You can show that you care about conservation by signing up to showcase the good practices that are being carried out on your farm or a public site you are familiar with. Applications are now being accepted for the 2007 Trees Forever Working Watersheds: Buffers & Beyond Program.
"We want people to nominate sites to showcase water quality protection practices," says Shannon Ramsay, president of Trees Forever, a national nonprofit organization based at Marion, Iowa.
Working Watersheds: Buffers & Beyond is a statewide grant program in which Trees Forever, Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Growmark, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and farmers collaborate to fund, implement and improve water quality across Iowa by establishing buffers, wetlands and other best management practices.
Nominations now being accepted
Demonstration sites along streams and rivers, primarily on farms, will be selected to participate in the 2007 Working Watersheds: Buffers and Beyond program. Field days will bring producers, landowners and communities together to showcase how buffers intercept field runoff, sediment and pollutants through the use of trees and other vegetation. A few public sites will be selected such as fairgrounds, community colleges or schools for their educational value.
The partnership provides coordination assistance and cost share to select landowners for costs incurred. Landowners can also benefit from a seed cost-share program offered through Growmark.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2007 Working Watersheds: Buffers and Beyond program.
Ideal sites exhibit many of the following characteristics:
* Highly visible and easily accessible sites.
* Landowners actively involved in their rural community/watershed and willing to allow field days and tours of site
* Site plantings, which were installed to address long-term economic needs, beyond CRP payments
* Streams that are first, second or third order in size
* Sites that are representative of local eco-regions.
* Site proximity to local water issues and/or local watershed programs
* Landowners who show commitment to long-term whole farm management planning
* Ability to involve the local community, such as school classes, local soil and water conservation districts, etc
* Sites enrolled in CRP or CREP for the riparian buffer program, either forested or grass
Landowners may select from a menu of conservation practices including buffers, streambank stabilization, stream channel enhancements, constructed wetlands, and/or plantings around livestock facilities. A flexible design allows landowners to choose the trees, shrubs, or grass species that fit their goals for the property.
A Trees Forever field coordinator will work directly with landowners to help them meet the goals of their buffer site and to help connect with local resources and partners. To nominate your site for the Working Watersheds: Buffers and Beyond download the application at www.treesforever.org. Or call Trees Forever at (800) 369-1269 for assistance. Nomination deadline is November 30, 2006.