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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Operating as usual

The Board Members and Staff of the Porter County Soil and Water Conservation District wish you a joyous holiday season. ...
12/22/2020

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

Soil & Water Board Member, Keith Gustafson, displays one of the giant purple top turnips from his fields, which were see...
12/10/2020

Soil & Water Board Member, Keith Gustafson, displays one of the giant purple top turnips from his fields, which were seeded to cover crops, just south of Valparaiso. Keith and his family are committed to conservation to keep the family farm in the best condition for future generations.

Realizing the need to learn more about water quality, five years ago the Soil & Water board took the proactive step of e...
12/01/2020

Realizing the need to learn more about water quality, five years ago the Soil & Water board took the proactive step of establishing a surface water testing program. The first "samplers" were members of the Soil & Water board!. With the cooperation of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Dunes National Park laboratory and the United States Geological Survey the program grew. We are looking to 2021 when water testing is set to be conducted in designated areas of the Lake Michigan and Kankakee River watersheds.

There are so many small miracles to be found in nature! The reason water droplets have a sphere shape is due to surface ...
11/30/2020

There are so many small miracles to be found in nature! The reason water droplets have a sphere shape is due to surface tension, which is the "skin" on water. If you fill a glass of water to the very top you will find that it is rounded due to the surface tension. This photo is from south county.

From the Soil & Water Board Members and Staff . . .
11/25/2020

From the Soil & Water Board Members and Staff . . .

These deer are camouflaged in the brush of a wetland in south county.
11/20/2020

These deer are camouflaged in the brush of a wetland in south county.

This Veteran's Day we salute Greg Birky, Jim Kreiger and Dean Morrow who served their country and continue to serve on t...
11/10/2020

This Veteran's Day we salute Greg Birky, Jim Kreiger and Dean Morrow who served their country and continue to serve on the Soil & Water board. We recognize and appreciate them and their commitment to conservation in Porter County.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching there's a fork in the road for these turkeys in south county!
11/09/2020

With Thanksgiving fast approaching there's a fork in the road for these turkeys in south county!

Be sure to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend by taking a walk outside! The perfect activity is to look for birds'...
11/06/2020

Be sure to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend by taking a walk outside! The perfect activity is to look for birds' nests, which have been hidden. You might be amazed by how many you find.

We are pleased to welcome Tatiana Gil, as the new USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, District Conservationist ...
10/27/2020

We are pleased to welcome Tatiana Gil, as the new USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, District Conservationist for Porter and Lake counties. Most recently she worked in Illinois as a Soil Conservationist.

By this time each year for the past 20 years over 3,000 Porter County school children have participated in our fall scie...
10/19/2020

By this time each year for the past 20 years over 3,000 Porter County school children have participated in our fall science programs at their schools, as you can see in this photo from 2019.They learn more about plants right in their school yards by taking guided outdoor hikes. Not to be deterred, this year Mrs. Benson visited 33 Porter County elementary schools to create individual school videos.She posted the videos to You Tube for use by the teachers and students. Teachers might guide the children on a hike or provide the link to students virtually so they are more connected to their school.

10/15/2020
youtu.b

Fall is not only the time to harvest, it's also the time to sow. Here is a link to a short video of Keith, Mary Ann and Connor Gustafson planting wheat on their farm in Porter County. The wheat will be ready to harvest next summer.

https://youtu.be/ghQLFeENdAg

10/12/2020
Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Thanks to all the hardworking farmers! It's National Farmers' Day!

Happy #NationalFarmersDay!

Today we thank our 94,000 Hoosier farmers for all the hardwork, long hours and dedication they put in each and every day.

We are happy to announce our Spring 2021 Tree Sale set for Friday, April 16th.We will have available the following bare ...
10/01/2020

We are happy to announce our Spring 2021 Tree Sale set for Friday, April 16th.

We will have available the following bare root trees in bundles of 10 for $20.

American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), Norway Spruce (Picea abies), American Plum (Prunus americana), Hazelnut (Corylus americana) and Juneberry-Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)

Size varies from 12 to 30 inches depending on the type of tree. For an order form or information, please E-mail [email protected] or [email protected] or call the office at 219-462-7515 ext. 3.

The gardeners at Christ Lutheran Church in Valparaiso have created a magnificent pollinator habitat in the parking lot! ...
09/29/2020

The gardeners at Christ Lutheran Church in Valparaiso have created a magnificent pollinator habitat in the parking lot! Using some creativity they planted an amazing variety of native plants in the dividers running the length of the parking lot. Even the seed pods of the Rattlesnake Master add interest and beauty to the fall landscape. At the front of the church they combined milkweed and established Russian Sage to the delight of many Monarch butterflies!

09/22/2020

See the cover crop being flown on fields in Union Township by clicking on this link! Farmers in this area have partnered for many years to seed their fields in this way.

https://youtu.be/CBViQm4DEsw

A snapshot of cover crop seeding by plane in and around Union Township. Several thousand acres were seeded in this way d...
09/21/2020

A snapshot of cover crop seeding by plane in and around Union Township. Several thousand acres were seeded in this way during the past few days. Sustainable food production relies on good soil health, and planting a cover crop is one way to help the soil remain healthy and productive. In short, good soil keeps food on our plates!

A wet pocket in Pleasant Township planted to deep rooted native plants with cooperation from the farmer and a Clean Wate...
09/18/2020

A wet pocket in Pleasant Township planted to deep rooted native plants with cooperation from the farmer and a Clean Water Indiana grant shared by our office with our neighboring counties.

09/15/2020
Ed Ruge, Porter County Farmer, Talks About The Benefits of Cover Crops

We can tell you about some of the benefits of cover crops, but we would prefer to let a farmer do the talking. Watch what Porter County farmer, Ed Ruge, has to say about the cover crop he planted after wheat. Oh, and take a look at all those butterflies! :)

https://youtu.be/xivYdOpcx2g

Ed Ruge, Family Farmer From Porter County, Indiana, Talks About A 53 Variety Cover Crop He Planted In Cooperation With the Porter County Soil & Water Conserv...

From our local office of the USDA- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: A photo of  Porter County ants tending ap...
09/14/2020

From our local office of the USDA- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: A photo of Porter County ants tending aphids like farmers tending cattle. The ants protect the aphids and consume the honeydew that the aphids release. Who knew??

Ed Ruge and family, Liberty Township, cooperated with us at Soil & Water to plant a 53 variety cover crop mix after they...
09/10/2020

Ed Ruge and family, Liberty Township, cooperated with us at Soil & Water to plant a 53 variety cover crop mix after they harvested wheat. You could say the field has everything but the kitchen sink! Not only is the cover crop enriching the soil, it has also helped to control weed growth to near zero.

PLANT-Porter/La Porte County Advancing Natives Team
09/09/2020

PLANT-Porter/La Porte County Advancing Natives Team

Hi there! Do you have an invasive tree or shrub in your yard? Live in the Great Lakes Watersheds of Porter or LaPorte County? We want to give you a native tree to replace that bad boy! Check it out and give us a call!
#communitree
#nativeplants
#invasivetreeremoval

A beautiful photo of the native flower, Turtlehead, being visited by a bumblebee in Porter County.
09/02/2020

A beautiful photo of the native flower, Turtlehead, being visited by a bumblebee in Porter County.

Since we are unable to visit school children with our traditional outdoor science programs this fall. Our board agreed t...
08/26/2020

Since we are unable to visit school children with our traditional outdoor science programs this fall. Our board agreed to make the magnifying glasses we use available to every kindergarten student in Porter County free of charge. We are delivering just shy of 700 this week to the schools. If you are a kindergarten teacher in Porter County, and have not reserved lenses for your students, please E-mail: [email protected] .

Butterflies are loving all the pollinator habitat promoted by and installed with assistance from our office!
08/24/2020

Butterflies are loving all the pollinator habitat promoted by and installed with assistance from our office!

Some photos worthy of the masters from a farm family in Porter Township.
08/18/2020

Some photos worthy of the masters from a farm family in Porter Township.

Ed Ruge and sons, Liberty Township, planted a 53 variety cover crop in cooperation with us at Soil & Water. Zucchini, wa...
08/13/2020

Ed Ruge and sons, Liberty Township, planted a 53 variety cover crop in cooperation with us at Soil & Water. Zucchini, watermelon and pumpkins were especially noticeable. The cover crop planted in the Lake Michigan Watershed helps to protect water quality and improve soil health.

USDA-NRCS Engineer, Patrick Glassman, traveled to a field in Jackson Township with our Soil & Water Conservation Project...
08/11/2020

USDA-NRCS Engineer, Patrick Glassman, traveled to a field in Jackson Township with our Soil & Water Conservation Project Manager, Jared O'Brien, to survey for a waterway to control the flow of water across the field. You will notice that this field was planted with alternating strips of soybeans and corn. The goal is to maximum the power of the sun on the outside rows of corn to increase yield. Of course, every job has its challenges, as you can see by the gigantic patch of velvet leaf towering over Patrick.

08/05/2020
PLANT-Porter/La Porte County Advancing Natives Team

Check out this newly formed group targeting invasive species in Porter and LaPorte counties guided by the Soil & Water Conservation Districts in both counties.

Welcome to the Porter/LaPorte County Advancing Natives Team! We are a group of interested people that own land, manage land and work for various conservation agencies that are working together as a "CISMA". A CISMA is a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. This just means we work together to combat invasive plants and promote natives! Keep an eye on our page for lots of great info, and please contact us if you'd like to be involved!

This beautiful wetland restoration in Center Township was completed with assistance from our office. The waves of Blue V...
07/28/2020

This beautiful wetland restoration in Center Township was completed with assistance from our office. The waves of Blue Vervain complement the green grass and blue sky for a breathtaking view.

This wet area in a south Porter County field was seeded to native plants as part of a Clean Water Indiana Grant to plant...
07/24/2020

This wet area in a south Porter County field was seeded to native plants as part of a Clean Water Indiana Grant to plant deep rooted natives in the Kankakee Watershed to improve water quality. Porter, Jasper, LaPorte and Newton Soil & Water Conservation Districts are partnering in this grant.

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!