With spring finally upon us, the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District has been busy bringing you updates. Check out our 2014-Spring Newsletter featuring “Awards & Recognitions”, 2013 Blue Ridge SWCD Clean Water Award recipient, new NRCS District Conservationist, Sustainable Ag Tour, Rain Barrel & Tumbler-style Compost Workshops and more…
Why Compost? What is Compost? How to Compost? What are “Greens” and “Browns”? What should be composted and what should not be composted? What factors affect compost rate? What is compost used for anyway? Each barrel holds approximately 53 gallons, 42 inches in height and 24 inches in diameter. Click here 2014 Compost Workshops-VCE for Feb-May to register for one of our Tumbler-Style Compost Workshops. Those that pre-register one week in advance of desired workshop date (including payment of $90) will be eligible to attend a Tumbler-style Compost Workshop on a first-come-first serve basis. Class size: minimum is 3 and maximum is 6 registered participants. At the end of this workshop you will have constructed your very own Tumbler-style Composter (Make, Take & Turn).
Items to bring to make your Tumbler-Style Compost Workshop experience more convenient: Power Drill, Drill bits to drill pilot & air holes: 3/32”, ¼”, ½”, & 1”, Phillips head drill bit for wood screws, 7/16” wrench, measuring tape, transportation to haul finished product (3.5’ L x 31” W x 4.6’ H) and minimal skill and plenty of patience!
Combining the use of rain barrels with appropriate plant selection and mulching promotes water conservation. Rain barrels benefit your home, garden and community. Each barrel holds approximately 53 gallons, 42 inches in height and 24 inches in diameter. Click here 2014 Rain Barrel Flyer Workshop Schedule-Feb to May to register for one of our Rain Barrel Workshops. Those that pre-register one week in advance of desired workshop date (including payment of $50) will be eligible to attend a Rain Barrel Workshop on a first-come-first serve basis.
No Burning Before 4 p.m. Until April 30
The Commonwealth’s 4 p.m. Burning Law goes into effect Feb. 15th – the start of spring fire season in Virginia. The law prohibits burning before 4 p.m. each day until April 30th if the fire is in, or within 300 feet of, woodland, brush-land or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.
“This law is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent wildfires,” said John Miller, director of resource protection at the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). “Each late winter and early spring, downed trees, branches and leaves become ‘forest fuels’ that increase the danger of a forest fire. By adhering to the law and burning between 4 p.m. and midnight only, people are less likely to start a fire that threatens them, their property and the forests of Virginia.”
In addition to open burning, debris burning in metal barrels has been the source of wild-land fires this year.
“If flames and sparks are flying out of the barrel, that increases the chance they’ll land in dry grass or leaves and start a wild fire,” said Paul Reier, VDOF technician in James City, Charles City and New Kent counties. “Be sure the barrel is secure and won’t tip over, causing the fire to spill out. Stay with the debris barrel while the fire is burning, and be sure to properly and safely dispose of the ashes.” Reier adds that metal barrels should be in good condition – not weak with rust or full of holes. A mesh wire screen, with openings of ¼” or less, should cover the top of the barrel.
A violation of this law is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine. In addition to the criminal violation, those who allow a fire to escape are liable for the cost of suppressing the fire as well as any damage caused to others’ property.
To learn more about how to protect yourself and your property, visit dof.virginia.gov.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District is offering high school seniors and college freshmen planning a career in natural resource conservation or related field, (in the areas of Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke) the opportunity to apply for a $1,000 Leo Painter College Scholarship.
The award winning application of this scholarship (Leo Painter Scholarship) will be submitted to the 2014 VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Awards Program for an opportunity to be awarded an additional $1,000 scholarship out of a total of four $1,000 scholarships available state wide (through the VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc.).
To apply for this college scholarship opportunity for promoting the education of Virginia citizens in technical fields with natural resource conservation and environmental protection, click on the 2014 Scholarship-Guidelines-Application icon below. Complete this application in full and submit it to the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151 no later than March 10, 2014 (Monday) at 4:30 p.m.
Submitted applications will be reviewed and screened by the Blue Ridge SWCD Scholarship Committee. All applications and information contained therein shall remain confidential. Nominations from the Committee will be submitted to the VASWCD Educational Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors for final approval.
All programs and services of the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District and the Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation District’s Educational Foundation, Inc. are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or disability. All submitted paperwork is confidential and becomes the property of the VASWCDEF.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District is seeking creative poster submissions for the 2014 NACD/VASWCD Poster Contest. This year’s theme is “Dig Deeper: Mysteries in the Soil”. The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District serves the following areas: Franklin, Henry, Roanoke Counties and the City of Roanoke. Please encourage students in grades K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 to create a “Dig Deeper: Mysteries in the Soil” themed poster along with a completed application (refer to attached entry form and 2014 NACD Poster Contest Rules & Resources). Girl Scouts have the opportunity to earn a Girl Scout VASWCD Poster Contest Patch. Completed applications must be submitted to the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District no later than Monday, October 6, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
The annual NACD/VASWCD Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies. To locate your local district visit http://vaswcd.org. District winners advance to the state level and state winners advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting.
Daphne W. Jamison was recently reappointed by Governor Bob McDonnell to serve on the Virginia Soil & Water Conservtion Board. The Virginia Soil & Water Conservation Board (VASWCB) works with the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) to guide the delivery of soil and water conservation services to citizens of the Commonwealth. The Board’s repsonsibilities include: oversight and support of Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts regarding non-point source pollution control programs, including Resource Management Plans and oversight of dam safety and floodplain management regulations. Mrs. Jamison is a retired teacher with Roanoke County Schools, serves in Franklin County as Chairperson of the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District and resides in Wirtz with her husband Ron.