Conewago Currents: Encouraging Best Practices
Posted: May 8, 2012
Initiative Now Funding New Conewago Clean Water Programs
The Conewago Initiative is offering some exciting new programs to watershed landowners this spring. Recognizing that many priority conservation practices often need new and creative incentives that work for landowners, the Initiative partners are offering the following new financial incentives to interested landowners, funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Because stormwater runoff is a pollution source that must be controlled, the Initiative is offering program dollars to offset the cost of designing and constructing stormwater BMPs on residential, commercial, and public properties in the watershed. BMPs that provide natural hydrologic benefits (like rain gar-dens, riparian buffers, bioswales) will be given priority. These “green” practices not only improve water quality by letting stormwater soak into the ground, they provide beauty to our community and habitat for birds, insects (including key pollinators) and other wildlife. The Initiative will fund 80% of the costs of designing and installing these practices. More funding up to 100% is available if forest riparian buffers are also planted.
Raising horses is a rural pursuit that is gaining popularity in the watershed. As with other livestock, horses can have an impact on water quality. The Initiative will provide funding to install conservation practices on horse farms, including hobby horse operations.
Manure analysis and soil testing
Every farm operation that produces or uses manure must develop and implement a Manure Management Plan. This includes operations as small as one or two horses or cattle. To help these smaller farmers develop their Plans, the Initiative is offering funding to cover the full costs of conducting the manure analysis and soil tests necessary to develop these Plans.
Crop record-keeping management
Crop farmers know that the key to managing nutrients so that environmental losses are minimized and yields
are maximized is good record-keeping. Penn State Extension provides comprehensive record-keeping services for area farmers at fee for service rates. The Initiative is now providing funding to new program participants to cover the costs of this program between now and April 30, 2013. To be eligible for this funding, you must be in compliance with all state environmental requirements and all livestock must be fenced out of streams.
Riparian buffer maintenance
Landowners who are interested in planting forest riparian buffers but are concerned about maintenance duties now have a solution. Funding is now available through the Initiative to provide full service buffer maintenance for those landowners who enroll in CREP and take advantage of CREP’s existing maintenance cost share. Non-CREP landowners may also participate but must pay their own cost share. The Initiative is partnering with Wild Resources, an experienced buffer contractor, to provide these services.
If you are interested in any of these programs, now is the time to take advantage. They will only be available until April 30, 2013. To learn more, contact Matt Royer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the full article, go to the Conewago Creek Initiative website.