Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative

February Newsletter

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Help Us Go Green!

The Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District is Going Green! Please support us by signing up for our all new digital newsletter! It is filled with tons of pictures, video links, social media links, and the ability to share to social media. Best of all the new newsletter will be saving paper! Sign up for the digital newsletter by going to our website (www.iroquoiswatershed.com) or scan the QR code below to sign-up! If you prefer to still receive the paper copy then simply do nothing and we will continue to mail a paper copy to you.

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"Cover Crops Do Pay" Field Day

On Friday, November 6, 2015 the Jasper, Newton, and Benton County Soil and Water Conservation Districts hosted the “Cover Crops Do Pay” Field Day in Rensselaer, Indiana. The event consisted of ten sponsors at seven different stations that covered topics pertaining to cover crops. The topics and sponsors were:Over 120 people attended the day long event held at Dave Rodibaugh’s cover crop field. The Jasper County SWCD Board Members served lunch to a crowd of over 100 attendees in a heated tent. The 120 attendees to the “Cover Crops Do Pay” Field Day toured the seven different stations to learn more about the benefits of cover cropping for soil quality and conservation and also saw modern cover crop planting equipment. Performance Farm Solutions’, Evan Click, said “everyone has a different opinion about what [cover crops] to put on, when to put it on and how to put it on, but everyone agrees to put it on”. Thank you to our sponsors and attendees for making the 2015 “Cover Crops Do Pay” Field Day a success! For more information on cover cropping and future events please visit www.iroquoiswatershed.com or contact the “Cover Crop Guy” Dan Perkins at 219-866-8008 extension 3.

Northwest Indiana Cover Crop Data 2015

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Iroquois River Float on August 29, 2015

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We had a great turnout for our annual Iroquois River Float, with approximately 55 paddlers from all over northwest Indiana. we departed from the George Ade home near Brook, IN and got out at the Newton County Fairgrounds. The float was 15 river miles long and took about an average of 4 hours to complete. The group enjoyed the meandering characteristics and wildlife of the lower Iroquois River. The paddlers had to contend with intermittent showers, but a good time was still had by all! This float could not have happened without our partners, the Northwest Indiana Paddler's Association (nwipa.org) and NICHES Land Trust (nicheslandtrust.org). A big thank you goes out to them! We are all hoping to do this float again next year, so be on the lookout summer 2016!

Dan Perkin's YouTube Channel

Scan the QR codes above to watch two great YouTube videos of Dan Perkins of the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District interviewing one of the graduate students from Notre Dame about their research project located in the Upper Iroquois Watershed!

Rain Garden Workshop

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Our Urban Workgroup hosted a Raingarden Workshop on September 16, 2015 at the Brook Conservation Club in Brook, Indiana. Around 15 participants attended and learned a bit more about this conservation practice. Raingardens are a great way to capture and treat excess rainwater on your property. The garden also attracts wildlife and pollinators! Each attendee received a starter plant sponsored by Cardno Nursery, a delicious meal thanks to the Brook Chamber of Commerce, and the "Bluethumb Guide to Raingardens" book. Brook Community State Bank purchased replacement plants for the raingarden at the Brook Conservation Club that were lost during the spring floods. Thank you to all our sponsors and presenters!!

Women in Ag Conservation Discussion and Field Tour

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Female landowners and farm managers from Jasper County and surrounding counties were invited to participate in a conservation discussion roundtable and field tour that was held on October 27, 2015 at Curtis Creek Country Club in Rensselaer, Indiana. Estimates show that women own or co-own nearly half of the farmland in the Midwestern corn belt. Many of them wonder whether or not they are doing everything they can to improve the health and viability of this precious and finite resource. The purpose of this gathering was to allow women to share their individual concerns, to educate them on the properties of soil health, and to inform them of various conservation practices and funding opportunities. Female conservation personnel were on hand to facilitate discussion and answer questions. A delicious lunch prepared by Yesteryears at Curtis Creek was served, and then the women were taken on a bus tour to view conservation on the ground in our local fields. The overall goal was to remind women that they do have the power to say what happens on their land and to be proactive with the health of that land. This event was sponsored by a grant from American Farmland Trust and the Women in Food and Ag Network.

Pond Management Class at Willow Slough

Newton County SWCD hosted a pond management class on August 27, 2015 to educate local residents about the particular needs of ponds. DNR Fish and Wildlife and Purdue Extension staff were on hand to identify common pesky pond vegetation and show how to manage the fish and plants in their ponds. After that, the group got on the water and saw a demonstration of "shocking". Shocking employs a non-lethal electrical current to stun or attract fish and other critters in the pond. This method is used to determine what types and sizes of fish, insects, and amphibians are present in a given pond. Contact Newton County SWCD for more information at 219-285-2217.

Jasper County Fair 2015

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The fair had great weather for the most part this year and was deemed a success! The Jasper County SWCD had a variety of displays to entertain and inform our vistiors. We also judged some 4H projects that fell within our areas of interest. There were some really great projects to see!
Highlights:

  • Over 75 people entered to receive a free rain barrel, courtesy of the Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative
  • The Jasper County SWCD gave away 360 free popsicles and water to thirsty fair goers
  • The new restrooms were open for the first time this year and were utilized quite frequently and with much appreciation
  • The UIWI had a display informing residents of the watershed goals and ways to get involved
  • An implement to seed cover crops into V5 corn was on display as well as a video demonstrating the benefits of cover crops

Newton County SWCD Fish and Native Plant Sale

The Newton County SWCD Fish and Native Plant Sale held on May 13, 2015 was a success! The following diverse types of pond fish were available:

  • Channel Catfish
  • Hybrid Bluegill
  • Regular Bluegill
  • Redear
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Grass Carp
  • Fathead Minnows Koi
  • Black Crappie

The native plant sale featured plants grown by the Friends of the Sands. There were 16 flower species and 4 types of grasses including:

  • nodding wild onion
  • wild columbine
  • white wild indigo
  • purple coneflower
  • false sunflower
  • marsh blazing star
  • wild lupine
  • wild bergamot
  • foxglove beardstongue
  • prairie cinquefoil
  • black-eyed susan
  • brown eyed susan
  • ironweed
  • big bluestem
  • indian grass
  • and others

Contact Us!

Our mission: To connect people for watershed improvement to ensure an ecologically and economically healthy Iroquois River watershed for today and generations to come.