May 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.
Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable
Wrapping up our 24th Year of Professional Development for Teachers
Thank you for joining us for our virtual 24th Annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Educators Roundtable. Our theme for 2021 was Inspiration for a Jersey-Friendly School Yard. With the help of our talented partners, including Barnegat Bay Partnership, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, OCSCD put together a suite of Jersey-Friendly Yards inspired programs and complimentary lessons, designed specifically for teachers and environmental educators, that guide you through the "what, why and how" of creating a Jersey-Friendly School Yard. View recordings of all 3 webinars on OCSCD's YouTube channel, including Planning a Jersey-Friendly School Yard, Why Jersey-Friendly School Yards - Understanding the Effects of Eutrophication and Coastal Acidification, and How Does Your Rain Garden Grow?. Visit our website for detailed program descriptions, and to learn about prior years' Roundtable events.
Inspiration for a Jersey-Friendly Yard
Book a Free Webinar for your Green Group
What's Bugging Your Jersey-Friendly Yard?
Join us for our 2021 Jersey-Friendly Yards Webinar Series
In partnership with Barnegat Bay Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, Ocean County Soil Conservation District is excited to co-host our 2021 Jersey-Friendly Yards webinar series: What's Bugging Your Jersey-Friendly Yard? This series of webinars focuses on the importance of "bugs" as a vital component of the backyard ecosystem. Webinars take place on the second Tuesday of each month, at 7:00pm. Registration is required, click on program links below. For more information and to view previously recorded webinars visit the Jersey-Friendly Yards website. Free!
May 11, 2021
Presented by Heather Holms
Most insects have a positive impact in our landscapes. Native plants can be selected to attract specific bees and beneficial insects including predatory and parasitic wasps, beetles, flies, true bugs, and lacewings. Learn about the predator-prey relationships of these flower-visiting beneficial insects and how they help keep problem insect populations in balance. The life cycles, diversity, and nesting habitat of native bees will also be discussed along with examples of native plants for different site conditions.
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.
Get More Dirt on Your Soil!
Spring 2021 Webinar Series
The Get More Dirt on Your Soil - Spring 2021 Webinar Series is presented by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County and the Ocean County Soil Conservation District, as a follow-up to our 2020 soil webinar series: Get the Dirt on Your Soil. Join us for this final webinar in the 2021 series. Free! Have questions? Please call 732-505-3671 or email: [email protected]
Breaking Ground on Composting 
Wednesday, May 5, 7:00pm-8:00pm
SPEAKER: Ms. Sandra Blain-Snow, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management
Home composting is an easy way to improve your soil and help feed the organisms that live in it.  Learn how to turn your yard waste into an excellent source of food and shelter for your living soil. Register
Lakewood Township Stormwater Basin Retrofit Project
Native Vegetation Supports Basin Health

Efforts are underway to retrofit two selected stormwater basins this spring, under the Lakewood Township Stormwater Basin Retrofit Project. Stormwater retrofit designs were created and approved for two stormwater detention basins in Lakewood Township, one located at Avenue of the States adjacent to FirstEnergy Park, and another located on Commonwealth Drive. Both retrofit designs include the use of a no-till seed drill to incorporate native vegetation within the basin.

Native vegetation offers both hydrological and ecological benefits. Native grasses and plants have deeper root systems compared to standard turf grass, which can filter and infiltrate stormwater runoff more effectively. Once established, native vegetation also requires less frequent maintenance, reducing costs and emissions from maintenance equipment. In addition, native vegetation provides habitat and a food source for local wildlife and offers an enhanced aesthetic appearance for the community. 

In April, OCSCD staff, Ramon Mejia, Luis Almeyda, and Sean Yeats teamed with Eileen Miller, Team Habitat Coordinator for South Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council (SJRC&D), to collect and test soil samples from the two selected basins. Soil samples will be collected and tested throughout the 4-year project to track the positive changes native vegetation provides to the basins’ soil health.

The Lakewood Township Stormwater Basin Retrofit Project is funded by a Federal 319(h) Water Quality Restoration grant awarded by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection granted to the South Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council. (Featured Photo: NJ Water Supply Authority)
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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: [email protected].