Michigan Conservation Districts
Conservation Districts are locally controlled subdivisions of state government, created by concerned landowners, and administered by a publicly elected Board of Directors to promote the wise use and management of natural resources.
Calhoun Conservation District (CCD) maintains membership in Michigan Association of Conservation Districts and complies with standards established by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Resource Development (MDARD). District Manager Maureen Reed maintains membership with the Conservation District Employees of Michigan. Through these memberships, a strong network of experience and knowledge is shared. Professional development opportunities give the board directors and staff the necessary tools to provide educational outreach within their counties.
Calhoun Conservation District in cooperation with the Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) and the Farm Services Agency (FSA) work together in the USDA office building located in Marshall, Michiigan to provide local coordination for federal, state, and conservation and land/water management programs. Technical assistance and cost-share programs exist to individuals who seek to sustain and preserve their properties. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Resource Development (MDARD) provides guidance and oversight to Conservation Districts, serving as a partner in many capacities.
Locally the CCD plans and organizes a spring tree seedling sale in April for landowners to plant for wildlife habitat development, windbreaks, reforestation, and establish rain gardens. A morning nature camp for children is held during the summer at a Wilder Creek Conservation Area, as nearby nature preserve, and coordination of a no-til drill for planting of native grasses and wildflowers to benefit birds, bees, and butterflies are among the programs available to the public.
CCD stays involved with environmental concerns such as agriculture and urban erosion, sediment control, water quality protection, and wetland protection. Forest management, fish and wildlife habitat, and other natural resource issues have been studied in the past. Presently, CCD is planning a drain restoration project to transform a drain into a stream by connecting natural waterways to the natural state. The Garfield Lake Outlet Drain Stream Restoration involves local, state, and federal agencies all working together with private landowners to accomplish the project.
In the near future, a SAW Grant provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy EGLE will enable a comprehensive Storm-water Management Plan for the Nottawa Creek Watershed, located in SW Michigan. The plan will integrate the concerns of all watershed stakeholders and outline solutions to restore the Nottawa Creek watershed for all designated uses.