MACD News Blog

OSU Sea Grant Program and Stone Lab Win MACD Award

Thursday, November 03, 2016

EAST LANSING - November 3, 2016.  The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) honored Ohio State University's Sea Grant College Program and Stone Lab with the 2016 Friend of Conservation Award on Tuesday, October 25th during the MACD Annual Convention held in Bellaire, MI.

MACD annually presents the Friend of Conservation Award to recognize the outstanding contributions of an individual or organization for their efforts to improve the public's understanding of natural resource conservation, for participation in conservation practices in cooperation with a Conservation District, and to further the mission of Michigan Conservation Districts as the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our state's resources for a cleaner, healthier, and economically stronger Michigan. 

"MACD is pleased to honor the OSU Sea Grant College Program and the Stone Laboratory with the 2016 Friend of Conservation Award," said Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director. "The outstanding educational programs offered at the Stone Lab have provided information and hands-on experiences that have enhanced the agricultural community's understanding of water quality issues in the Western Lake Erie Watershed Basin."

The OSU Sea Grant College Program at Stone Lab in the Lake Erie Islands has been the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and Conservation Practices Day Conference location for the Lenawee Conservation District's "Field to Great Lakes" events since 2013. Farmers and partners of agriculture have found the conference presentations of the science of algae blooms to be informative and well researched. The commitment to detail and breakdown of science has resulted in farmer attendees engaging in and actively encouraging others to implement additional conservation practices to positively impact water quality. The Farmers Advisory Committee that is comprised of over 100 farmers was also formed in 2014 as a result of farmers who attended the conference requesting assistance to continue the conservation conversation. 

Established in 1895, the Stone Laboratory is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States and the center of Ohio State University's teaching and research on Lake Erie. Each year the lab serves as a base for more than 65 researchers from 12 agencies and academic institutions, all working year-round to solve the most pressing problems facing the Great Lakes.

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts is a 501(c)3 organization that represents the interests of Michigan Conservation Districts and works to strengthen Districts through leadership, information and representation at the state level. Michigan's 77 Conservation Districts are the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our environment for a cleaner, healthier, economically stronger Michigan.  To learn more about Michigan Conservation Districts visit www.macd.org.



Left to Right: Art Pelon, MACD President, Matt Thomas, OSU Stone Laboratory Research and Operations Manager, and Lori Phalen, MACD Ex. Director.


MAEAP and Conservation Practices Day Conference attendees at the Stone Lab.

Carl Druskovich Receives 2016 Friend of Conservation Award

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

EAST LANSING - The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) honored Carl Druskovich, Treasurer of the Van Buren Conservation District (VBCD), with the 2016 Director of the Year Award on Tuesday, October 25th at the MACD Convention and Annual Meeting held in Bellaire, MI.

The Director of the Year is named annually by the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts to recognize the outstanding contributions of a Conservation District director; one who has provided strong leadership, advocacy and promotion of conservation practices within the community. 

"Carl is an amazing director, going above and beyond to support the Van Buren Conservation District, its staff and programs." said Lori Phalen, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts. "Carl is a true leader, conservation steward and an integral part of Michigan's conservation community and we are pleased to honor him with the 2016 Director of the Year Award."

Mr. Druskovich has passion for the VBCD and its programs and offers a great deal of support to the District.  He brings along additional volunteers to events and offers up his farm to host educational workshops where others learn about the conservation programs and obtain a first-hand look at specialized equipment, no-till practices, cover cropped fields, irrigation scheduling and more.  Carl is a strong conservation advocate, promoting conservation practices, implementing those practices on his own farm and supporting the mission of the Van Buren Conservation District. 

The Van Buren Conservation District is a special purpose unit of government, governed by a locally elected five-member board of directors who provide leadership to the District's activities and programs. The VBCD promotes the conservation of natural resources through partnerships, by providing public education, demonstrations and technical assistance while working together for future generations. Learn more about the VBCD by visiting vanburencd.org.

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts is a 501(c)3 organization that represents the interests of Michigan Conservation Districts and works to strengthen Districts through leadership, information and representation at the state level. Michigan's 77 Conservation Districts are the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our environment for a cleaner, healthier, economically stronger Michigan.  For more information about Michigan Conservation Districts and to connect to your local Conservation District, visit www.macd.org, or contact MACD at 517-324-5274.



Left to Right: Art Pelon, MACD President; Kyle Mead, Eleanor Serocki, Matt Meersman, Kim Sinclair, Carl Druskovich, AJ Brucks, Lori Phalen MACD Ex. Director, Colleen Forestieri, and Erin Fuller all from the Van Buren Conservation District.

Carl Druskovich, Treasurer of Van Buren Conservation District and MACD 2016 Director of the Year.

Farmer-Led Conservation to Get a Boost in Western Lake Erie Basin

Friday, October 28, 2016

EAST LANSING - October 28, 2016.  Farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin will get a boost through the Farmers taking Action to Protect Water Quality in Western Lake Erie Basin grant project, recently funded by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation.  


The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) has received $480,000 over three years to increase farmer adoption of conservation practices to protect water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin and strengthen farmer leadership to encourage neighbor action.  MACD will be working with the River Raisin Watershed Council, the Lenawee Conservation District and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) as project partners.

“This project targets the development of outreach tools, the expansion of Farmer-Led Conservation groups; and will also provide funds for farmers to distribute to improve water quality within the River Raisin Watershed,” said Lori Phalen MACD Executive Director, “we are pleased to be working with such outstanding partners to foster continued farmer-led progress within the watershed.”

“River Raisin Watershed Council is excited to continue a program that has brought attention to our efforts to partner with the local conservation district and the agricultural community through local Farmer-Led Conservation Groups and help tell their story of successes and conservation practices that reduce their impact on soil and nutrient losses in the Western Lake Erie Basin.  This truly is a grassroots effort to educate and implement meaningful agricultural practices throughout the River Raisin Watershed” states Stephen May Executive Director.

The Western Lake Erie Basin encompasses nearly 6 million acres of land (drained by the Maumee, Portage and Ottawa Rivers), as well as the open waters of Maumee Bay- the region’s gateway to Lake Erie and one of the most biologically diverse, productive and economically important areas of the Great Lakes system. 

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts is a 501(c)3 organization that represents the interests of Michigan Conservation Districts and works to strengthen Districts through leadership, information and representation at the state level.  Michigan’s 77 Conservation Districts are the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our environment for a cleaner, healthier, economically stronger Michigan.

The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation’s mission is to nurture environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metro Detroit, consistent with sustainable business models, and support initiatives to restore the Great Lakes Ecosystem.  The Foundation is committed to the standards and approaches of sustainability, organizational effectiveness, collaboration and leadership in support of its mission.   

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NRCS Seeks Applications to Restore Wetlands

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Michigan Conservation Districts work in partnership with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service to deliver conservation on the land.  In many areas of Michigan, Conservation Districts are located in the same office as the Natural Resource Conservation Service, to facilitate the delivery of conservation programs, such as the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program below. 

USDA Seeks Applications to Restore Wetlands

EAST LANSING, Sept. 21, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking applications from Michigan landowners who want to restore wetlands on their property. Applications submitted by Oct. 21, 2016, will be considered for selection for the current fiscal year.

Land that formerly contained a wetland but was converted to agricultural use may be eligible for enrollment in the USDA’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program provides financial assistance for restoring wetlands and the purchase of long-term or permanent easements from landowners. Landowners enrolled in the program retain ownership of the land and control over access to the property as well as recreational use of the land.

The USDA restores and purchases wetland easements for their environmental benefits. Wetlands improve water quality by filtering water before it enters lakes and rivers. They also store water following heavy rains and snowmelts, reducing the frequency and severity of flood events and recharging ground water. Wetlands also provide valuable habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including fish, waterfowl, raptors, amphibians and many others.

Landowners can find out more about the USDA Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and wetland restoration by contacting their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office and their local Conservation District office. NRCS Office contact information is available at www.mi.nrcs.usda.gov, Local Conservation District office information available by clicking HERE.