In the early 1930s the country was plagued by depression and dust. Immense droughts and poor farming practices had combined to create the worst ecological disaster in U.S. history, the Dust Bowl. The soils of the Great Plains eroded and blew away in epic losses, as the entire country was blanketed.
As wind-blown dust fell on Capitol Hill, North Carolina native, Hugh Hammond Bennett implored Congress to take drastic steps to safeguard the nation’s soils. Since nearly 75% of the Country was privately owned, Congress realized the only way to conserve our rich natural resources was through a locally-led approach. Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote the governors of all the states recommending legislation to enact and form soil conservation districts.
August 4th, 1937 Brown Creek Soil & Water Conservation District was the first district formed. The Brown Creek Soil & Water Conservation District covered the watershed land from central Anson County to south-east Union County North Carolina. The nation’s first!
By 1947, the nation’s first Conservation District had grown to encompass 5 North Carolina Piedmont counties: Anson, Montgomery, Richmond, Stanly, and Union. Over time all of the counties would become their own entity.
Today there are nearly 3,000 Soil & Water Conservation Districts across all U.S. States and Territories. Although diverse, all Soil & Water Districts strive for the same goals: to protect our natural resources. Union SWCD makes great effort to provide technical, financial, and educational assistance to the citizens of Union County to promote the proper management of our natural resources.
The importance of conserving our natural resources has to start with education. Union County Soil & Water Conservation District takes great strides to provide educational opportunities to the citizens of Union County and the State of North Carolina using programs such as:
Union SWCD also offers independent instruction on a variety of topics within soil, water, and conservation related education. In-class instruction, outdoor hands-on, and science field days are some examples of how the Soil & Water District helps educate students on protecting natural resources. Many programs come from the following but are not limited to; Project Food, Land and People, Project WET, and Project WILD.
For more information: http://www.ncagr.gov/SWC/educational/index.html
Union Soil & Water Conservation District offers a wide array of services to the citizens of Union County including:
No-Till Seed Drill
The No-Till Seed Drill provides farmers and landowners of Union County an opportunity to use affordable equipment to plant their grasses, legumes, and small grains. This method of “drilling,” plants seeds with very little soil disturbance and thus is conservation/resource friendly. It also is a more precise method of planting which means increased efficiency and more economical. The drill can be rented for $10 an acre to citizens planting in Union County. Contact our office for more information.
Grassworks Tow- Behind Weed Wiper
In a partnership with the Union County Cattlemen's Association the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District was able to purchase a Tow-Behind Weed Wiper. The Weed Wiper provides farmers and landowners of Union County an opportunity to use affordable equipment to rid their pasture land of pesky weeds. You are easily able to adjust the wiper height so that you only wipe the weeds. The Weed Wiper can be rented for $50 a day to citizens in Union County, $75 a day for out of county use, and $40 for members of the Cattlemen's Association.
The North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program is a state funded program administered to reduce the input of non-point source pollution into our streams, lakes, and rivers. This reduction is achieved by providing cost share assistance to agricultural landowners and operators who use Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce pollutants (sediment, animal waste, pesticides, nutrients, etc.) leaving the land and entering the waters. Cost Share amounts are up to 75% of average cost to install BMPs.
Cost share monies for Union County have been used for such BMP’s as waste storage structures, incinerators, fencing for livestock exclusion, watering facilities and heavy use area protection, as well as pasture renovations and well installation. Other cost shared BMP’s include lagoon closures, dead poultry composters, stream bank stabilization, sod-based rotations, critical area plantings and many others. These practices must be installed to meet USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service standards and specifications, along with proper maintenance of practice.
Click below for more information.
While similar to the Ag Cost Share Program, Community Conservation Assistance Program (or CCAP) is a program designed to increase conservation practices in urban communities. CCAP works through the installation of Best Managements Practices (BMP’s) at Union County homes, businesses, schools, and recreational areas. Landowners may be eligible for cost share up to 75%.
CCAP cost share monies for Union County have been used for such BMP’s as abandoned well closure and critical area planting. Other cost shared BMP’s include rain gardens, backyard wetlands, cisterns, grassed swales, and riparian buffers. For a full list of cost share BMP’s and to find out more about CCAP, visit our page at http://www.ncagr.gov/SWC/costshareprograms/CCAP/index.html
Volume 1 Issue 1
Volume 1 Issue 2
Volume 1 Issue 3
Volume 1 Issue 4
Volume 2 Issue 1
Volume 2 Issue 2
Volume 2 Issue 3
We are working towards posting Board Meeting Minutes here.
Board Meetings are held every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:30 am.
3230-B Presson Rd
Monroe, NC 28112
Phone : 704-233-1621
Katie Anne Dayton, Conservation Education Specialist
3230-B Presson Rd.
Monroe, NC 28112
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