Plenty going on in Medina County

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I am starting to settle into the role of district manager of the Medina Soil and Water Conservation District after the retirement of Jeff VanLoon. The staff and supervisors have helped me with the transition from longtime district technician to district manager.

For the past 24 years, I have had the privilege of being the SWCD technician. I have worked with many outstanding landowners, rural and urban, over the years and have learned a lot about conservation and managing our natural resources.

Wildlife habitat

One of the big happenings now is that Medina County is the first county in the state of Ohio to be recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat County. Over 400 sites have been certified as wildlife habitats.

Let’s not stop there though. If you would like to qualify your yard to be a certified Wildlife Habitat go to nwf.org/garden to get an application and details of the program.

Congratulations to all those who went the extra mile to submit their property and the office staff for promoting this program.

Fair season

We just finished up at the 173rd Medina County Fair. The district had an educational booth and we assisted with the county hay show. Congratulations to our hay show winners.

The office also worked with the Medina Farm Bureau on water quality experiments with the kids. It was fun for all.

Bee inspections

Medina County has a new beehive inspector. Ron Zickefoose was appointed by the county commissioners in May and can be reached at 330-466-3642. Ron is making his rounds and assisting apiaries on maintaining healthy hives.

Keep in mind, bees visit bees and diseases and parasites can easily be transferred from hive to hive. Having a bee inspector helps the health of all hives in the county.

Water quality

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about water quality in Medina County ponds and lakes.

Several times this year, Chippewa Lake was closed to swimming and boating. Harmful algae blooms have affected the water as it has done over the past few years. The citizens around the lake are working with the park and doing some stream monitoring. In doing so, they are looking at what may be flowing into the lake and how weather events change the nutrient flow.

Fall soil test

Now that the growing season is coming to an end, it is time to assess the weed growth and crop yields of your garden or crop field.

Testing your soil in the fall can be good, so if you would need to add additional lime or nutrients it can be done in time for next year’s crop. You can also mark your fields for what type of weed escapes you had and plan accordingly.

You may want to utilize the benefits of cover crops. September is a good time to plant cover crops as you can still get the plant established prior to frost and the slowdown of top growth.

Keep in mind, cover crops that overwinter still grow until the ground is frozen. That overwintering cover crop will hold onto the soil and nutrients for next year’s crop.

If you need additional information on what type of cover crop to plant, contact your local Soil and Water Conservation Office.

Annual meeting

This time of year, most SWCDs hold their annual meeting. They usually have a dinner, recognize local conservation stewards and elect supervisors. The supervisors help to set policies and goals for the district and are a vital cog of the district operation.

Medina is no different. Our annual meeting will be held on Oct. 24. For additional information about the Medina SWCD annual meeting contact us at 330-722-9316 or at www.medinaswcd.org.

Additional activities will include a buffet dinner at $15, election of two supervisors, awards for big tree, conservation teacher of the year and conservation steward of the year.

That’s all for now. Have a great fall.

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Jim Dieter is the Soil and Water Conservation District Manager. He has been with the District since 1993 which he started out as the District Technician. He has an associate degree in crop production from OSU/ATI in Wooster. He was previously the agronomist at Medina Landmark in Medina. Jim can be reached at330-722-9317 or by email jdieter@medinaco.org.

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