MACD News Blog

Barry and Dickinson Conservation Districts Receive DEQ Recognition

Friday, April 04, 2014

Congratulations to the Barry and Dickinson Conservation Districts for receiving the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Nonpoint Source Program's recognition as 2013 Success Stories! 

The Nonpoint Source Program works with stakeholders at the watershed level to support the restoration and enhancement of Michigan's surface water resources by protecting waterbodies from nonpoint pollution sources. Nonpoint sources are the diffuse pollution sources that enter water bodies through multiple sources.

The Barry Conservation District was recognized for their leadership on the Nashville dam removal which took place in 2009. The removal of the dam and installation of a rock ramp restored the river's natural channel and hydraulics, which successfully increased Dissolved Oxygen concentrations to the point that the river is now meeting water quality standards. The success of this project will allow the DEQ to remove a 27 mile reach of the Thornapple River from the DEQ nonattainment list in 2014.  The dam removal also improved fish passage, wildlife and fish habitat and recreational opportunities.

The Dickinson Conservation District was recognized for the Fitzgerald Creek exclusion project which eliminated unlimited cattle access to the creek through the use of best management practices (BMPs) in 2007. The project was part of the Hamilton Creek Watershed project and included two livestock crossings, stream bank stabilization, and 5,510 linear feet of fence to exclude cattle from the stream and wetland. Results of this project showed greatly improved instream habitat and riparian conditions, including increased populations of macroinvertabrates.

The Barry and Dickinson Conservation Districts were recognized during the Michigan Water Environment Association's Watershed Summit which took place on March 26, 2014.

To learn more about these projects, visit the DEQ Water Resource Division's webpage: Updates from the Water Resource Division, or contact the Barry Conservation District or the Dickinson Conservation District,

President Pelon Speaks on Behalf of Conservation Districts at Stabenow Meeting

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Senator Debbie Stabenow, our strong agriculture and natural resource supporter in Congress was is in Michigan this week and held two meetings to discuss the Farm Bill with local conservation and agricultural leaders.


Art Pelon, President of MACD attended the event in Frankenmuth on Tuesday, March 18th and had the opportunity to address the Senator during the meeting.  Art stressed the importance of Michigan's Conservation Districts and the need for state financial support to provide for the delivery of the Farm Bill at the local level. 

Michigan Conservation Districts are the local partner with NRCS, assisting and directing program dollars to address local resource concerns.  

MACD is very pleased that Senator Stabenow understands the importance of the Conservation Districts and their role in delivering Farm Bill programs to the local level. 

MACD to Participate in Ag Day at the Capital

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ag Day at the Capitol and the Michigan Agriculture Showcase is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19th in the Capital building, downtown Lansing. And MACD will be there to showcase the work of Michigan Conservation Districts!

The event provides attendees with the opportunity to sample Michigan food products and learn more about commodities and agricultural organizations at a trade show-style Michigan agriculture "showcase" in the Capitol from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Capital will be filled with displays and informational booths and will be serving legislators samples of the amazing variety of Michigan food products. The MACD Legislative Task Force will be on hand, providing a non-consumable, yet very useful notepad for legislators to take back to their offices to remind them of the work Michigan Conservation Districts do every day! 

Make sure you stop by the MACD booth during your visit to Ag Day at the Capital to learn more about Michigan Conservation Districts.

Art Pelon, MACD President Receives MAEAP Verification

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) congratulates Art Pelon, MACD President on receiving verification for his family's farm under the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Cropping System.

Art Pelon and his family live in Fenwick, and practice environmental stewardship on their farm which includes cultivated acreage in addition to 400 acres of land featuring pristine woodlands, wetlands, and stands of native prairie plantings. Art and his family are avid hunters, dedicated to providing high quality habitat for wildlife, including deer, turkey and pheasant on their Ronald Township property. Establishment and endorsement of top-quality habitat and sustainable hunting has always been a mission for Art and his family, and participating in MAEAP has been one more way for the Pelon family to show their dedication to environmental stewardship.

Standing proudly by their MAEAP sign on a cold winter day. From left: David Wood, Ionia Conservation District Watershed Coordinator; Rachel Koleda, Ionia Conservation District MEAP Technician; Keith Creagh, Department of Natural Resources Director; Stephen Shine, Pollution Prevention Manager with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; Pete, Art and Michelle Pelon.

In addition to serving as the President of MACD, Art is the Chairman of the Ionia Conservation District Board, is a state director for the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and serves as the Clerk for Ronald Township.

MAEAP is a voluntary, non-regulatory program that helps farmers prevent or minimize pollution occurring on both the farmstead and in the fields. The MAEAP cropping system focuses on nutrient application and management on cultivated fields, to ensure that crops receive the nutrients needed to grow, without adding excess nutrients to the soil or water. By voluntarily adopting best management practices on their fields, MAEAP verified farms actively do their part to reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients and chemicals impacting our water and other natural resources.

For more information on MAEAP or other conservation programs please contact your local Conservation District, and visit