The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District Board will meet on Monday, September 27, 2021 at 5 p.m. at Ippy’s Restaurant, (next to the Rocky Mount Service Center) North Main Street, Rocky Mount, Va. Please wear face mask; also, social distancing is encouraged.
When: Thursday, July 1 – Friday, September 3, 2021
APPOINTMENT ONLY to schedule an appointment contact:
Michael Tabor, Sr. Conservation Specialist, (540) 352-3323 or
Allen Jackson, Conservation Technician, (540) 352-3329
NEW Planting Dates: Cover Crop planting dates extended by two weeks – Details provided during signup appointment.
NEW Participant Cap: Raised to $150,000 per participant for FY22.
SIGN-UP PERIOD: Sign-up for BMP Cost Share or VA Tax Credits
SIGN-UP PERIOD: Sign-up for BMP Cost Share or VA Tax Credits prior to September 3rd for the first round of ranking. Many programs offered.
REMINDER: Current Nutrient Management Plan is required for all cover crop participants in the VACS (Virginia Cost Share) programs or to receive specified VA State Tax Credits. Sign-up for cost share by September 3rd.
VA State Tax Credits: VA State Tax Credits available. Details provided
during signup appointment. Increased credits for FY22.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District sets priorities and objectives that are defined in a strategic plan. An annual plan of work is completed by forming committees such as Budget, Soil Stewardship, Youth, Annual Report, Conservation Awards, Annual Tour, Newsletter, Scholarship, Personnel, and other committees as needed. The Board of Directors encourages land users to adopt Best Management Practices such as conservation tillage in their farm plans. This District works from a budget to effectively manage funds, facilities and equipment. The Blue Ridge SWCD supports the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the National Association of Conservation Districts. The directors attend area, state, and national meetings. The Commonwealth of Virginia supports the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District through financial and administrative assistance provided by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Funding for the programs outlined in this report comes from a variety of sources, namely: DCR, local county governments, corporate sponsorship and donations. Other funding comes from a variety of sources, mainly federal and state grants. All programs and services of the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or handicap.
If you would like to harvest rain water for your garden and landscaping needs then this is an opportunity for you to construct our very own rain barrel. This old idea is making a big splash! Please have the proper transportation to take the barrel(s) home as they are approximately 53 gallons measuring 42″ in height and 24″ in diameter.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District will be conducting Rain Barrel Workshops on the following dates:
September 16, 2021, October 7, 2021 and November 4, 2021 at the Essig Center on Technology Drive, Rocky Mount, VA.
For additional information, register on line (one week prior to the scheduled class) at https://www.playfranklincounty.com
Cost: $60/Rain Barrel
The Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District Board will meet on Monday, July 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. at Ippy’s Restaurant, (next to the Rocky Mount Service Center) North Main Street, Rocky Mount, Va. Please wear face mask; also, social distancing is encouraged.
Virginia Academy of Natural Resources: a Virtual Camp Experience
Who: Any current 8th-12th grader When: July 12-16, 2021
What: Daily themes of wildlife,forestry, soils, and aquatics, presented by natural resource professionals; small group project; self-directed field work; mini-Envirothon competition and more!
How: Apply by April 30th at https://forms.gle/9mRUtyoaPRvFQY2N9 Cost: $25 for field study materials (will be mailed before camp)
Info: For questions about the camp or financial assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mornings online, afternoons in your own backyard, local park, or woods! Sponsored by Virginia Department of Forestry and Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts
VDOF & VCE MAKE LAND LEGACY PLANNING MORE ACCESSIBLE
The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) encourage landowners to make plans for passing on their land to the next generation – right now. The Generation NEXT program is a collaboration between VDOF and VCE that helps Virginia landowners keep forests intact, in forest, and in family.
Generation NEXT is hosting two low-cost virtual legacy planning series this year – in April and September – to help landowners take the first steps and clarify some of the misconceptions about the legacy planning process that might prevent people from getting started.
Many landowners are overwhelmed by the legacy planning process and assume that it primarily involves complicated work with attorneys and accountants. This assumption might cause landowners to delay thinking about what they want to happen to their land when they’re no longer around to manage it. The Generation NEXT program demonstrates how estate planning (working with lawyers and accountants) is just one part of the legacy planning process.
“One of the most important steps in legacy planning includes conversations between you and the people who will steward your land after you’re gone. Do they understand your stewardship goals for the property? Do they feel a connection to the land? Are there key pieces of information you need to share about the property? Having these conversations is critical,” says Adam Downing, Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent.
If a landowner passes away without clearly established plans for their estate (including their land), things can quickly become complicated for the surviving family members. The Generation NEXT program provides families with resources and tools that make the process more manageable and accessible.
With the Generation NEXT workshops, families pay a single fee to participate, even if they are geographically separated. The workshops serve as designated opportunities for family members to ask difficult questions, receive useful information, and get on the same page about plans for the future. Typically, these sessions are in-person, so dispersed families are taking advantage of the virtual offerings.
As a companion to the workshop series, the Generation NEXT team created a publication, Legacy Planning: A Guide for Virginia Landowners that provides an overview of the nine major steps involved in developing a robust land legacy plan. It includes case studies from landowners throughout Virginia and guides landowners to tools and resources. The free publication is available online or in-print (by request). https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/CNRE/cnre-121/CNRE-121.pdf
Landowners should approach legacy planning as an on-going process. “Much like a forest changes over time, your legacy plans will evolve. As priorities change or family dynamics shift, so should plans for your land,” says Andrew Fotinos, Conservation Specialist with VDOF. “Having the Legacy Planning publication on-hand will help landowners as they periodically revisit the nine steps over time.”
With spring and summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to engage with Step Eight: “Provide opportunities for your family to learn about and enjoy your woodlands.” Explore your property with future generations to instill in them the importance of good land stewardship.
Spring dates for the Generation NEXT workshops are April 7, 8, 14 & 15. Those interested in attending the spring workshop should register by March 31 to guarantee their spot and receive a print copy of the Legacy Planning publication before courses begin. Fall workshops will take place on September 8, 9, 15 & 16. Families or individuals can register for either the spring or fall dates, or they may elect to attend both series for a comprehensive experience. Content may overlap in the two series, but they are not identical.
Registration can be completed online: https://ext.vt.edu/natural-resources/legacy-planning/training.html
About the Virginia Department of Forestry
The Virginia Department of Forestry protects and develops healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians. With nearly 16 million acres of forestland and more than 108,000 Virginians employed in forestry, forest products and related industries, Virginia forests provide an overall economic output of more than $21 Billion annually.
Headquartered in Charlottesville, the Agency has forestry staff members assigned to every county to provide citizen service and public safety protection across the Commonwealth, which it’s been doing now for more than 100 years. VDOF is an equal opportunity provider.
About the Virginia Cooperative Extension
Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. We are a dynamic organization that stimulates positive personal and societal change, leading to more productive lives, families, farms, and forests as well as a better environment.
Understanding that knowledge is power, we place that power in the hands of Virginians and help them learn how to use it to improve the quality of their lives. Our Extension agents and specialists form a network of educators whose classrooms are the communities, homes, and businesses of Virginia, where they bring research-based solutions to the problems facing Virginians today. Extension programs are delivered through a network of faculty at two universities, 108 county and city offices, 11 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers.
VCE and VDOF programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District has cost share available to install Agricultural and Forestry best management practices and is prioritizing lands impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). these may include grazing management, tree plantings, agricultural waste management and more. If interested, please contact the Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District at (540) 352-3312 to find out more and determine eligibility.
This year the Virginia Department of Forestry chose to recognize Mr. Roger Hatcher for the 2020 BMP Forestry Award. The property that Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher own has been in his family since 1949. The Hatcher family farmed this property for many years before making the deciding to transition from farming to forest management. The property is mainly used for hunting and growing pine & hardwood timber. This property is a Certified Stewardship property.
The first recorded timber harvest on this property took place from 1998 to 1999. A 42-acres area of mature Virginia Pine was clear-cut and then reforested with Loblolly pine. These planted Loblolly pines were commercially thinned for the first time in 2019. The overall goal for this area is to eventually have it clearcut and reforested once again, but only after the newly harvested and reforested areas have become well established.
In 2004 another 13 acre area of mature Virginia Pine was clearcut and reforested with Loblolly pine. This area was not commercially thinned during the most recent harvest because the timber still needs more time to grow. In the future when the 42 acres parcel is clearcut this parcel will likely be commercially thinned. Giving the residual trees more room to grow.
Over the course of the last 2 years the Hatcher’s have had approximately 22 additional acres clearcut directly beside their home place. This area has since been reforested and release sprayed to reduce natural hardwood regeneration competition. By harvesting this area last, they have insured that, in the future, they will not have a view of the large clearcut area that will be a result of the final harvest of the pines that were planted in the late 90s.
The Hatcher family has invested many years of blood, sweat, and tears into this beautiful Henry County property with the goal of having something to leave to their children. The children and grandchildren have and will continue to reap the benefits of the hard work that Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher have put into their land during the last 20 years and for many years to follow.
| Applications are Due by April 1, 2021! |
The Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association (VLWA) has been awarding Leo Bourassa scholarships since 2001 to deserving college students to help fulfill our mission. The scholarship program is named after Leo Bourassa who was the founding father of VLWA. The goal of the scholarships is to support students in their education in the field of water resources to help promote good lake and watershed management within the Commonwealth of Virginia. VLWA has awarded seventy-eight student scholarships to-date for a total amount of $153,300 and the scholarship awards have ranged in value from $3,000 to $500 each. The scholarship recipients are selected based on academic performance, contribution to the field of water resources, and related extracurricular activities. The applicant must be a Virginia resident attending an accredited Virginia college or university and applications are due by April 1, 2021. More information about the VLWA Leo Bourassa Scholarship Program can be found HERE. Please see the website for details on applicant eligibility and application submittal requirements. The application form can be submitted electronically via the website. Two reference letters for each applicant will need to be mailed to the VLWA scholarship committee chair at the address listed on the website. APPLY NOW!
VCAP offers a wide variety of practices that can help individual homeowners and other groups control stormwater, improve water quality, and beautify their property, all the while reducing the amount of sediment and nutrients that make it into Virginia’s waterways. There is a wealth of information available at http://vaswcd.org/vcap, including overviews of each practice, project photos, and more technical information.
The Blue Ridge Soil & Water Conservation District, located at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA, 24151, is now accepting application for the Program Year 2021 Virginia Agricultural Cost Share (VACS) program. This program offers conservation practices to farmers that include planting winter cover crops on cropland, ways to manage and store animal waste, plans for use of nutrients, exclusion of livestock from streams, install watering systems and rotational grazing, plant trees to convert crop and pastureland to forest, plus several other practices. These practices are incentivized and can pay up to 100% paid by a reimbursement. To qualify, land must be currently in agricultural production with a water quality concern present. For more information, please call the Blue Ridge SWCD at 540-352-3312 and ask for Michael Tabor or Allen Jackson. Our early sign-up deadline is September 4, 2020 and new practices will be ranked and approved no earlier than the September 28th Blue Ridge SWCD Board Meeting. Programs offered through Blue Ridge SWCD are available to all people regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or political affiliation.