Staff Changes at the MACC
Dashing Through the Snow
Agricultural Program Update
Macatawa Watershed Annual Meeting Reminder
It’s been year of change at the MACC! Tim Burkman made the move from Indiana to become Executive Director in July and Elisa Hoekwater departed in early November to head up MAX Transit. With all the changes, Carolyn Ulstad has moved into the role of Transportation Planner. Carolyn has a degree from Grand Valley State University in Geography and Planning and a minor in Environmental Science. She’s been with the MACC since 2013 working with both the Watershed and Transportation Departments. If you ever have questions or concerns regarding any aspect of our transportation system (roads, rail, sidewalks, bike lanes, the bus, overall safety, etc.) feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before the year is out, the MACC will be hiring to fill two positions: one Assistant Planner and one Administrative Assistant.
The snow is officially here, and it’s likely going to be for the next 3 to 4 months! Be sure to keep yourselves and your fellow citizens safe this winter by keeping snow and ice at bay where you can. If you have a sidewalk in front of your home, be sure to keep it snow free for anyone who may be walking by. If your mail carrier travels on foot, keep them safe by removing snow and ice from the path to your mailbox. If you live near a bus stop, and snow is accumulating, maybe take a few minutes to clear a path for those who use it, they will surely appreciate it! Lastly, let’s not forget about fire hydrants, please keep them snow-free and visible in case of an emergency.
Work in the agricultural areas of the watershed continues to remain steady with over 4,400 acres of best management practices (BMPs) implemented to date. Cover crops continue to be very popular with farmers who are working not only to armor the soil but improve soil health and reduce fertilizer usage. Gypsum applications have slowed because funding is only available for one application of gypsum. Many of the qualifying acres in the priority areas have received applications. Weather continues to be the limiting factor for implementation of BMPs. A wet fall has reduced the number of acres that were expected to have cover crops planted.
Since starting in April 2016, grant funding has been provided on over 2,100 acres of cover crops, 1,243 acres of gypsum, and 1,034 acres of residue management. There are currently 35 farmers with contracts to implement BMPs.
Work with the grant was set to expire in March 2019. However, the MACC requested and received an extension through December 2019. This will allow us to fund an additional year of BMPs to farmers in the watershed. Along with the request to extend the grant, the MACC requested adding grassed waterways as a practice eligible for funding.
2019 promises to be another great year with lots of momentum from all the work that the MACC and partners are continuing to do. Please contact Agricultural Technician Rob Vink with any questions about the agricultural conservation happening in the watershed.
RSVP to Kelly Goward or call the office at 616-395-2688.