June 2021
In 2021 we celebrate the 69th year of the Ocean County Soil Conservation District. We remain committed to building and sustaining a conservation legacy by working with our partners and constituents to conserve, protect and restore our soil, water and natural resources by providing technical assistance, implementing restoration projects, and most importantly through education.
Sustainable Practices for Aquaculture Resources Conservation (SPARC)
Fred Schoenagel, USDA-NRCS Resource Soil Scientist, and Kristin Adams, OCSCD Erosion Control Specialist, conducting a soils investigation.
OCSCD Awarded a Second Year of Funding

The Ocean County Soil Conservation District was awarded a second year of funding through a technical assistance grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). This is the fourth year of the NACD technical assistance grant program, which was created with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help increase staffing at the field level and provide conservation services to farmers, ranchers and local communities across the U.S.

The District views this funding opportunity to support the continuation and growth of the efforts initiated in year one of the Sustainable Practices for Aquaculture Resources Conservation (SPARC) project . The momentum and connections made with regional partners and within the aquaculture community will be nurtured and continue to evolve with this additional financial support. 

The SPARC project will continue to build District capacity through two pathways that occur simultaneously. District staff, including Christine Raabe, District Director, and Kristin Adams, Erosion Control Specialist, along with a broad-based Advisory Committee Partnership will continue to connect with local shellfish farmers, primarily within Barnegat and Great Bays, to gain a better understanding of their specific natural resource concerns. Ms. Adams will continue working towards NRCS Apprentice Conservation Planner certification, with a long-term goal of achieving NRCS Certified Conservation Planner status. The District will provide a boots-on-the-ground, local connection between NRCS and the shellfish producers, to further develop the conservation practices of the NJ NRCS Aquaculture Initiative, while increasing funding opportunities for producer participation and involvement.
Visit NACD's website to learn more about the grant program.
Jersey-Friendly Yards Pollinator Garden
Ocean County College Receives a Jersey-Friendly Pollinator Garden
Through a generous grant from Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) received a pollinator habitat kit containing 750 native plants from Pinelands Nursery to create a Jersey-Friendly pollinator garden on the Ocean County College campus, where BBP is headquartered. Ocean County Soil Conservation District, Barnegat Bay Master Naturalists and AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors collaborated with Barnegat Bay Partnership staff and the Ocean County College grounds crew to install the garden on Wednesday, May 19.
The plugs were soaked in water and the roots were "cut and tickled" before they were transplanted into the prepared bed next to the John C. Bartlett Building. All 750 plants were then thoroughly hand watered before a sprinkler system was set-up to keep the soil moist as they take root. The garden is located in the area between the John C. Bartlett Building (Building #2) and Parking Lot #1(R).
A variety of natives were pre-selected by Xerces Society based on the plant's value to pollinators in their adult stage, as well as in their larvae (caterpillar) stage. Bloom time of these perennials ensure flowers persist throughout all 3 growing seasons. Species include Swamp Milkweed, Great Blue Lobelia, Seaside Goldenrod, Purple Mistflower (pictured), New England Aster, Purple Coneflower , Swamp Verbena and Blazing Star.

This Jersey-Friendly pollinator garden is visible and available to the community and will serve as a Jersey-Friendly demonstration site.
Jersey-Friendly Yards
Book a Free Webinar for your Green Group
What's Bugging Your Jersey-Friendly Yard?
Join us for our FINAL webinar in our Spring 2021 JFY Series
Join us for the FINAL presentation in our Spring 2021 Jersey-Friendly Yards webinar series: Ferocious Dragonflies and Dainty Damsels, presented by Pat Sutton on June 8, at 7pm. Our Spring 2021 series, What's Bugging Your Jersey-Friendly Yard? is hosted In partnership by Ocean County Soil Conservation District, Barnegat Bay Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County. Registration is required, click on program links below. For more information and to view previously recorded webinars visit the Jersey-Friendly Yards website. Free!
June 8, 2021
Presented by Pat Sutton
This primer to the winged jewels known as dragonflies and damselflies will cover the most common species, their natural history (life cycle, seasonality, what they prey on, and who preys on them), and how to identify one from another. Sutton, a long-time successful wildlife gardener, will share how to lure these ferocious mosquito predators into your own yard by creating a no-fuss wildlife pond.
Missed One of Our Educational Webinars?
Watch Now on Our YouTube Channel
Join Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist with Ocean County Soil Conservation District, as she and her Barnegat Bay watershed colleagues explore a variety of topics that will help support a healthy yard, including soil, native plants and Jersey-Friendly Yards.
Don't Treat Your Soil Like Dirt!

An attractive and productive yard and garden starts with getting to know your soil. This video describes the basics about soil, so you can start building a healthy foundation for your garden. Don't treat your soil like dirt!
Wild About Jersey-Friendly Yards!

Join Becky on a virtual tour of a Jersey-Friendly Yard. She showcases the diversity of native plants installed in a Jersey-Friendly garden, and highlights the Jersey-Friendly landscaping practices implemented to create this backyard oasis for wildlife.
Attracting Birds to Your Jersey-Friendly Yard

Native plants are the key to attracting birds to your yard. They provide the habitat, food, shelter and nesting places that birds need to survive. By creating a landscape of beautiful native plants that are compatible with our native soils, you can make your yard a low maintenance, chemical-free Jersey-Friendly oasis for the birds!
Low Maintenance Landscaping with Jersey-Friendly Yards

Trees and shrubs are a necessary component of a wildlife friendly yard. Together with your flowering perennials, they offer habitat in the form of nesting places, cover and food for birds, mammals and pollinators. Explore some native trees and shrubs you can add to your New Jersey backyard.
Wildlife-Friendly Trees and Shrubs for Your Yard

Learn how gardening with native plants can save you time and money, conserve water, create healthy soil, and attract wildlife to your backyard. This program will introduce you to some simple steps involved with creating a low maintenance Jersey-Friendly garden or landscape.
Combating Climate Change with a Jersey-Friendly Yard

As climate change manifests across the planet, you may be experiencing gardening challenges in your own backyard. This program offers ways to mitigate the downpours, as well as the droughts using the Jersey-Friendly Yards website, tools and resources. We'll show you how to select appropriate plants for your sandy soil, turn your yard into a sponge, and provide habitat for wildlife.
Planning a Jersey-Friendly Yard

As Karen Walzer of the Barnegat Bay Partnership and Becky Laboy, OCSCD, will introduce you to the Jersey-Friendly Yards website including a variety of garden-building tools teachers can use with their students to begin the Jersey-Friendly School Yard planning process.
Why Jersey-Friendly School Yards?

Presented by Kaitlin Gannon, Education Coordinator, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve. Too much fertilizer not only harms plants - it also pollutes our lakes, rivers and bays. Learn ways to teach your students about eutrophication and coastal acidification, and why a Jersey-Friendly Yard can help prevent these harmful forms of pollution.
How does a Rain Garden Grow?

Presented by Dr. Steven Yergeau, County Agent/Associate Professor with Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Let's introduce rain gardens to your students! This program will introduce the steps needed to plan and design a rain garden for your school or center's property. Tools and resources will be shared to help get you started on the road to having a Jersey-Friendly School Yard.
Visit our website: www.SoilDistrict.org
For more information about education programs, events and projects pertaining to soil, water, native gardening and natural resource conservation, please contact Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District: education@soildistrict.org.