A weekly blog for all things conservation
(With something conservation related, of course)
Kevin Brown, BCCD, Ag Resource Specialist
You always have to read the fine print. LOL. We are the Conservation District. We do conservation work. What is that? In a nutshell, I would say that we want to specialize in helping people conserve their natural resources. We have written other articles on it so I will not go too much further with a definition. We are not pure protectionist, but we would like to conserve what we have in hopes to give the next generation the same, or better. I have not seen the study, but supposedly there is a study out there that finds that the happiest people are people that spend a lot of time outdoors. Their fondest memories are of them playing outside as children. I can attest to that. I love the outdoors. Taking walks in nature, listening to the sounds (birds, bees, water running, etc.), looking at all the different plants out there, what the animals are doing, etc. Immerse yourself in it. Don’t just be outside, BE outside. Be one with nature. (Did you know there are apps that will tell you what kind of bird is making that noise? Or what plant that is? I don’t want to put myself out of a job, but how cool is that? I walk around my property now, with my phone in hand, identifying all the different bird sounds and plants out there.) Now those are the things that I would like to conserve as much as possible. Is that anything that excites you? If so, maybe we can help.
The Troy Fair
By: Kevin Brown, Ag Team leader
Enough said, right. The Troy Fair. The biggest event to hit Bradford County since (I don’t know, dinosaurs?? LOL). We have rides and animals and attractions and (oh yea) FOOD. It is not an official count, but I think we have been going at this for just shy of 150 years. That is a long time. The fair is an enjoyable time for whatever reason you go. There will be cattle and sheep and chickens and whatever animals you can think of. We will have the normal- fish, snakes (I hope. I have to catch them yet and NO these ones in the picture are not the ones that I will have at the fair!), critters, and educational stuff. I hope to see you there. If you are a regular reader, you can feel free to stop in and tell me what a wonderful job I am doing, or that I have lost my mind and don’t have a clue what is going on out there in the real world. Either way, I will enjoy the conversation.
From Kevin Brown, BCCD -this is a reprint from an web article I saw the other day. It hit home after I was mowing lawn the other day and was concerned of the number of honeybees that would not leave their flowers, even if I slowed way down, and went through the mower. Bees are already in huge decline without us killing even more this way. What is the answer?
Authors: Alex Schultz, Co-Chair of Pollenablers–Fox Cities, Bee City USA Appleton
Israel Del Toro, President of Appleton Pollinator Project, Bee Campus USA Lawrence University
The Appleton Bee City USA affiliate group, Pollenablers-Fox Cities, and the Bee Campus USA affiliate group, Appleton Pollinator Project, teamed up in 2020 to launch the United States’ first No Mow May initiative, an import from Great Britain’s Plantlife organization. The basic tenet of the program being the voluntary delay of early lawn mowing for the month of May increases spring pollinator habitat and foraging opportunities as early flowering grasses and sedges are allowed time to blossom and provide an essential boost of energy for pollinating insects.
The Outdoor Homeowner
Kevin Brown, BCCD, Ag Team Leader
I will call it this for lack of a better term right now. The Conservation District will hold a meeting this Saturday, the 14th, to talk about a number of outdoor, around-the-house topics. We get a lot of interest in our No-Till Garden information when we present it. This will be the first topic on the agenda. I will confess that I am no gardener. In fact, I used to hate gardening. However, I have found a new way- Mulch, Plant, Harvest, Repeat. Even I can do that little. I don’t have to till, and even better, I don’t have to weed or water it. I can enjoy my summer instead of chasing the garden chores the whole time.
Earth Day Celebration
By: Cathy Yeakel, BCCD District Manager
What did you do on Earth Day?
Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, as an environmental awareness day to educate people about pollution and its effects on the environment. Founded by a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day became a global movement to protect our environment. Since 1970, celebrations have changed from awareness lectures to outdoor events offering education on our natural resource issues and demonstrations.
By: Kevin Brown, Ag Team Leader, BCCD
Do you operate a chainsaw? It is probably one of the most dangerous things that one can do, especially now. Ash trees are everywhere, and they are all dead or dying. The woods are dangerous enough before we had that hazard. Now it is much worse. It is imperative that you know how to operate a saw safely. If you have ever looked into learning safe techniques to operating a chainsaw, you have probably heard of The Game of Logging. It is a world-class program designed to train people to be able to safely navigate the felling and cutting up of trees. It is a commercial logger training program taught at a “backwoods/weekender” level. It IS the standard and people that have attended it hold it in the highest regard. Do something for yourself that could potentially save your life. We all know people that have been killed in the woods. Let that statistic not be you. The course is being offered on March 12th by the Northern Tier Hardwood Association (NTHA). You must register and they are looking for participants. Please contact them at NTHA- Facebook, website, etc. Or contact us with the information below and we will steer you in the right direction. It is a top-notch program and you won’t be sorry.
Recycling Your Christmas Tree
.By MEGAN ROUGHT Ag Resource Specialist
Christmas is in the air and what better way to get into the holiday spirit then going out and getting yourself a fresh cut Christmas tree.
One of my favorite traditions to do during the Christmas season is go to a local U-cut Christmas tree farm and find the perfect tree. My family and I will scour the fields until we find the perfect tree.
We then cut it down, take it home, and decorate it with all our ornaments and lights. But then what do you do when Christmas is over, and the tree must come down? Many people don’t realize that there are multiple different environmentally friendly options. Your Christmas tree can be used as habitat/shelter, food, or even erosion control
Do I Need to Mask-Up and Social Distance from the DEER This Hunting Season Too?
By Dan Rhodes, Education Coordinator, BCCD
Since big game rifle season for white-tailed deer opened on November 27th across Pennsylvania, nearly 900,000 PA hunters have taken to the woods to try and harvest a monster buck or replenish their freezer’s supply of organic, healthy, venison meat. Unfortunately, within the last few weeks or months, media reports have also surfaced claiming that hunters coming in close contact with wild white-tailed deer may also have an elevated risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus if the deer themselves are infected.
By DAN RHODES BCCD Education Coordinator
Please consider constructing or purchasing a bat house from the Game Commission to provide bats with places to live. If you turned on the TV this past month, you were likely to find no shortage of creepy horror movies with bats terrorizing the main characters. If you visited your local candy store to stock up on Halloween trick-or-treat supplies, you probably saw dozens of plastic bat decorations hanging from the ceilings to create the perfect Halloween atmosphere for shoppers. Bats, it seems, are consistently one of the most popular animals alive when it comes to adding scary effects to your favorite horror movie or getting people in the Halloween mood. For centuries, even before the invention of television, books such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula highlighted the bat as a sinister, bloodthirsty animal who was always out to get you.
Is this hatred and fear toward bats really justified?
What is the truth about bats and their relationship with humans?
By: Dan Rhodes, Education Coordinator
Over the last couple of years there’s been a lot of press about a new invasive aggressive bee that has been spotted in North America called the ‘murder’ hornet. These very large giant hornets from Asia are indeed a species of concern for many reasons, but how can they be identified if seen, are there other similar species out there right now, and are there any bees that shouldn’t be added to an ‘America’s most wanted’ poster?
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District