Huntington County Soil & Water Conservation District
Our Mission: The mission of the Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District is to educate and provide assistance to the citizens of our county in the wise use of conservation practices on the land to protect the soil, water quality and other natural resources.
The Huntington County SWCD is a sub-divison of State Government and operate as a Department of Huntington County Government. It is a public body which exercises public powers. It is governed by five supervisors, esch a resident of Huntington County, three elected and two appointed.
Pictured below: Left to Right - Kyle Lund- Vice-Chairman, Adam Couch-supervisor, Kandace Villanueva-supervisor, Cheryl Jarrett - SWCD Staff, Stuart Stephan - supervisor and Andrew Ambriole - Chairman.
SWCD Annual Meeting Awards
The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District held their Annual Meeting and Banquet on February 23rd. Conservation Farmer awards were presented to Adam Jones and Suellen Jones. The River Friendly Farmer Award was presented to Joe and Elaine Caroll. The 4-H Soil and Water project participants were recognized for their achievements in the project. Participants were Nathaniel Alwine, Lucas Alwine, Chloe Couch, Jason Couch, Caeden Crider, David McMillan, Jonathan McMillan and Matthew McMillan. Dawn Slack, Director of Stewardship for the Nature Conservancy and chair for the Invasive Plant Advisory Committee Initiative shared information about invasive species and the impact they have on our native plants.
Links to Conservation Agencies
Rule 5 Erosion Control Program
The purpose of the 327 IAC 15-5 (Rule 5) is to reduce pollutants, principally sediment as a result of soil erosion, in storm water discharges into surface waters of the state. The requirements of Rule 5 apply to all persons who are involved in construction activity (which includes clearing, grading, excavation and other land disturbing activities) that results in the disturbance of one (1) acre or more of total land area. If the land disturbing activity results in the disturbance of less than one (1) acre, but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale (such as the development of a subdivision or industrial Park), it is still subject to storm water permitting.
Virtual Farm Drainage Workshop
Tuesday, April 6th, 2020
PRESENTERS & TOPICS:
• Eileen Kladivko, Purdue University Professor of Agronomy –
“Soil Drainage, Crop Yields, Cover Crop Growth and Nitrate
• Frank Gibbs, Soil Scientist, Wetland and Soil Consulting Services, LLC—”Soil Health with Earthworms: Make Your Soil
• Herb Manifold, Research Ecologist, Ecosystems Connections
Institute, LLC – “Case Study of the Beargrass Creek 2-Stage
Ditch: Improving drainage and water quality”
• Ed Farris, Purdue Extension Educator – “Indiana Manure/Fertilizer Applicator Regulations and Record Keeping"
This event was a product of the Upper Wabash River Phase 3 Watershed Management Plan Project, funded by IDEM Clean Water Act Section 205j funds
Virtual Soil Health Workshop
Thursday, February 4th, 2021
Presenters include Purdue Extension and Natural Resource Con-servation Service (NRCS) specialists. Topics include the following:
• Stephanie McLain, Indiana NRCS Soil Health Specialist – “Basics of Soil Function”
• Joe Rorick, Conservation Cropping Systems Agronomist – “Soil Health Concepts”
• Jim Camberato, Purdue Ext. Agronomist – “Managing Soil Fertility in Reduced Till/No-till Systems”
• Ed Farris, Purdue Extension Educator – “Dicamba and Regulatory Update”
This event was a product of the Lower Salamonie River Watershed 319 Project, funded by IDEM Clean Water Act Section 319 funds
Our Grant Projects
The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded a $227,000 Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for conservation efforts in the Lower Salamonie River Watershed. The grant project is focused on three main components:
Water-quality monitoring program
Education and outreach program
Over the term of the grant, the LSRW 319 project funded seventy-seven (77) projects. The amount of sediment, nitrogen, and phosphors reaching local waterways has been reduced by:
Sediment: 5,680 tons
Phosphorus: 8,014 pounds
Nitrogen: 16,037 pounds
The cost-share program has provided $154,000 to farmers in the Lower Salamonie River Watershed.
We have exceeded the project goal of $153,700 in in-kind contributions by nearly $28,000.
Upper Wabash River - Phase III Watershed Management Plan 205j Grant
The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), with the cooperation of Allen, Wells, Wabash, and Whitley counties have initiated the development of a Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for phase 3 of the Upper Wabash River Watershed. The motivation for the plan stems from known water-quality problems present throughout much of the Wabash River Basin. The watershed management plan is a continuation of past projects focused on distinguishing the most degraded areas of the watershed in greatest need of conservation efforts.
During the planning process, the watershed will be characterized through research of existing data, input gathered from stakeholders, water-quality monitoring, and windshield surveys. Data will be analyzed to determine the most prominent water quality impairments and both the causes and sources of those problems will be addressed. Sub-watersheds within the phase 3 project area of the Upper Wabash River Watershed will be ranked as to the degree in which they contribute to water-quality problems in the Wabash River. Sub-watersheds that are ranked highest for their contribution to water-quality problems will be identified as critical areas. Critical areas are those areas that would benefit most from the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to address inputs of pollutants to area streams, and thus are where financial and technical resources will be focused in future implementation phases.
UPCOMING STEERING COMMITTEE MEETINGS:
January 28th, 2021 & March 25th, 2021
Annual Little River Clean-Up
Volunteers gathered for the 3rd Annual Little River Clean-Up on Saturday, September 12th, 2020. Trash and debris were cleared from a 1½ mile stretch of the Little River from Elmwood Park to the Historic Forks of the Wabash Park in Huntington. In 3 years, volunteers have removed over 2 tons of debris from this stretch of the Little River.