February 10, 2016

Farmers discuss cover crops
Huron County farmers share experiences with cover crops.Forty-five agricultural producers met in Clinton on January 29, 2016 to share their experiences planting cover crops and to learn about what works well and what doesn’t work as well.
Guest speakers included Huron County farmers Tom Hayter, Mike Strang, Doug Walker, Nathan Bender, and Stefan Zehetner. Those who attended also talked with each other to ask about the cover crops they had planted and how those crops were working out.
Presenters talked about the long-term economic benefits of cover crops and the increases in yields they are finding. They also talked about the cover crops that are working well and cover crops they don’t plan to use in the future. 
Those who attended found great value in talking to other farmers as well as cover crop dealers, said Kate Monk, Manager of Stewardship, Land and Education at Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “It was great to see so many people take part and share what they are planting, what they plan to change, and what they plan to plant next,” she said. “We thank the presenters for agreeing to share their stories with other farmers. There’s so much knowledge and experience in this area and this was a great way for Huron County farmers to share that expertise with each other.”
For more information click on
news item.

Friends of South Huron Trail bring back free family snowshoeing for Family Day WinterFest
Free family snowshoeing at Family Day.Volunteers from Friends of the South Huron Trail are bringing back free family snowshoeing as one of the events of Family Day WinterFest on Holiday Monday, Family Day, February 15, 2016. Thousands of people, including locals and visitors, have taken part in the Family Day events since 2010. For more information visit: or click on the news item.

Spring tree orders
 Spring tree orders are taken accompanied by payment until Monday, February 29, 2016.Spring tree orders are taken accompanied by payment until Monday, February 29, 2016.
Trees and shrubs are available for purchase from Ausable Bayfield Conservation for conservation projects such as windbreaks, watercourse buffers, reforestation of erosion-prone slopes, or marginal agricultural lands.
Grants are available for many projects through federal, provincial and local cost-share programs. Depending on your project you may be eligible for grants of 50 per cent up to 100 per cent of the cash costs of your project. Contact staff for more information or click on the order trees page.
If you are in the Grand Bend area, the Grand Bend 5000 Trees Project supports the planting of native trees in the Grand Bend area following tree losses due to the summer 2014 tornado and the Emerald Ash Borer. This work also promotes a healthy community forest by raising awareness and providing education.

Thousands of local students learn to avoid high water, thin ice through Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s Spring Water Awareness Program
Spring water awareness program: Students students learn to avoid high water, thin iceAusable Bayfield Conservation provides Spring Water Awareness Program (SWAP) free of charge to watershed schools.
To stay safe, young people need to know to avoid thin ice and avoid high and fast-flowing water.
For more information visit the SWAP page or the Spring Water Awareness Program news item.
As snow and ice melt, local streams and rivers rise to high levels and flow at high speeds. Certain areas across the Ausable and Bayfield watersheds tend to flood to some degree each spring. Conservation educators say this is why they deliver the Spring Water Awareness Program to schools in Ausable Bayfield watersheds.
“Young people should stay away from rivers and streams any time of year, especially in winter and spring when the water is cold and the rivers are high,” said Denise Iszczuk, Conservation Educator with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). “Last year, we were able to teach 1,872 local students to stay away from high and fast-flowing water and to avoid ice.”
During the months of February and early March, SWAP makes its way across the watershed to schools interested in having students better understand river systems and the hazards associated with them. In a school gymnasium or library, conservation educators deliver one to three presentations designed for students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 – primary, junior, and intermediate levels. To find out more, or to book the Spring Water Awareness Program, schools may visit or email or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation offers this program free of charge to watershed schools on a first-come, first served basis. The continued support of ABCA member municipalities made this eleventh year of SWAP possible for elementary schools in the watershed.

Summer Nature Day Camps to return
Summer Nature Day Camps to return in 2016.Summer nature day camps are coming back in 2016! 
One week of camp is for children ages 6 to 9 and the other week – with a one-evening overnight stay in tents – is for youths ages 10 to 12.
The first Summer Nature Day Camp takes place July 11-15, 2016. This nature camp is for children ages 6 to 9.
The second day camp is Summer Nature Day Camp for youths ages 10 to 12. This is the return of the Wonder, Investigate, Learn, and Discover (WILD) camp that began last year. It takes place July 25-29, 2016.

For more information, visit the Summer Nature Day Camps web page or the WILD Nature Camp page or click on the news item.

Conservation Awards on March 17
Conservation Awards on March 17, 2016.Each March, Ausable Bayfield Conservation honours a community individual, farm, business, or group as the Conservationist of the Year at the Annual Conservation Awards.
The Conservation Awards take place on Thursday, March 17, 2016 at Ironwood Golf Club at 70969 Morrison Line, 2 km east of Exeter.
You and a guest are invited to the March celebration. Please RSVP to Sandra Funk at by Thursday, March 10, 2016 for meal numbers or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610. 
The event begins with social time at 5 p.m.; light supper at about 5:30 p.m.; Conservationist of the Year Award and board and staff service awards at 6 p.m.; and feature presentation on a shoreline topic at 6:30 p.m.
The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, since 1984, with the annual presentation of an award to the Conservationist of the Year. 
The Conservation Award acknowledges one individual or group per year who demonstrates positive conservation principles. The nominee must have undertaken conservation efforts over a number of years that have shown long-term benefits for the natural environment and society.
Examples of conservation work that protects soil, water, and living things, include:
  • Improving local water quality
  • Conservation farming
  • Reforestation
  • Environmental education
  • Providing wildlife and fish habitat
  • Promoting environmental awareness and action
For more information visit the Conservation Awards web page.


Upcoming Events

Holiday Monday, Family Day, February 15, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Maelstorm Winery, Huron County's first winery, to be showcased at Conservation Dinner.
Huron County’s first winery to be showcased at Conservation Dinner charitable gala auction

The Conservation Dinner Committee works in partnership with a winemaker each year to offer fine Canadian wines at the dinner tables of this gala charitable auction. The committee has announced the white and red wines at the 2016 Dinner are from Huron County’s first winery, Maelstrom Winery.
“We are excited to have the Landsborough family involved with our charity event,” said Paul Anstett, Chairman of the Dinner Committee. “The fine local wines crafted by this area business will add something new and special for our 27th Dinner.”
Maelstrom Winery is located on Sanctuary Line between Clinton and Seaforth. This artisan winery is a family enterprise for Jim Landsborough and Catherine Peckitt-Landsborough and their sons Brian, Blaine, and Brett. The vineyard at Maelstrom Winery is overlooking the valley on the family farm that Catherine’s father, John Peckitt, had purchased in the 1950s. Jim and Catherine purchased the farm in 1983. 
Being part of a conservation event fits well with the ecological focus of the Landsborough family. Son Blaine is studying for his Masters in Ecology focusing on birds. The Landsborough family planted the vineyard in a former pasture field in the Bayfield River headwaters. They consider how to reduce impacts on water and wildlife as they manage their farm and they practise a philosophy of “taking care of the land so it will take care of you.” 
“We are pleased to announce that wines from Huron County’s first winery, Maelstrom Winery, will be showcased at the 27th Conservation Dinner,” said Anstett. “The involvement of this landmark business in the Ontario’s West Coast region promises to be a wonderful addition.”
For more information visit news item.

Gas cards worth $200 back as early bird prize

The Conservation Dinner Committee has announced that MacEwen Petroleum Inc. is again donating $200 worth of gift cards for the Early Bird Prize Draw. Interested patrons need to buy their Conservation Dinner ticket before March 7, 2016 at 4 p.m. to be eligible for the Early Bird Draw and a chance to win this prize worth a total of $200. The cards can be used for gas or C-Store merchandise. MacEwen Petroleum’s Exeter location is 198 Main Street North. 
Conservation Dinner Chairman Paul Anstett thanked MacEwen Petroleum for their donation of the 2016 Early Bird Prize of four $50 gift cards. He said the firm also donated the Early Bird Prize last year and there was a great positive response to that draw prize. The success of the Conservation Dinner is only possible thanks to businesses and donors like this one, said Anstett. Companies and people in the community donate hundreds of items each year to this dinner and auction fundraiser in support of nature recreation and education, accessible trails, and other community conservation projects of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and Exeter Lions Club.
For more information visit or click on the news item.


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