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EARTH STEWARDSHIP DAY EVENT

EVENT: The AISWCD was pleased to join Illinois Agriculture Director John Sullivan and Illinois EPA Director John Kim this week for the Earth Stewardship Day event on the state fairgrounds. AISWCD is a proud sponsor, and this year's event drew more than 750 students and teachers! In this photo, Directors Sullivan and Kim look on as grade school students explore a soil erosion demo given by Illinois Department of Agriculture's Gary Albers. 
 
AISWCD SUMMER WORKSHOP
FLASHBACK FRIDAY
TWEET OF NOTE
E-ADVOCACY
ACTION REQUESTED: The AISWCD is hard at work during these final days of the spring legislative session, and we are asking for your help to reinforce our efforts!

Please find below draft language that can be copied and pasted into email.


Pro Tips:

1) Share this message widely - ask friends, family, and SWCD supporters in your community to consider sharing this message via email with elected officials.

2) Always, always, always be respectful when communicating with lawmakers - doing so otherwise is counterproductive and can be damaging to our cause.

3) Customize! Personalize the email if you have the time - relate it to your own community, and tell lawmakers how you benefit their district.

4) Let the AISWCD know that you have done your part! Blind copy info@aiswcd.org on the email. This helps us know if lawmakers are receiving the message, and in what volume. 

 
FIND YOUR LAWMAKERS
REPRESENTATIVE CONTACT INFO
SENATOR CONTACT INFO
RE: SWCD SUPPORT
 
Dear (Representative/Senator) (Insert Last Name) –
 
I am writing to ask for your support for the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) of Illinois.
 
SWCDs work to protect Illinois’ greatest assets – the rich, fertile soils and important water resources of the state through strategic conservation efforts. SWCDs, working in conjunction with agricultural as well as environmental stakeholders, have for decades over played a central role in efforts to protect and sustain the viability of Illinois’ natural resources for future generations.
 
Budget Impasse Fallout:
 
The Illinois budget impasse of the recent past wrought tremendous hardship on SWCDs – Illinois’ only conservation delivery system having a presence in every county. Funding for soil and water conservation programs was greatly diminished, or altogether absent for more than two years. As a result, SWCDs across the state were forced to lay off valuable, highly skilled employees with decades of technical environmental expertise. Further, most remaining employees lost access to health insurance benefits at a time when health insurance is unaffordable for many. As a result, the conservation delivery system for federal, state, and local conservation programs focused towards soil health and erosion and water quality was pushed nearly to the brink.
 
As lawmakers work to develop a state budget in these waning days of the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session, I respectfully ask that you support the SWCDs of Illinois in the following ways:
 
#1 A Renewed Commitment to Funding Soil & Water Conservation Programs
 
Simply put - SWCDs desperately need greater investment from Illinois policymakers following the budget impasse to continue to stabilize, rebuild, and lead new efforts at the ground-level in pursuit of state conservation goals that include the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
 
#2 Restore Funding for Health Insurance Lost During Budget Impasse
 
Arguably one of the most damaging effects of the Illinois budget impasse was the loss of appropriations made for healthcare insurance to SWCD employees. Restoring this appropriation would greatly aid in rebuilding and retaining the human personnel assets critical to the SWCD conservation delivery infrastructure of the state.
 
#3 Include Funding for Conservation in Capital Bill
 
As policymakers consider the prospect of a potential capital program for Illinois infrastructure projects, consideration should be given to those projects that will protect water supplies or provide an environmental benefit. SWCDs have a proven track record of using appropriated capital funds to implement conservation practices that improve improve public health, support economic growth, and help meet and support the needs of rural areas.
                                                                                           
Thank you. Your past support for Illinois’ Soil and Water Conservation Districts is truly appreciated.
 
Clean Water, Healthy Soils,
 
(Your Name)
(City), IL
(Telephone)
ISWCDEA SCHOLARSHIP
SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: The Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts Employees Association is once again offering an academic scholarship for students! 
 
MORE INFORMATION
POND MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
LEARN: The Mercer and Henry County SWCDs are inviting people to join them for an Electroschocking and Pond Management Workshop on June 4, 2019 from 9am-2pm at Parker Run Vineyards Big Red Barn and Brooder House. View the flyer below for more information!
 
VIEW FLYER
WATERSHED BUS TOUR
BUS TOUR: New date! The Sangamon County SWCD's Lake Springfield Watershed Bus Tour will occur May 23, 2019. The tour will highlight urban and agricultural best management practices implemented throughoput this watershed to protect and improve the water quality in Lake Springfield and its watershed. RSVP by Friday, May 17, 2019 by calling the Sangamon County SWCD at 217-241-6635 (x3) or emailing Shelly Seman at michelle.seman@il.nacdnet.net or Jake Vancil at jake.vancil@il.nacdnet.net.
JOB OPPORTUNITY
JOB: USDA-NRCS is hiring soil conservationists! View the posting HERE.
NEWS
Kishwaukee Watershed Bus Tour Accepting RSVPs for June 8th Tour

Nature lovers and aspiring hydrogeologists are invited to take part in a free bus tour of the Kishwaukee Watershed, a part of the Rock River basin that drains into seven different northern Illinois counties, on June 8. The free, hands-on tour also includes a free lunch, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District. 

Read more via Daily Chronicle
Agroforestry Blends Ecology with Agriculture 

A new but old agricultural system is taking root that aims at bridging the gap between crop production and ecology.

Read more via AgriNews 
Illinois Farmers Delay Planting Crops Amid Wet Weather, Low Crop Prices, and Trade Uncertainty

Floodwaters on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers may be going down, but rain has continued to soak farmland around much of the state. More rain could be on the way later this month.

Read more via NPR Illinois
Area Children Learn About Conservation

Fourth and fifth graders from throughout Montgomery County enjoyed a day of fun and discovery at the Montgomery County Extension Center's annual Conservation and Safety Day on Wednesday, May 1

Read more via Journal-News
ANNUAL MEETING & SUMMER TRAINING CONFERENCE

DONT FORGET! Register today! Click the above image to go to the conference web page. 
 
GET THE E-NEWS
SUBSCRIBE
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Copyright © 2019 Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts, All rights reserved.


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