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

Myrtle MondayDid you know that turtles often hatch between August and October? Check out this little guy that one of my ...
10/12/2020

Myrtle Monday
Did you know that turtles often hatch between August and October? Check out this little guy that one of my humans just happened to stumble upon. I was once that little too. Make sure to watch out for these little guys as they venture out into the world. Painted turtles like me instinctively hatch and head for water. What kind of turtle do you think this guy is?

Watershed Wednesday Today, we kick off a series over the next couple of months about the rivers in our state. First up h...
10/07/2020

Watershed Wednesday
Today, we kick off a series over the next couple of months about the rivers in our state. First up hits close to home, the Flint River. Civilizations often formed along major rivers, and the Flint river is no exception. Native Americans referred to this stream Peiconigowink. In the 1800’s the river generated power for sawmills that boosted lumber production in our county, and as industries boomed the river became an even more important resource. Many perceive the Flint River as something to avoid due to pollution and degradation, but it is important to note that it is not unusual for a river to have areas of degradation and concern. Along the river today you can observe people fishing and kayaking, and you may even be able to spot a bald eagle’s nest or two!

Myrtle Monday
10/05/2020

Myrtle Monday

Watershed WednesdayForests are important ecosystems within any watershed. What metrics do professional foresters look at...
09/30/2020

Watershed Wednesday

Forests are important ecosystems within any watershed. What metrics do professional foresters look at to determine what the best management actions might be for a particular stand of trees? Well, one thing they might consider is stand density. Stand density is determined by looking at basal area, or how many square feet of trees you would have per acre if you were to cut them all off at 4.5 ft (AKA “breast height") and then measure the surface area of the stumps. However, foresters obviously don’t clear-cut trees just to see how many there are! Instead, they use special gauges or prisms to estimate the number of trees big enough to be counted as they walk or rotate in a circle around a central point.

Some stands that are overstocked with trees might benefit from thinning so that there’s less competition for the trees that are left, and so that more light can reach the forest floor for smaller trees, shrubs, and even woodland flowers and other vegetation to grow. Allowing for this diverse system of plants to thrive can also help increase habitat for animal species as well.

Myrtle MondayDid you know that this is about the time of year when Michigan turtles and snakes have to stop eating to pr...
09/28/2020

Myrtle Monday

Did you know that this is about the time of year when Michigan turtles and snakes have to stop eating to prepare for winter? I am able to keep eating since I live in a heated building, but my wild cousins need to start thinking forward to their hibernation. If they were still to have food in their gut over the winter when their metabolism slows down to a near stop, that food could decompose and potentially kill the torpid reptile.

I myself am a bottomless pit, so I’m glad not to have to hibernate because I NEVER want to know what an empty belly feels like!

Watershed WednesdayIt’s been a long time since some of us have had a biology class-- perhaps we haven’t had one since hi...
09/23/2020

Watershed Wednesday

It’s been a long time since some of us have had a biology class-- perhaps we haven’t had one since high school or before! We’ve found that some people out there might like to have a little review now and then, so we thought we’d review some of the higher classifications of living things today. We’ve heard people asking if plants count as animals, if fungi are plants, etc. Well the answer is, nope!

Under the traditional system of taxonomy, all living things are divided amongst five separate kingdoms: animals, plants, fungi, protists, and bacteria. While there are maaaaany other sub-classifications beneath these broad strokes (various phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species), any organism sorted into one of those basic kingdoms cannot be considered a member of any other. It simply is what it is.

Myrtle MondayTurtle quiz time! Who’s this?(Hint-- not a Michigan species, but rather a tropical one that is a master at ...
09/21/2020

Myrtle Monday

Turtle quiz time! Who’s this?

(Hint-- not a Michigan species, but rather a tropical one that is a master at camouflaging in dead leaves and bark on the bottoms of pools and marshes)

Watershed WednesdayThere are many different stressors affecting the Great Lakes ecosystem, and unfortunately, sometimes ...
09/16/2020

Watershed Wednesday

There are many different stressors affecting the Great Lakes ecosystem, and unfortunately, sometimes they build upon one another such that the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts. A new report from the International Joint Commission's Science Advisory Board was released in August that explores some of the cumulative effects of these stressors, and a public webinar detailing the findings will be held on Tuesday, September 22nd at 10:30 AM.

Check out the following link to learn more, register for the webinar, and access the report: https://ijc.org/en/sab/stressful-interaction-climate-change-and-other-ecosystem-stressors-often-have-greater-influence?fbclid=IwAR3QnK5HE923dwTnP6TsJTLoEtDtetGKv5XBsRgrjtrVk0-hyKknh8vm0nc

Myrtle MondayIt's Monday again already. Hope your week is off to a good start!
09/14/2020

Myrtle Monday

It's Monday again already. Hope your week is off to a good start!

Watershed WednesdayWe are all well aware of the importance of the Great Lakes, which contain 20% of the world’s accessib...
09/09/2020

Watershed Wednesday

We are all well aware of the importance of the Great Lakes, which contain 20% of the world’s accessible fresh water. For a unique perspective on humans’ history with this unique ecosystem, widely considered once of the most ecologically significant in the world, consider checking out “The Great Lakes Cycle,” an exhibition by painter Alexis Rockman that’s on display at the Flint Institute of Arts until September 27th. In this exhibition of murals and giant watercolor paintings, he explores humans’ past relationship with the Lakes, in addition to some of the current threats that the Lakes face.

The museum is currently open to masked, socially-distanced visitors. As always, Genesee County residents get free admission! Learn more here: https://flintarts.org/events/exhibitions/alexis-rockman-great-lakes-cycle.

Myrtle MondayWhile my humans are off today for Labor Day, I am holding down the fort here at the office. Hope everyone h...
09/07/2020

Myrtle Monday

While my humans are off today for Labor Day, I am holding down the fort here at the office. Hope everyone has a great holiday!

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

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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!