Part Time Administrative Assistant Job Opening

LEWISTON:  The Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors (an equal opportunity employer and program provider) is looking for a part time Administrative Assistant who is interested in a career that focuses on the conservation of the natural resources in both Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties.  Compensation package will be negotiated and based upon the candidate’s education and experience.  The purpose for this opening is to train and prepare a person for the position of District Manager.

This position requires some college work, experience and willingness to learn work aspects in office management, accounting, planning/program development, and customer service/outreach.  Funding resource research and grant writing experience is mandatory.  Good written and oral skills, problem-solving and organizational skills are needed and must possess the ability to work well both independently and with others. Comfort in working on four to five projects/tasks in the same day will be a great bonus. 

Some tasks will require the use of a reliable personal vehicle and candidate will need a valid State of Maine driver’s license and automobile insurance.  Mileage is reimbursable at an established rate.

Click to see the job description.  Submit a resume, four references, proposed wage level and samples of successful grant proposals via email to: or mail to:  Position Search Committee, Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston, ME 04240.

District Board Supervisor-Temporary 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.

Because no nomination petition papers were received for the open position on the Board of Supervisors, the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District will not be mailing out ballots.  The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walter Whitcomb will appoint a temporary replacement for no longer than one year.

The Conservation District 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 temporary one 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 December 16, 2015.  Contact the Conservation District office via email at or phone (207) 753-9400 ext 400.

Local Work Group Meeting

Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District is working with Natural Resources Conservation Service to prepare the agenda and promotion for the annual Local Work Group Meeting.  Save the date of Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m..  The meeting will be held here at the USDA Service Center at 254 Goddard Road, Lewiston.  Any interested are invited to come. Those wishing to be recognized in the polling during the meeting must apply for membership.  Contact Jane by phone at 207-753-9400 ext 400  or email at

FARM POND Walk and Talk Offered September 26, 2015.

CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF REGISTRATIONS.  If you are interested in seeing this rescheduled contact Jane Heikkinen at or call the Conservation District office at 207-753-9400 ext 400.

A morning of farm pond construction and maintenance tips was to be held Saturday, September 26, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.  The session was to begin at the Topsham Public Safety Building of the Fire Department and then go on to the field session at the Bisson Farm at 116 Meadow Road in Topsham.  After the classroom instruction, participants were to go to the farm, walk to the pond and discuss management practices and maintenance issues.  The walk to the pond will not be handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be offered.

Pre-registration was required by September 21.  The cost is $7.50 per individual or $10 per couple.  Anyone registering after September 21 or the day of the workshop were to be charged $11 each person.  The Conservation District gives no refunds for those not showing up at a workshop.

The FARM POND Walk and Talk is being sponsored by the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, hosted by the Town of Topsham and  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 was to offer a relaxed, informal training opportunity, new pond construction tips, ideas for pond maintenance, helps for planning pond use, view of a farm pond, practices used and an interactive learning experience with a question and answer time.

To see registration flyer , click here: 

2015 farm Pond flyer.pdf

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 for 2016

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.

Would you like a team from you high school to be pictured here?  It's not too late to register.  Contact

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:

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.

Click here on the following to see:

the Agenda: 

Maine Professional Development Workshop Agenda.pdf

Also are two links to provide information for the Whole Farm Assessment and Certification and Management Practices to Reduce Agricultural Emissions on Maine Farms.

USDA Local Work Group Meeting

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
  • Pasture
  • 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)
  • Invasive species
  • Wildlife issues

Low 6 points with questions related to the resource concerns

  • Water Quantity
  • Air Quality

Other Workshops:

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

Septic Social

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. 

Other Topics Covered In Past Workshops

                               Looked at crop management