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EARTH DAY RECAP

MONARCH PLAN: The AISWCD and sixteen other agriculture related organizations joined Ag Director John Sullivan and Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Earth Day last week for the release of the Illinois Monarch Project action plan. Ground was also broken on new pollinator habitat for the fairgrounds. AISWCD President Steve Stierwalt is pictured above (far left).

MORE...

Illinois' Agriculture Sector Pitching In to Save the Monarch Butterfly via NPR Illinois
 
ENVIROTHON NEWS

CONGRATS: The 25th annual Illinois Envirothon competition concluded on Thursday, May 2nd, and like previous years, the event was a tremendous success! Congratulations are in order to the top three teams; Benet Academy (1st place), Newman Central Catholic (2nd place), and Paris High School (3rd place). A special thank you is in order to Envirothon Coordinator Sondra Baker, as well as the many volunteers and teachers who make this event possible!
 
TWEET OF NOTE
FLASHBACK FRIDAY

PHOTO VAULT: AISWCD Board of Directors meet in Decatur circa 1960.
 
NEWS
Illinois Conservation Easements Needs Partners

NRCS State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announces funding is now available for the Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) program.

Read more via Journal-Gazette & Times-Courier
Poster Contest Winners

The Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsored their annual 5th and 6th grade poster contest. The theme for this year was Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home. All 5th and 6th grade students in the county were invited to participate. The District received a total of 178 posters and they were judged by Jasper County SWCD & NRCS staff and directors.

Read more via Newton Press Mentor
One Way to Make Flyover Country More Welcoming to Migrating Birds

As grassland and prairies gave way to farmland in the Midwest, habitats for some native birds disappeared. There’s a relatively new program in central Illinois looking to restore wetlands for migrating birds and help farmers at the same time.

Read more via KCUR 89.3
Coles County SWCD Taking Pre-Orders for Native Plant Sale

Spring is here, and now is the time to plant and revamp existing landscaping! A recent buzzword is “biodiversity” and it should be a major goal of backyard conservationists. 

Read more via Journal-Gazette & Times-Courier
IDOA Receives Over 350 Hemp Applications

At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30th, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced it would begin accepting applications for growers and processors of industrial hemp. Almost immediately, a steady flow of applications began coming in to the departments website with over 350 applications being received in the first two days. IDOA staff immediately began reviewing the applications—the first step in the approval process.

Read more via IDOA Press Release
Drainage System of Terraces, Tiles Keeps Farms' Soil Where It Belongs

Matthew Lynch may not farm the best soil in Illinois. But he’s doing what he can to preserve it. He is an active participant in conservation practices that he said he hopes will keep his land productive for decades to come. “We have probably every soil type there is,” said Lynch, who grows corn and soybeans on nearly 4,000 acres in southeastern Illinois. “It’s clay-based soil that doesn’t percolate very well.”

Read more via The Southern
ANNUAL MEETING & SUMMER TRAINING CONFERENCE

DONT FORGET! Time is running out to register for the early rate and to submit award nominations! Don't wait! Click the above image to go to the conference web page. 
 
REMINDER
VOTE: Reminder, input is still being sought on a new SWCD Director training and leadership program. The AISWCD would appreciate your thoughts. Please use the link below to register your thoughts and opinions!
 
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