AGRICULTURAL FIELD DAY
On September 13th, the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District hosted its Agricultural Field Day at the farm of the Jim Michael family near Berkeley Springs. The event was superbly run and well attended. There were four on-site stations, so the 68 participants were split into groups and transported by tractor-towed hay wagons from site to site.
The stations addressed: 1. Soil Testing and Management, 2. Pasture Management, 3. Cover Crops and Soil Health, and 4. Cost Share Programs – Riparian Buffers & Stream Health. SCWA members were involved in the planning and set-up, as well as manning the station on riparian buffers and stream monitoring.
It was obvious that attendees were there to learn and the station experts handled all their detailed questions enthusiastically with first their first-hand knowledge. The information will help farmers save money, produce better crops, and reduce stress on the environment at the same time. The event was topped off with a festive BBQ and lots of door prizes. A good time was had by all.
Thanks to the Michael family, the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, the station speakers, and all the volunteers who helped make this event a success.
SCWA ANNUAL MEETING
Our Annual Meeting will be held on December 9, 2014, from 7 to 8:30 PM at the Morgan County Board of Education Meeting Room, 247 Harrison Avenue, Berkeley Springs, WV.
Following a short business meeting, our guest speaker will be David E. Lillard, Special Projects Manager for the WV Rivers Coalition. His topic will be the WV Source Water Protection Law (SB373) and on-going actions to implement and change provisions of that law. This new law was passed shortly after last January’s major chemical spill in the Elk River, near Charleston. Two of the more controversial provisions are the preparation and exercising of required source water protection plans by “municipal” water systems, and the inventorying and inspecting of above-ground storage tanks within the state (estimated to be >100,000). David will relate how these provisions impact residents of Morgan County and will answer questions. Light refreshments will be served.
2014 WATERSHED CELEBRATION DAY
The 2014 Celebration Day was hosted by the WV Watershed Network on September 8th at the State Capital. Governor Tomblin welcomed watershed volunteers from across the state, and recognized their dedication to maintain and improve the cleanliness of WV streams. He noted that clean water is a valuable state resource that should be protected and leveraged to attract new businesses and residents to the state.
The majority of the working session involved panel discussions lead by state employees and legislators regarding actions being taken or planned since the January 2014 chemical spill in the Elk River, near Charleston. Special emphasis was placed on actions associated with the Source Water Protection Law (SB373) passed shortly after that event. (More details of these actions will be presented at the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association Annual Meeting on December 9, 2014. See the announcement in this newsletter.)
Attendees also had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their local senator and delegates. During a late afternoon session of the Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources, three watersheds (including Warm Springs) had the opportunity to make well-received presentations associated with water-related issues and improvement initiatives within their communities.
Twelve watershed groups received awards for their outstanding contributions during 2014 to include the Sleepy Creek and Warm Springs Watershed Associations. Morris Creek Watershed Association, Fayette County, was named 2014 WV Watershed Association of the Year.
TREE PLANTING – WIND DANCE FARM
NOV 15, 2014
We will again be joining the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, the WV Department of Forestry, and the WV Conservation Agency to plant a riparian buffer of over 200 trees on Saturday, November 15, 2014. The planting will take place at the Wind Dance Farm, 649 Virginia Line Road, Berkeley Springs, as well as on the neighboring Fitzpatrick property.
The planting is scheduled from 9 AM to 2 PM and all family members are invited to participate. It will take place rain or shine, so participants should dress appropriately, to include boots or heavy shoes. Please bring water to drink, bug repellent, a spade or shovel, gloves, and a bucket. Lunch will be provided.
To get to the Wind Dance Farm from the Morgan County Court House in Berkeley Springs, take Rte. 522 south for 2.2 miles and turn left on Winchester Grade Road (Hwy 13). Follow it for 7.1 miles and turn right on Virginia Line Road (Hwy 8). Continue for about 0.7 miles – the farm will be on your left. Look for signs.
Please contact Suzy Lucas at 304-263-4376, extension 2, if you plan to register, so there will be adequate lunches.
2014 STREAM MONITORING RESULTS
A BIG thanks to the volunteers who assisted Norman Dean and Bob Meadows in accomplishing this year’s stream monitoring. Seven surveys where performed between May and August, at locations along the entire length of the main branch of Sleepy Creek in Morgan County. Water quality results were acceptable. Results of biological collections ranged from suboptimal to optimal. Physical observations were acceptable, with the exception of riparian buffer areas and bank stability, which were generally poor at most monitoring sites. Additional details about specific monitoring locations can be obtained from Norman Dean at (304) 258-1335 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We firmly believe you are a member of our Association because you have previously expressed a personal interest in keeping our water and ecology system clean and safe for the residents of the Sleepy Creek Watershed. However, a recent review of our membership records shows that over 70% of our members have not renewed in the last two years. Perhaps this is an oversight on your part or maybe you’ve moved? If you are no longer interested in our mission, we will remove your name from our mailing list, if you request such. On the other hand, we look forward to your continued involvement in our activities by renewing your membership for 2015.
Printing and mailing newsletters costs money. To help streamline and reduce the cost of our communications, please submit an e-mail address, if you now have one, or update your email address with your membership renewal. If you prefer to continue receiving a paper copy of the newsletter, just let us know when you renew.
The easiest way to renew your membership is to visit our website (https://www.sleepycreekwatershed.org) and use a credit card or Pay-Pal. Just click the “Join Us” button at the top right of the home page and follow the easy steps presented to electronically submit your renewal information and payment through our secure network. Or you may renew by mailing us your check (see instructions in the column at left).
We look forward to receiving your renewal and providing you additional opportunities to improve the quality of life in the Sleepy Creek Watershed for current and future generations.
PLEASE NOTE that we do not provide our membership list to anyone outside of our organization. We use the list only for contacting you regarding our activities.