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Conservation INsight
May 12, 2021
SWCD Region Meetings in June
Northwest - June 8 @ 12 noon
Southeast - June 10 @ 7 pm
Southwest - June 15 @ 12 noon
Northeast - June 17 @ 7 pm
(all times are Eastern)

Join us virtually in June for one or more Indiana SWCD Region Gatherings to hear partner updates and news about local and statewide projects!
Space is Limited, so register now to save your spot! The Zoom link will be emailed to you upon registration.
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Urban Soil Health 'Meet and Greet' Recordings Now Available
To learn more about the new statewide Urban Soil Health Program and to meet your Urban Region Specialist, view the recordings from the end of April 'Meet and Greet' sessions.
NACD Technical Assistance Grant Submission for Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts
The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has opened their Technical Assistance (TA) Grants Request for Proposals (RFP), with a due date of June 6. Part of the NACD TA Grant process is working with state associations, state NRCS and state departments of agriculture to prioritize projects in their state. In previous years, IASWCD has worked with NRCS and ISDA to look at high work load areas and prioritize applications where needed. This year we are establishing a new process that will open up the NACD TA Grants to more districts.
CCSI Soil Health News and Events

CCSI Statewide Meeting Recorded
The CCSI Statewide Meeting was recorded and can now be viewed. Documents pertaining to this webinar are also available.
Last Day for Conservation District Members Survey Regarding Alternative Health Plan Options
We are conducting a survey as part of our commitment to you to assess the market need for a guided shopping experience for insurance, benefits and services.
NACD Launches Summer Meeting Registration
May 4, 2021 - Today, NACD launched registration for the 2021 Summer Meeting, scheduled to be held July 24-27 in Chicago, Ill. As the second-largest NACD event of the year, the gathering brings together hundreds of conservation district leaders from across the nation, including tribal representatives and representatives from the U.S. territories.
NACD Responds to "America the Beautiful" Preliminary Report
WASHINGTON (May 6, 2021) – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) issued a response to the release of the interagency report, “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful,” regarding the proposed 30x30 initiative as announced in President Biden’s Executive Order 14008.
IDEA Fall Conference
October 5-7, 2021
Horizon Convention Center, Muncie
Registration Coming Soon . . .
The IDEA Fall Conference will take place over one full and two half-days in early October. This conference provides an opportunity for Indiana's SWCD staff across the state to learn, be encouraged, refresh, share, network and gather valuable information to take back to their district office. Highlights include a Keynote Speaker (Peter Heck), Breakout Sessions, Time to Network, and a time to build community.
Indiana Agriculture Insider
ISDA's Newsletter
Indiana Watershed Planning Guide
The Indiana Watershed Planning Guide [ZIP] was developed to assist local groups in developing successful watershed plans and to establish a common approach for watershed planning throughout Indiana.
This guide is intended to steer you through the process of developing a watershed plan. Many similar documents exist; in fact, nearly every state has some version. However, this guide is written for people in Indiana by people in Indiana. It applies to the kinds of plans you can expect to be involved with in partnership with agencies that provide funding in Indiana.
Riffles & Pools
IDEM's Hoosier Riverwatch Newsletter
April 28, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $23.2 million into three locally driven partnerships in the Western Lake Erie Basin, which encompasses portions of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. This includes a $7.8 million investment in the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Collaboration project led by Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
May 1, 2021 - Each May since 1992, the United States of America has celebrated the culture and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and native Hawaiians. Following recent headlines highlighting the growing level of violence directed at Asian Americans, it is more important than ever to celebrate the country’s fastest growing demographic and their diverse and vibrant cultures.
Conservation Finance Can Mean Cleaner Air and Water and Healthier Soil
Increasingly, governments and private organizations have realized that ecosystem services have real financial value and can bring monetary returns. NRCS’s Conservation Innovation Grants Program has invested $25 million into conservation finance projects over the past five years. Sector leaders have used the funding to explore new ways to attract non-Federal investment in private and working lands conservation.
WASHINGTON, May 5, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a virtual listening session for beginning farmers and ranchers to learn how COVID-19 impacted their farming operations and to get their feedback on USDA assistance. The listening session will take place on May 6, 2021, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Eastern time.
Conservation Easements Help Wetlands Thrive Across the Country
By Ashley Miller, USDA Public Affairs Specialist·May 03, 2021
May is American Wetlands Month, and this year we want to celebrate all the work private landowners have done to help wetlands thrive. Private landowners have worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to enroll over 2.8 million acres in wetland conservation easements. These wetlands protect plants and provide habitat for wildlife, including endangered or threatened species.
Indiana NRCS - Advancing Conservation Through Partnerships
Purdue Extension News
Free Webinar -
Beware! Toxic Plants Are Out
May 17, 2021 @ 12:00 PM ET
Presented by: Elysia Rodgers & Brooke Stefancik, Purdue Extension  
While all plants may appear to be able to be eaten by our livestock, some plants contain dangers to our animal’s health. Join Elysia Rodgers and Brooke Stefancik, Purdue Ag and Natural Resource Educators, as they share about some of the toxic plants and their dangers found commonly across Indiana.
Free Webinar - Dairy: Good for the Gut! Remember Food Safety!
June 7th @ 12:00 PM ET
June is National Dairy Month! Join us for a free webinar and learn about dairy food products and their safety implications. Registered Dietitian and Extension Educator, Abbi Sampsons will discuss ways to incorporate dairy in your diet!
DNR Calendar of Upcoming Events
Other News
Upcoming Conservation Conversations!
These virtual Zoom sessions are for people working in urban, community, and personal gardens and small farms. Discussions include Soil Health Basics, Soil Health Practices, Soil Health and Beneficial Insects, and Soil Health and Cover Crops. You may attend any or all of the discussions but space is limited and RSVPs are required. 11:30 am - 1 pm (ET)

  • 5/17: Soil Health Basics (Repeat of April 19)
  • 5/24: SoIl Health Practices (Repeat of April 26)
  • 6/07: Soil Health and Cover Crops (repeat of May 10)
  • 6/14: Soil Health & Beneficial Insects: Beyond Bees & Butterflies (Repeat of May 3)
Fostering Community Leadership: Designing Effective Development Programs (training)
Wednesday May 12, 4:00-5:15 pm (ET)
In November 2020, River Network published "Tools for Equitable Climate Resilience: Fostering Community Leadership," a toolkit that dives deeply into building effective leadership development programs. The toolkit features a step-by-step guide to designing such programs, as well as over 20 case studies from around the country of successful programs.
Two of the organizations who are featured in the toolkit are participating in this training on building community-based leadership initiatives: Self-Help Enterprises (Visalia, CA) and Native American Youth and Family Center (Portland, OR) will be sharing their respective programs and talking through the process of designing, adapting, and implementing leadership programs.
Two upcoming webinars this month:

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
2:00 PM CT
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
2:00 PM CT
Soil Health Nexus Digital Cafe Series:
Indiana State Fair Update
The Fair Voice
Pollinator Week Toolkit Now Available
Pollinator Week starts on June 21st! Start thinking about your socially distant activity for this year's celebration and add your activity to the official Pollinator Week Map. Pollinator Week celebrations can be public or private, online or socially-distant outdoor events that respect local public health guidelines. Join the celebration and connect virtually by adding your pollinator activity to the map or download resources.
NEED: Seed Collection Volunteers and Seed Collection Sites
The Pollinator Partnership has joined forces with several organizations and agencies to expand Project Wingspan, and they need your help! The project will be collecting seed throughout several states, including Indiana. In this program, volunteer seed collectors are connected with Team Leads to collect native seed and eventually distribute it. Webinar training is provided. Nicole Messacar (LaPorte County SWCD) is Indiana's state coordinator and if interested, please contact her at: nm@pollinator.org.
River Rally 2021 Begins May 17
Nominations Open for 2021 Charles Deam Forest Stewardship Award
In appreciation of Charles Deam’s contribution toward many of the forestry programs and information that we now enjoy, the Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association sponsors the Charles Deam Forest Stewardship Award contest which seeks annually to find the forest landowners who are demonstrating exceptional management of their forest resources. Online submission available (and preferred) this year. Deadline for applications is June 15.
Pledge of the Month: Native Plants
Check out the resources available at Clear Choices, Clean Water's website!
Job Postings :
Current list of Conservation Job Opportunities now posted on the IASWCD website.
Note: Job Postings can be submitted to Amy Work at: amy-work@iaswcd.org . Please include job description and deadline to apply in a single PDF file or with a link.
Upcoming Conservation Events :
May 17 - W4L Conservation Conversation
May 18 - State Soil Conservation Board Meeting
May 24 - W4L Conservation Conversation
May 24 - CCSI Teleconferences
June 8 - Indiana District Region Mtg: NW
June 10 - Indiana District Region Mtg: SE
June 15 - Indiana District Region Mtg: SW
June 17 - Indiana District Region Mtg: NE
June 21-27 - Nat'l Pollinator Week

For a complete list of upcoming conservation events, go to the Events Calendar on the IASWCD website.*
*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, events are changing daily. Please check the individual hosting organization's website and/or Facebook page for the latest information on cancellations and reschedule dates. Thank you.