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Your Source for Conservation News in Washtenaw County

Rye cover crop following soybean crop

Dr. Shikha Singh to Speak on Invasive Species at 73rd Annual Meeting

Have you seen a new type of plant or animal that has “suddenly appeared” out of nowhere? It might be an invasive species. Once an invasive species becomes established in an area, it becomes expensive and very time consuming to eradicate! JLW CISMA Coordinator Dr. Shikha Singh will highlight a few invasive species found in Washtenaw County, as well as a few that are knocking on Michigan's door. She will also share resources available to the community to identify and report potential species.

RSVP for Annual Meeting
Welcome our new Resource Coordinator: Doug Reith!

I’m a born & raised Michigander from Macomb County. I left the ‘burbs for the urban life of Ann Arbor, where I gained my Computer Science degree from University of Michigan and spent many years as a web developer. My passions for the environment led me to Detroit where I was involved in urban community gardening/farming and subsequently to rural Tuscola county where I worked as an organic vegetable farmer. Farming furthered my interest in natural resources and land management, and I took on the roles of Stewardship Technician and volunteer coordinator assistant with Washtenaw County NAPP. I am also a 2019 graduate of the excellent Conservation Stewards Program organized by MSUE and partners.

My family and I are now rooted at our generational family farm homestead near Chelsea, MI, where we operate a small flower farm, care for our chickens, goats, and dogs, and practice land stewardship. I’ll often be found out enjoying our many beautiful Washtenaw county natural areas, where I enjoy hiking and paddling, volunteering to manage invasive plants, and participating in citizen science inventories and photo-monitoring.

I am incredibly excited to be joining the WCCD team, and am eager to bring my experience and passons in urban and rural vegetable farming, stewardship and conservation, and web development to take our resource distribution, programs, and tree & plant sale events to the next level in order to promote wise land use for many generations to come.

Soil sampling: Why should you do it, and how?

By Erez Brandvain, Conservation Technician

If you are a grower of any kind, its not too late to head outside and take a soil sample before the snow falls! If you are a backyard gardener, a hobby farmer with some pasture for animals, or a row crop farmer, there is no reason not take a sample of your soil. If you do not normally soil sample, you may be wondering why this is so important? There are several reasons, but the most important is this: Soil sampling provides you with a precise direction on how to best raise your specific crop, or crops. It is a way to give you an idea of what nutrients are in the ground and what nutrients are lacking, so you can make the best-informed decision on how to meet your yield goals. If you purchase fertilizer and do not soil sample, spending $15.00 on a sample can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, in the event your soil already has adequate nutrient levels. On the other hand, if a soil is lacking a specific nutrient, the analysis will provide an exact value, so you know exactly what is lacking. In short, soil sampling is the best, most simple tool for making soil related decisions on your operation. [continue to site]

Beacon Springs Farm Achieves 3rd Verification

Tom and Marti Burbeck’s Beacon Springs Farm was recently verified in the MAEAP program. If you feel like you heard that before, that is because it was only in August that Tom and Marti were featured for becoming verified in their Farmstead and Cropping systems. 

Upcoming Events

Request your WCCD Absentee Ballot

Starting Monday, November 23rd stop by the office to request an absentee ballot for WCCD Director elections (January 21st) or request one by mail by emailing Must provide a copy of piece of identification showing residency. Only Washtenaw County residents are eligible to vote.

73rd Virtual Annual Meeting, January 21st

2020 Conservation Farmer of the Year, 2020 Beginning or Small Conservation Farmer of the Year and 2020 Tree Conservationist of the Year awardees, Special guests and WCCD Director Election results from absentee ballots counted & winners announced. RSVP and details available December 2020. RSVP here. 

2021 Spring Tree, Shrub & Native Plant Catalog

Spring 2021 conservation tree, shrub and plant pre-order forms will be available on the website starting in December 2020. Pre-order forms will be sent with the 2020 Annual Report. To receive a hard copy, please send your mailing address to:

Washtenaw County Conservation District


705 N. Zeeb Rd

Suite #201

Ann Arbor, MI 48103


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