Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District

Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District We provide technical assistance and education programs focused on caring for the amazing natural resources we enjoy in Porter County.
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I've been receiving  E-mails from teachers ready to schedule programs for the next school year. If you are an elementary...
05/04/2020

I've been receiving E-mails from teachers ready to schedule programs for the next school year. If you are an elementary teacher and would like to reserve a date for a program, please E-mail me at [email protected] . As always, there is no charge for any of our education programs. A list with descriptions is available at the Porter County Government website at the link below.

http://www.porterco.org/499/School-Programs

Here's a "snappy" happy photo of a south county wetland restored by a Porter County farm family to brighten your Monday!
05/04/2020

Here's a "snappy" happy photo of a south county wetland restored by a Porter County farm family to brighten your Monday!

We were excited to receive a new mix of cover crop seed yesterday to distribute to some Porter County farmers to plant a...
05/01/2020

We were excited to receive a new mix of cover crop seed yesterday to distribute to some Porter County farmers to plant after they harvest wheat. This mix has 53 different types of vegetables and flowers, and we are eager to learn more about plant diversity and cover crops. An added bonus--there is the potential to harvest some produce if conditions are right.

We had a couple of customers waiting for us this morning at the Soil & Water/USDA-NRCS office. Turns out they were inter...
04/27/2020

We had a couple of customers waiting for us this morning at the Soil & Water/USDA-NRCS office. Turns out they were interested in wetland restoration! :)

Spring wildflowers are beginning to bloom in Porter County's woodlands.The Dutchman's Breeches is a small but showy litt...
04/27/2020

Spring wildflowers are beginning to bloom in Porter County's woodlands.The Dutchman's Breeches is a small but showy little flower appropriately named.

Happy Arbor Day! When this Porter County farm family put in a new lane for their cattle, there was no doubt this old oak...
04/24/2020

Happy Arbor Day! When this Porter County farm family put in a new lane for their cattle, there was no doubt this old oak tree was staying in place. What a testament to the importance of compromise!

Happy 50th Earth Day! This cartoon from our 1970 annual report builds on the interest in space exploration from that era...
04/22/2020

Happy 50th Earth Day! This cartoon from our 1970 annual report builds on the interest in space exploration from that era to remind us of the importance of our Earth's topsoil.

Thanks to all of our tree sale customers for supporting this program. With some creative planning Soil & Water staff wer...
04/20/2020

Thanks to all of our tree sale customers for supporting this program. With some creative planning Soil & Water staff were able to deliver all of the tree orders to our customers' homes. More than 1,800 Arborvitae, Tamarack, White Flowering Dogwood, White Oak and River Birch were available for planting.

Just remember, May is less than 2 weeks away! Enjoy this snowy south county wetland photo.
04/17/2020

Just remember, May is less than 2 weeks away! Enjoy this snowy south county wetland photo.

This young man and his brother have hatched some Painted Lady butterflies at their Valparaiso home. One of which he is h...
04/08/2020

This young man and his brother have hatched some Painted Lady butterflies at their Valparaiso home. One of which he is holding in his hand. The smile says it all!

LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District
04/07/2020

LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District

Parents and Teachers, the National Wildlife Federation is offering FREE access to their Ranger Rick Mags website through June. They have games, jokes, learning activities and for a limited time, FREE digital subscriptions to their current Ranger Rick magazines. Check it out with your kids here: https://rangerrick.org/stuck-indoors/

Gardening season is right around the corner. Here are some tomato plants we have growing in recycled plastic containers ...
04/02/2020

Gardening season is right around the corner. Here are some tomato plants we have growing in recycled plastic containers with lids. They make the best little greenhouses.

You're never too young to plant a tree! These two little Valparaiso girls try their hand at planting one of the Arborvit...
03/19/2020

You're never too young to plant a tree! These two little Valparaiso girls try their hand at planting one of the Arborvitae we have for sale.

Some happy faces from one of the school program thank you notes we received. :)
03/17/2020

Some happy faces from one of the school program thank you notes we received. :)

Need trees? We have them for order now with pick-up on Friday, April 17th, at our office.Available are American Tamarack...
03/16/2020

Need trees? We have them for order now with pick-up on Friday, April 17th, at our office.

Available are American Tamarack, River Birch, White Flowering Dogwood and White Oak in bundles of 5 for $10.
All are bareroot and size ranges from 14 inches to 28 inches.

We also have the American Arborvitae in bundles of 10 for $20. E-mail [email protected] or call us at
219-462-7515 ext. 3 for an order form.

All of the trees are locally sourced.

The deadline for the Invasive Tree Exchange Program for residents in the Lake MIchigan Watershed is April 1st. In short ...
03/13/2020

The deadline for the Invasive Tree Exchange Program for residents in the Lake MIchigan Watershed is April 1st. In short you take out an invasive such as an Autumn Olive and you receive a free 3-5 gallon tree to replace it from the Communitree program. Contact us at Soil & Water for more information. Species available are Eastern Redbud, Pagoda Dogwood, Common Witch-Hazel, Serviceberry, Cockspur Hawthorne, Blue Beech and Blackhaw.

One hundred and twelve people enjoyed our 67th annual dinner meeting on March 5th at the Porter County Expo Center. A de...
03/06/2020

One hundred and twelve people enjoyed our 67th annual dinner meeting on March 5th at the Porter County Expo Center. A delicious meal of chicken and the fixins catered by Birky's Country Gourmet in Kouts and lake perch prepared by the LaCrosse Lion's Club was enjoyed by all! A Conservationist of the Year Award was presented to Lil Falk, Crisman El. School second grade teacher, representing the Crisman Garden Club. Valmere Farms LLC, owned and operated by the Rick and Debbie Matthys Family, was also recognized with a Conservationist of the Year Award. Speaker, Brad Bumgardner, Executive Director of the Indiana Audubon Society, gave an entertaining and informative program about Sandhill Cranes.

These signs recognize the many landowners who are cooperating with our office through their participation in NRCS and Po...
03/03/2020

These signs recognize the many landowners who are cooperating with our office through their participation in NRCS and Porter County Soil & Water programs. Cover crops, invasive species management and pollinator habitat development are just a few examples.

South Haven Elementary School
02/24/2020

South Haven Elementary School

Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District came to our school yesterday to present their Sow, Grow and Know Program to our 2nd Graders. They learned about farming and planting. They did an experiment with cocoa powder, one had soy and one didn’t. Students had to decide which one had soy by how it mixed with water. They also were able to plant seeds in a mini terrarium and will be tracking the progress of growth in their classrooms over the next few weeks. We really appreciate Porter County Conservation District for coming out and teaching our students and thank you for the little gifts they left, including soybean crayons!

Reserve your space now for our 67th annual dinner meeting on March 5th at the Porter County Expo Center beginning at 6:3...
02/17/2020

Reserve your space now for our 67th annual dinner meeting on March 5th at the Porter County Expo Center beginning at 6:30 pm. The meeting is free, but we need reservations before February 25th. We will start with a delicious country buffet of chicken and the fixins'. We will also serve lake perch this year! :) The evening will include a short business meeting and awards to Valmere Farms, Inc. and the Crisman Elementary School Garden Club.
Our featured speaker is Brad Bumgardner, Executive Director, Indiana Audubon Society who will speak on the migration of the Sandhill Crane. Call 219-462-7515 ext. 3 or E-mail [email protected] .

Sound the horn for conservation! This far south county wetland enhancement, completed with assistance from our office co...
02/05/2020

Sound the horn for conservation! This far south county wetland enhancement, completed with assistance from our office conservation team, is a haven for wildlife.

Spring $2, $2, $2 Tree SaleDon't forget to reserve your trees soon by E-mailing jared.obrien@usda.gov or calling 219-462...
01/29/2020

Spring $2, $2, $2 Tree Sale

Don't forget to reserve your trees soon by E-mailing [email protected] or calling 219-462-7515 ext. 3. Arborvitae are $20 for a bundle of ten trees. American Tamarack, White Flowering Dogwood, River Birch or White Oak are $10 for a bundle of five trees. Tree pick-up date is Friday, April 17th at the Soil & Water office on Chicago St. in Valparaiso. Supplies are limited so contact us now for an order form.

Year end results are in and the winners are Porter County landowners! During the calendar year 2019 contracts for the fe...
01/23/2020

Year end results are in and the winners are Porter County landowners! During the calendar year 2019 contracts for the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program provided over $450,000 in cost share for conservation practices such as cover crops, waterways, invasive species management and more. We are grateful for the amazing partnership between our NRCS, District Conservationist, Derek Schmitt, and our local Soil & Water team of staff and board members. Working together we have been able to increase our reach significantly.

We were pleased to welcome State Senator, Rick Niemeyer, and State Representative, Michael Aylesworth, to the Legislativ...
01/21/2020

We were pleased to welcome State Senator, Rick Niemeyer, and State Representative, Michael Aylesworth, to the Legislative Breakfast at the Indiana Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts held last week in Indianapolis.

Invasive Tree Exchange Programfor landowners in the Lake Michigan Watershed.Do you have an invasive or non-native tree o...
01/16/2020

Invasive Tree Exchange Program
for landowners in the Lake Michigan Watershed.

Do you have an invasive or non-native tree on your property that you would like to replace with a native tree? We at Porter County Soil & Water are partnering with the Communitree program to help educate landowners and provide them with a free tree replacement. For more information contact Jared O'Brien, our District Conservation Project Manager at [email protected] or call 219-462-7515 ext. 3.

LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District
01/09/2020

LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District

Is your organization, or an organization that your child is a member of, looking to add activities for environmental awareness and involvement? Check out the Indiana Native Plant Society's Native Plant Wizard Patch Program! All materials are FREE!

The Wizard Workbook for Kids includes activities to both increase their awareness of the natural environment around them and earn the Native Plant Wizard Patch!

Leaders, if you need to brush up on your native plants, fear not; we have you covered! The Wizard Leader Manual provides the group leader with all the necessary information to lead the activities and help the youth along the way. Materials are adaptable to ages 5 through 16, so this is a great program to get your class, scouts, clubs, and groups outside.

Teachers, this program can also be adapted for classrooms, or it would make a great extra credit assignment.

Please share this post with the teachers and group leaders in your life!

For more information, please go to the INPS website (link below), or send us a message to get started! We ❤️ native plants, and the kids in your groups will too!

https://indiananativeplants.org/education/native-plant-wizard/

The Board Members and Staff of the Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy...
12/20/2019

The Board Members and Staff of the Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Our second year of recording soil temperature in ground with cover crops and without is underway.
12/05/2019

Our second year of recording soil temperature in ground with cover crops and without is underway.

This picture clearly shows that Porter County can hold its own when it comes to natural beauty! Just another reason to b...
11/25/2019

This picture clearly shows that Porter County can hold its own when it comes to natural beauty! Just another reason to be thankful this holiday season.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, March 5th, the date for our annual meeting. This 2020 event will be held at the Porter ...
11/21/2019

Mark your calendar for Thursday, March 5th, the date for our annual meeting. This 2020 event will be held at the Porter County Expo Center with a delicious country buffet catered by Birky Family Farm Country Gourmet. Our speaker will be Brad Bumgardner, Executive Director, Indiana Audubon Society. Brad will discuss the connection between agriculture and the sandhill cranes in our area. The cost remains at $10 per person and tickets will be available after the new year. Photo courtesy of the Indiana Audubon Society.

Be on the look-out for cover crop and pollinator habitat cooperator signs in fields around Porter County. These are the ...
11/19/2019

Be on the look-out for cover crop and pollinator habitat cooperator signs in fields around Porter County. These are the folks who are putting conservation on the ground!

We are getting ready for another round of field research using the HOBOS to measure soil temperature over the winter to ...
11/12/2019

We are getting ready for another round of field research using the HOBOS to measure soil temperature over the winter to learn more about cover crops and other farm management practices.

Happy Veteran's DayA soldier does not fight because he hates those in front of him.He fights because he loves those he l...
11/08/2019

Happy Veteran's Day

A soldier does not fight because he hates those in front of him.
He fights because he loves those he left behind.

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture just announced a Clean Water Indiana Grant award of $50,000 to Jasper, LaPor...
10/30/2019

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture just announced a Clean Water Indiana Grant award of $50,000 to Jasper, LaPorte, Newton and Porter County Soil & Water Conservation Districts for a collaborative project in the Kankakee River Basin. Deep rooted Indiana native flora and annual cover crops will be planted in farm fields, along stream banks and in low-lying areas in order to retain and store water and reduce bank erosion in the river basin. We are pleased to be partnering with the Kankakee River Basin and Yellow River Basin Development Commission in their mission with this project as well. The photo from the Development Commission's website shows bank failure, one of the concerns to be addressed by the project.

Address

2602 Chicago St., Ste. 300
Valparaiso, IN
46383

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Comments

Wishing you all in Porter County a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!! 🦃
Merry Christmas 🌲 and Happy New Year from Brian, Kevin, Kim, Donna and Lyle!! Sweet Julie too. Taking the picture. From Lake County SWCD Thank you for a Great Year in Conservation!! Looking forward to 2018 Kim Peterson - NNorthwest Region Director. Please share if possible
Boone Grove Elementary
Thank you mrs benson for the awesome program!
Thank you Mrs. Benson for coming to Boone Grove Elementary yesterday, and telling our 5th graders about the "Hunter and Gather" program. We appreciate you visiting our classrooms and sharing your knowledge with us!