Genesee Conservation District

Genesee Conservation District The Genesee Conservation District is working to protect natural resources in our community. Promoting natural resource conservation in our community.
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Operating as usual

Special Friday Myrtle appearanceHey everyone! You usually see me on Mondays, but I wanted to stop by and say Happy Natio...
09/04/2020

Special Friday Myrtle appearance

Hey everyone! You usually see me on Mondays, but I wanted to stop by and say Happy National Wildlife Day! We talked about native Michigan wildlife species the other day, but today, let’s hear about your favorite wildlife species in the entire world!

Photo of the endangered Fly River Turtle, carettochelys insculpta, native to northern Australia and part of New Guinea.

Watershed WednesdayNational Wildlife Day is coming up this Friday. What’s your favorite native Michigan wildlife species...
09/02/2020

Watershed Wednesday

National Wildlife Day is coming up this Friday. What’s your favorite native Michigan wildlife species? Let’s see them!

Myrtle MondayThis week is a special week for us wild animals! (ok maybe I am not so wild) On Friday, September 4th, we'l...
08/31/2020

Myrtle Monday

This week is a special week for us wild animals! (ok maybe I am not so wild) On Friday, September 4th, we'll get some special recognition from you hoomans for just being here. When you are out on your next stroll take some time to look around and identify some of your local wildlife species. If you want you can even share a picture with me in the comments!

Check out our latest backyard adventure in today's blog post! "Peer carefully at the blades of grass beneath your feet, ...
08/28/2020
More backyard adventures: the brash and the bashful

Check out our latest backyard adventure in today's blog post!

"Peer carefully at the blades of grass beneath your feet, at the cracks in the sidewalk, behind the porch light, or at the flowers blooming away in your gardens. The creatures busy going about their business there reflect a strange dichotomy that's commonplace in any natural area in the world: they either really, really want you to see them… or they really, really don’t."

https://www.geneseecd.org/post/more-backyard-adventures-the-brash-and-the-bashful

Venture out for a stroll anywhere in Michigan on an August day, and you’ll be greeted by the most phantasmagorical assortment of tiny characters imaginable if you know where to direct your gaze. Peer carefully at the blades of grass beneath your feet, at the cracks in the sidewalk, behind the porc...

Watershed WednesdaySummer is moving right along! These warm days and nights are filled with the familiar calls of late s...
08/26/2020

Watershed Wednesday

Summer is moving right along! These warm days and nights are filled with the familiar calls of late summer insects including grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, and the iconic cicada.

Have you been lucky enough to spot an adult cicada or a molt from a cicada nymph yet this year? The most common cicadas we have in Michigan are annual cicadas-- we get to hear them buzzing in the treetops every single year. These insects spend two or three years underground as nymphs before emerging to spend a few weeks as adults before they die. Far more famous are the periodical cicadas, who emerge as adults in massive broods every 13 or 17 years, depending on the species. In Michigan, only the southwest part of the state experiences these massive synchronized hatches of periodical cicadas. However, many people here in Genesee County might consider the buzzing chorus of our own annual cicadas plenty loud enough without adding millions more!

Myrtle MondayDid you know that adult painted turtles can go without oxygen for 30 hours? At least, scientists who studie...
08/24/2020

Myrtle Monday

Did you know that adult painted turtles can go without oxygen for 30 hours? At least, scientists who studied my Western relatives found that they can. Nobody has timed me specifically, but I bet I can beat you in a breath-holding contest!

Watershed WednesdayDid you know the USGS (US Geological Survey) monitors water quality in the state of Michigan and acro...
08/19/2020
USGS WaterWatch -- Streamflow conditions

Watershed Wednesday
Did you know the USGS (US Geological Survey) monitors water quality in the state of Michigan and across the US? We have data collection points right here in our county! These collection centers in our county specifically help to measure the level of runoff that comes off of farm fields both before and after conservation practices are put into place. This study is ongoing, but will ultimately help us to determine the impact that our conservation efforts are having on the quality of water in our state. How cool is that?
If you are curious about all of the data they are collecting, they make all of the data collected available to the public on their website. This link will take you to a map that shows the data on streamflow changes throughout the year. https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?ym=201910&m=nwc

U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey URL: https://waterwatch.usgs.gov Page Contact Information: Contact USGS Page Last Modified: Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Myrtle MondayDid you know that basking reptiles like myself are looking for more than just heat when we soak up the sun’...
08/17/2020

Myrtle Monday

Did you know that basking reptiles like myself are looking for more than just heat when we soak up the sun’s rays? We are also absorbing much-needed UVB radiation. This type of radiation is what gives you humans sunburn, but we actually need it to survive! It helps us to metabolize calcium and synthesize vitamin D3. Without it, we can get serious diseases wherein our bones become brittle and deformed, and in turtles, the shell can even go soft and squishy. Those of us who don’t live in the wild under natural sunlight are provided with special lamps that produce UVB for us to bask under.

Nori here is multitasking-- our humans are primarily working from home so he’s keeping an careful eye on one of them for me while he also soaks up the rays just a few inches below his UVB light. He’s a young Ackie monitor, which is a species native to arid Australia where the sun is SUPER intense!

Watershed WednesdayHave you ever wondered how aquatic plants are pollinated? Many, like water lilies and lotus, have lar...
08/12/2020

Watershed Wednesday

Have you ever wondered how aquatic plants are pollinated? Many, like water lilies and lotus, have large, showy flowers that bloom well above the water’s surface and attract insects. Others are pollinated by the wind. But what about those that have small, hard-to-see flowers right at the water’s surface? These plants are pollinated by the water itself, whether the pollen is carried along the water’s surface or, more rarely, underwater. Not all plants that are pollinated in this way are invasive, but this strategy does lend itself well to invasive species such as curly pondweed and Brazilian waterweed (though luckily, the latter hasn’t been reported in Michigan yet).

Myrtle MondayDid you know that we have 10 species of turtle in Michigan? A lot of people are familiar with seeing painte...
08/10/2020

Myrtle Monday

Did you know that we have 10 species of turtle in Michigan? A lot of people are familiar with seeing painted turtles like myself, along with red eared sliders and snapping turtles-- but we’re far more diverse than that! What other species can you name? Can anybody identify this pretty lady?

Watershed WednesdayDid you know that there are bacteria in the clouds that may play a key role in our water cycle? These...
08/05/2020
Bacteria are thriving in the sky — and they influence the weather

Watershed Wednesday

Did you know that there are bacteria in the clouds that may play a key role in our water cycle?

These cloud-borne bacteria serve as surfaces against which water condenses, allowing precipitation to form and fall to the ground. Most of these bacteria are plant pathogens that have been blown off of plant surfaces and carried upward by winds (either directly or riding on dust particles). They can even help water freeze at lower temperatures than it ordinarily would, allowing ice crystals to form and create further opportunities for nucleation of precipitation.

You can read/listen here for more: https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-03-22/bacteria-are-thriving-sky-and-they-influence-weather

Scientists are uncovering new details about the microbiome in the clouds.

Myrtle MondayHappy Monday, everyone!
08/03/2020

Myrtle Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!

Watershed WednesdayYou’re probably familiar with some of the ecosystem roles that fungi play in watersheds around the wo...
07/29/2020
She grew a canoe out of mushrooms. Could fungi be the answer to climate change?

Watershed Wednesday

You’re probably familiar with some of the ecosystem roles that fungi play in watersheds around the world-- they’re decomposers, they’re food for both humans and wildlife, they enhance plant roots’ abilities to take up water and nutrients, etc. But have you ever thought about using them for water recreation?

After learning about the buoyant and waterproof properties of fungal mycelium (the part of the fungus akin to the roots of a plant), a creative Nebraska college student decided to try to grow a canoe out of fungus. And she succeeded, illustrating some of the untapped potential of fungus while also enjoying a nice float on her local waterways!

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fungus-answer-climate-change-student-who-grew-mushroom-canoe-says-n1185401

“Mushrooms are here to help us — they’re a gift,” college student Katy Ayers said. “They’re our biggest ally for helping the environment.”

Watershed WednesdayWe're continuing our celebration of National Moth Week today! Moths play a number of important ecosys...
07/22/2020

Watershed Wednesday

We're continuing our celebration of National Moth Week today! Moths play a number of important ecosystem roles, perhaps the most prominent being their roles as pollinators for many plants as well as prey for many animals. For instance, did you know that one female moth may lay over a hundred eggs, but only a tiny fraction of those young will actually see adulthood? The others will fill the bellies of baby birds and other animals and help keep the circle of life going.

A couple of you shared some beautiful moth pictures with us on Monday-- those were great! We'd love to see some more of your moth pics in the comments below!

Myrtle MondayIt’s National Moth Week! A lot of people seem to think moths are just small, drab creatures that exist just...
07/20/2020

Myrtle Monday

It’s National Moth Week! A lot of people seem to think moths are just small, drab creatures that exist just to chew holes in your clothes. However, there are actually many diverse species of moths out there!

Did you know that just because a lepidopteran (a moth or butterfly) is brown, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a moth? Lots of butterflies are actually pretty drably colored. Similarly, there are a lot of moths out there that are very brightly colored, many are huge, and some aren’t even nocturnal! To figure out if what you’re looking at is a moth or butterfly, one of the most telling features to pay attention to is the antennae. Butterflies have clubs on the ends of their antennae, whereas moths-- whether or not they are a species with feathery antennae-- don’t have clubs. Clubs or not, though, they all sound tasty to me… if only they would move slower so I could catch them…

Watershed WednesdayDogs are widely considered to be Man’s best friend. But did you know that with a bit of training, the...
07/17/2020

Watershed Wednesday

Dogs are widely considered to be Man’s best friend. But did you know that with a bit of training, they can be close allies for our planet as well? Around the world, there are Conservation Dog programs that train dogs in tasks as varied as tracking down and mapping invasive plants, ferreting out invasive predatory animals, surveying for elusive/endangered native species, helping to combat poachers/wildlife traffickers, and other similar conservation efforts that we humans with our inferior sense of smell could never manage alone! Some of these charismatic dogs perform double-duty as conservation ambassadors, teaching the public about the importance of their work and getting people invested in conservation.

Just to name a few, meet Vicka of Zambia, a former stray who specializes in 8 scents including rhino horn and pangolin scales: https://wd4c.org/our-dogs/vicka

Orbee, a rescue from a shelter who now travels the entire world searching for 16 different scents including gorillas: https://wd4c.org/our-dogs/orbee

And the late, great Neo the Whio Dog, who traveled the length and breadth of New Zealand during his 15-year career seeking out endangered ducks and other birds and helping the public to fall in love with their native wildlife: https://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2020-media-releases/conservation-community-pays-tribute-to-a-champion/

In celebration of the 83rd anniversary of Public Act 297 (1937) that established Conservation Districts, Governor Gretch...
07/17/2020

In celebration of the 83rd anniversary of Public Act 297 (1937) that established Conservation Districts, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared today, July 17, 2020, as CONSERVATION DISTRICT DAY in Michigan!

Conservation Districts like us continue to serve local communities in the protection of natural resources, preservation of wildlife, sustainability of agriculture, public education, and more. Here's to the next 83 years (and beyond ;))!

Check out our latest blog post to learn more: https://www.geneseecd.org/post/it-s-conservation-district-day

Myrtle MondayGuess what? I’m not the only Myrtle out there who landed a job as a Conservation District’s Conservation Tu...
07/13/2020

Myrtle Monday

Guess what? I’m not the only Myrtle out there who landed a job as a Conservation District’s Conservation Turtle! Meet Myrtle the Conservation Turtle from Pennsylvania!

"The Genesee Conservation District is proud to offer a diverse approach to conservation in both urban and rural settings...
07/10/2020
Conservation in the Field

"The Genesee Conservation District is proud to offer a diverse approach to conservation in both urban and rural settings. Today, we are going to look at an example of conservation agriculture at work with a local, rural farm."

https://www.geneseecd.org/post/conservation-in-the-field

The Genesee Conservation District is proud to offer a diverse approach to conservation in both urban and rural settings. Today, we are going to look at an example of conservation agriculture at work with a local, rural farm. This project was completed in partnership with Natural Resource Conservatio...

Watershed WednesdayThe Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is a 10,000 acre management area that contains marsh, bottoml...
07/08/2020

Watershed Wednesday

The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is a 10,000 acre management area that contains marsh, bottomland hardwood forest, and grasslands. The refuge has been designated as a United States Important Bird Area for its global significance to migratory waterfowl. The Refuge is also home to many threatened and endangered species that utilize the flourishing natural habitat and habitat created and maintained by staff, partners and volunteers.

Why should we care? The Flint River flows north and eventually joins with other waters that meet in the Refuge. So, our actions and care of the Flint River have the potential to impact one of Michigan's most diverse ecosystems that supports rare habitat and wildlife.

Myrtle MondayNot too long ago, I told you a bit about my shell and how it’s made of bone under my keratinized scutes. Bu...
07/06/2020

Myrtle Monday

Not too long ago, I told you a bit about my shell and how it’s made of bone under my keratinized scutes. But are you familiar with my cousin, the spiny softshell turtle? Their shells are very different from mine! They don’t have scutes like me, but instead have a leathery covering of skin with no scales over top of their shells. They do have a support system made of bone, but it doesn't extend all the way to the edge of the shell. Bony projections protrude off of it to allow their leathery shell covering to stretch between the projections and remain flexible at the edges. Sometimes you’ll even see them basking with part of the shell curled down beneath them, something that a paint like myself could never do unless our bones were turned to rubber! This flexible shell reduces some of their bulk and helps them maneuver very quickly, which is great for ambush predators like them.

Watershed WednesdayThe Great Lakes have been setting new records this year.  Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie-- along wit...
07/01/2020

Watershed Wednesday

The Great Lakes have been setting new records this year. Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie-- along with Lake St. Clair-- have all broken monthly high-water level records set back in 1986... and they’re expected to keep climbing through September. Changes in our global climate are likely the driving force behind these fluctuating water levels.

So what can communities along the lakefronts do to help combat these fluctuating water levels? Improvements in green infrastructure and drainage systems constitute one important step. For instance, replacing large swaths of impervious concrete/asphalt with green spaces or other permeable surfaces will help to slow the runoff and let the ground/plants suck some of it up before it gets to the lakes (in addition to filtering out some of pollutants the water picks up on its overland journey). Well-vegetated parks and other green areas don’t just look nicer than pavement, they serve important ecological and economic purposes, too!

06/29/2020
Amazing drone footage captures 64,000 turtles nesting off Great Barrier Reef

Myrtle Monday

The wild population of painted turtles like myself is currently doing ok. However, there are a lot of turtle species out in the world for whom that isn’t the case. Check out this drone footage that shows some good news for conservation: at one of the largest green sea turtle nesting sites in the world, researchers recently found that the number of turtles coming ashore to nest is almost TWICE as large as they previously thought!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqynzVKgAHY

Australian researchers used a drone to count some 64,000 green sea turtles laying eggs at one of the largest nesting locations in the world. Subscribe to CTV...

Watershed WednesdayHey Genesee County residents, want a super easy way to make a difference to recycling efforts in YOUR...
06/24/2020
Genesee County Public Input Survey

Watershed Wednesday

Hey Genesee County residents, want a super easy way to make a difference to recycling efforts in YOUR community? Help your local community win a $1,000 recycling grant just by taking this brief survey! They say it takes 5 minutes to complete, but I found it even quicker than that. If you have time to check your Facebook newsfeed, I bet you can find time to take this survey ;)

The top THREE Genesee County communities with the most respondents will win. Respond by July 7, 2020 to put yours in the running!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PQKXG5V

Take this survey powered by surveymonkey.com. Create your own surveys for free.

Myrtle Monday
06/22/2020

Myrtle Monday

Watershed WednesdayMany of us are well aware of the benefits that live trees can provide to our watersheds. However, hav...
06/17/2020

Watershed Wednesday

Many of us are well aware of the benefits that live trees can provide to our watersheds. However, have you ever stopped to consider the value of dead trees as well? They may stand for years and years after they die, and provide pivotal services to their ecosystems. They provide habitat to numerous species of birds, insects, and bats, as well as nesting areas for other mammals. They can slow the spread of forest fires, given that their sap-less, branch-less trunks do not burn as quickly as live trees might. Even when they finally fall, their logs provide shelter for ground-dwelling mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, and other animals. When they wash into streams, they can help slow the flow of the water and physically shelter streambanks, thus reducing erosion.

Dead trees may sometimes appear to be mere eyesores, but they actually play a crucial role in the circle of life.

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1525 N Elms Rd
Flint, MI
48532

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Monday 08:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 16:30
Thursday 08:00 - 16:30
Friday 08:00 - 16:30

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Genesee Conservation District was established in 1946. Since then the district has worked to promote natural resource conservation in our community. We work with our community members to help each individual reach their personal conservation goals; from improving your backyard wildlife habitat to conserving the soil on your 1,000+ acre farm operation. We are here to help you!

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Comments

Will you be having fish / pond stocking event again this year? I hadn't seen anything come across for this.
This is definitely good news!