Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making the World a Better Place

George Reger, ISDA Resource Specialist... Happy Surveying!
I feel compelled to write a brief snippet about the dedication and passion that our conservation staff and board members carry with them for our natural resources.  Day in and day out our ISDA, Soil Conservation/Environmental Stewardship staff pour their energy into to making this world a better place.  I know people always chuckle when I say we are working to make the world a better place, but that is the way I see it.  Of course this can be said about most any profession in one way or another, but literally we're about making our waters cleaner, soils healthier, and our farms efficient and productive.  We help people be great stewards of the precious land and resources of which we are blessed.  I admittedly get sappy about our conservation profession, but it is important work and we love it.
Sarah Lake, ISDA Resource Specialist.....
discussing conservation options with a farmer

In a recent report from our 23 Resource Specialists, they are currently working on the survey, planning, and completion of over 130 miles of Grassed Waterways!!! Wow!  If calculated, this would equate to thousands of tons of soil saved as well as thousands of pounds of phosphorus and nitrogen reduced from runoff as well(these are three components that can create significant water quality degradation).  Not to mention the farmer who installs this practice is thrilled because he no longer has that uncrossable gully in his field.

Recently constructed Grassed Waterway, new grass coming up
through erosion control blanket

Grassed waterways solve gully erosion problems.  Essentially you take that area in the field where water runs and it is starting make a channel from erosion(this is the gully) and you reshape that area to a designed width and depth, grow a dense vegetative cover(grass), and the erosion problem is gone.  Along with washing priceless topsoil away, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can quickly be washed away in these areas as well.  The Grassed Waterway eliminates the erosion and the grass acts as a filter for the nutrients.

Functioning Grassed Waterway 

Many thanks to our staff and State Soil Conservation Board who work out in the field, in the board rooms, and in the offices to bring conservation solutions to our lands.

Thank You!
Indiana State Soil Conservation Board

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