In this issue:
Notice of Budget Hearing:   June 12, 2019  at 7PM.
Landowner Assistance Program Overview
by Brandon Bishop
We are nearing the end of our fiscal year which means project installation and wrap-up are flying. It is a very busy time of year for us; the LAP program is more popular then ever with a record number of applications in 2018-2019. We have enjoyed working with many great landowners this last year for a variety of practices and projects. While 2018-19 is closing we look forward to 2019-20.  We are always looking for new projects and landowner contacts to get conservation on the ground. If you have a project that you have been thinking about let us know it’s easy to get started. Call the office and speak to one of our technical staff. We can set up a site visit and discuss your concerns as well help develop a plan going forward. We have found that most LAP participants do more than one project after working with the district.

The next round of applications will be accepted August 6th.
Our program offers an outstanding opportunity to get technical help, develop plans and implement conservation practices. We encourage landowners to get started sooner than later to allow for the most time to get projects completed through whatever weather is thrown our way.

Soil Health and the Cotton Brief Challenge
by Meredith Hoffman

Are you curious about the health of your soil?   Join a group of Marion County Farm women who are burying cotton underwear to assess the biological activity of their soil and the soil health.   Ten pairs of 100% cotton briefs  are being  buried by farm women across Marion County!  Over the next two months, soil microbes will be breaking down the cotton. 

Then what?

After two months the briefs will be dug up.  The more shredded and ragged the briefs, the healthier the soil.  If the briefs look a lot like they did when they were buried, then there is some work to be done in making the soil healthier.

How does this experiment work?

A healthy soil is full of bacteria, fungi, arthropods, protozoa, and earthworms. You see, 100% cotton is a food source for the microbes and other organisms in the soil.  This is why after two months in the ground, the worse looking the briefs, the more biological activity you have in your soil.    Biologically active soil is healthy soil.

Why does soil health matter?

The increased popularity in home gardening and growing your own food, plus the ever-present interest of farmers in producing healthier crops and forage, has people thinking deeply about soil health.  Healthy soils are more productive which means your crops – be it a backyard garden or 80 acres of hazelnuts – will be healthier and produce higher yields.  Healthy soil also requires less fertilizer, has better water infiltration, and improved water holding capacity.  This reduces soil erosion and irrigation requirements, and healthy soil is climate friendly because it can hold more carbon.

Soil Health Workshop coming in November.  More information to follow in Summer Newsletter.

If you have questions about soil health, we will be glad to help you.  Reach us at or call Marion SWCD at 503.391.9927.

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By Jenny Ammon

The subjects include:
Do you know of a teacher, youth group leader, home-school parent or community organization that could use hands-on science activities?

Marion SWCD has come to the rescue with easy to use program bins that cover subjects from soils to birds and everything in-between!  These program
bins include pre-activities, alignment with NGSS standards, lesson plans, and post-activities.  There is more good news…they are free to use for a two-week check-out period!  I know! This is very exciting, and we are just waiting for you to call or stop in to reserve your program bin today!
How Did That Get in my Lunchbox, the Story of Food
Observation Hike (Senses)
Plants and Trees for Me
Furs & Skulls
Powerful Pollinators
Geology Rocks!
Soil Secrets
Birding Basics
What is a Watershed?

Macro Invertebrates

Kids from kindergarten to 12th grade can use these tools to learn more about our awesome environment, so they grow up to respect and protect it.

If you are interested in checking out a program bin email Jenny Ammon - Natural Resource Educator for Marion SWCD!
Water Primrose Treatment and Survey
By Jenny Meisel
Marion SWCD will be partnering with the North Santiam Watershed Council this summer and fall to tackle invasive water primrose (Ludwigia hexapetala or peploides) in the North Santiam River.  Two large and 2 small infestations were found last fall between Lyons and Stayton.  The goals for the project in the North Santiam watershed are to:

- Initiate treatment of approximately 38 acres (in 4 sites) of recently discovered water primrose infestations;

- Conduct surveys on 13 river miles on the mainstem North Santiam River in Marion and Linn Counties from Lyons to Stayton;

- Launch an awareness campaign to inform local residents of the devastating impacts this invasive species can have on the aquatic ecosystem.

Native Plant Sale and Scholarship Update
By Jenny Meisel

This was one of our best native plant sales EVER!  (Do I say that every year?)  Each year seems better than the last and the interest in native plants just keeps growing (pun intended).  We had 850 people attend our annual Native Plant Sale this year.  That is an increase of over 200 people from last year! 

Each year we learn something new.  This year we learned that electronic devices do not like cold temperatures.  Our machines ran slowly first thing in the morning which caused slow and long check-out lines.  We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience.  Next year we will have hot pads for our checkout devices which will hopefully make that process run more efficiently.


Weed Surveys and Treatments in Upper Mill Creek
by Sarah Hamilton
In the summer of 2018 Marion County Weed Control District partnered with Marion Soil & Water Conservation District and the North Santiam Watershed Council to jointly manage invasive plants in the Upper Mill Creek watershed. The 2018 project built off a 2014-15 grant to survey and treat yellow flag iris in the Lucas Ditch. For the 2018 project, the survey and treatment areas were expanded and new invasive plants were added to the survey list. The project included weed surveys and treatments along a 2-mile stretch of the Salem Ditch near Stayton, surveys and treatments on a 0.5 mile stretch of the Lucas Ditch, and surveys along a 15-mile stretch of Mill Creek and several tributaries. The area surveyed covers approximately 214 acres of waterfront property.

Photo Contest : #ORTrashTag

Collect trash, snap a photo, win prizes!

Join Marion County, the Cities of Albany, Salem, Keizer and the Marion SWCD

The contest runs from June 1st-September 30th with winners selected each month and announced on the 3rd Wednesday.

Whether you're on a walk or at a litter clean up event, just snap a photo of yourself with your bag of trash, post it to Facebook or Instagram (or email with the hashtag ORTrashTag.

The Marion SWCD is an equal opportunity employer, providing services to the public without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, mental or physical disability, marital status, age, or other protected status or activity in accordance with applicable law.

Copyright © 2019 Marion Soil and Water Conservation District, All rights reserved.

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