemond Farm and facilitated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agriculutral Engineer Cani Gilpatric. This workshop was offered as a result of requests received from farmers. However, please note that USDA NRCS does not provide cost sharing, technical assistance or construction engineering for new farm pond development.
Other Workshops Offered in 2013
Lake Auburn Watershed Septic Social was held Saturday, September 7, at the Volunteer Monitoring Program Office, 24 Maple Hill Road, Auburn from 8:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m.
All septic systems located within a watershed and all septic systems have the potential to impact a nearby waterbody. Learn how you can save money, extend you septic system's life and protect Lake Auburn. This septic social was offered to bring answers to your questions, help you stay on the right side of the law, and offer tips on preventing a system failure. The fantastic speakers and good company made it a fun morning. This Septic Social was offered with the collaborating efforts of Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, Auburn Water District, Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission, Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, W E Fenderson Septic Service, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The Sun Journal published a guest editorial about the event written by Heather Mccarthy. We extend our thanks to both the Sun Journal and Heather.
The first 15 Lake Auburn watershed residents who attended the Septic Social received a coupon from the Lake Auburn Watershed Protection Commission to add to the discount offered by W.E. Fenderson Septic Services for a septic tank pump out.
New Standards for Timber Harvesting in Shoreland Areas
Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service partnered to offer this FREE workshop for code enforcement officers, woodlot owners, forest operators and any others interested. The workshop was held in the USDA Service Center's Conference Room at 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston.
The topics covered the new laws, options for municipalities and key changes for timber harvesting. The instructors took time to address questions and offered to do follow up visits.