Sizzling summertime is here!
Conservation District staff will now be participating in more outdoor activities as well as our normal MAEAP (Michigan agriculture environmental assistance program) farm visits and SESC (soil erosion & sedimentation control) inspections. Please contact the office if you would like our MAEAP Technician to visit your farmstead to begin a new or re-verification in one of the MAEAP systems (Farmstead, Cropping, Livestock, or Forest, Wetland & Habitat).
In coordination with the Harwood Lake Association the District is participating in a few invasive species educational events: a MSU co-sponsored Boat Wash on June 11 and Landing Blitz events on June 26 & July 3. Please visit the Harwood Lake Public Access from 9am-1pm on these dates to visit with others who care deeply about water quality and to pick-up educational materials regarding invasive species threatening our lakes. There is also plans for a Paddle w/a Naturalist event for sometime in mid July on Stone Lake – stay tuned for details.
Well Water Screening
We will screen drinking water well samples for nitrates and nitrites on June 16, 2021 from 11am to 2pm at a special event co-sponsored with the Cass County Council on Aging, and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) at the Council on Aging located at 60525 Decatur Road, Cassopolis. Well water samples can also always be brought into the District for a simple screening for nitrates and nitrites by appointment – please call if you missed our special event.
The 2021 Tree Sale was a great success! A big shout out and thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the sale happen! We are still figuring out the final books but, it looks like we raised over $10,000. More importantly thousands of trees and plants were planted in the area. We also greatly appreciate the patience of several customers who have had to wait for backordered plants. In fact, Paw Paw trees, Nova Red Raspberry plants and Thimbleberry plants are now not going to be available until September 16-17. The bonus is we can order more of any of these species for the special fall delivery. If you are interested in ordering please contact the office at 269-445-8641 x 5.
Recycling & Hazardous Waste
Cass County has renewed their efforts to pursue improved recycling and composting for residents and businesses in the County. The Solid Waste Committee is beginning to meet to start this planning effort. If you are interested in participating please contact Jackie at the County Administration Office 269-445-4421.
The area Clean Sweep FREE Pesticide Disposal is scheduled for June 23 & July 28, 2021. Click here for the Program Registration Form.
Cass County is offering a 2nd Household Hazardous Waste and Tire Collection scheduled for August 21 – stay tuned for the detailed flyer.
Plat Book – Pick up your 2020 Cass County Plat Book Today $32 with tax included – new features include historic maps and Underground Railroad information.
Cass CC District Board Meeting Schedule – Please note the District Board has officially changed meeting dates & time to the second Monday of each month at 3pm. Our Regular Board meetings are always open to the public and we encourage you to attend and help us to meet the current needs of the Cass County community. Meetings will be held virtually due to the pandemic until further notice. Please contact the office at 269-445-8641 x 5 for ZOOM meeting address or in-person location status.
Hike w/a Naturalist Series – The Tuesday night Hike with a Naturalist events have resumed! The hikes start at 5:30pm (we suggest arriving between 5-5:30pm so you don’t miss them). We will try to schedule a special guest to join us for the first two events of the month however with COVID restrictions several organizations are not able to send their specialists at this time so, we may simply rely on the specialties from those who are present (Korie & Jeff Blyveis will be attending all and offer bird, mushroom, & some plant identifications plus occasional attendance by volunteer Barb Belland who is very knowledgeable of edible plants and volunteer Bill Westrate who is an entomologist and is very knowledgeable of plants and reptiles will add to the knowledge base). The hikes always shed light on some aspect of our north eastern woodland, pond, or creek habitat. The schedule is as followed: 1st Tuesday of each month at Lawless Park, 2nd Tuesday of each month at Russ Forest County Park, 3rd-5th Tuesdays will be a workday/general hike at Lawless Park. The work will include some maintenance of the monarch waystation, trail trimming and any other project(s) the Parks Department may request. We will then hike and share information regarding species etc. among those who are attending. Hope you can join us and share your knowledge too!
Please be aware our office is co-located with NRCS and will follow all Federal USDA guidelines as they develop. Currently, our office continues to be closed for all “in-person” activities. However, communications with the Cass County Conservation District can be made by emailing staff and or/leaving a message at 269-445-8641 x 5 with your name, phone number and email address if you prefer. Someone will be in the office each day and will direct your message to the proper staff who will get back with you as soon as possible. Some staff are working from home and in the field, there may be temporary delays to access to them but, we will try to ensure limited interruptions in our service to you.
Thank you for your support and patience – please note we will have to be flexible with our plans as directions from the State and/or Federal USDA are delivered in response to the changing conditions we are facing to combat this threat to health and human safety. Please take every precaution to protect yourself and your family.
Korie Blyveis, Cass County District Administrator
Glad you stopped by to visit our website. We hope you will find information easily. On the left banner you will find the latest blog post and below please follow the links to important information and details of the programs available from our office.
Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program
MAEAP-verified farms keep their land, water and air as healthy as the food they produce. They represent the highest standards of environmental stewardship and responsible agriculture.
MAEAP is a three-phrase process: 1) Education, 2) Risk assessment & management changes, 3) State of Michigan verification.
Look for MAEAP signs throughout the County. For more information about MAEAP verification contact our technician Emily Haluda at 269-445-8641 x 5.
Cass County is a part of the SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area.
A CISMA is a partnership of federal, state, and local Government, agencies, tribes, individuals, and various interested groups that manage invasive species (or have a stake in managing) in a defined area.
The Regional Coordinator Eleanor Serocki will continue working to develop and implement outreach and education and further the overall CISMA goals of early detection, rapid response, and eradication of the targeted invasive species determined for Cass as well as Berrien and Vanburen Counties.
Contact Eleanor at 269-269-657-4030 x 5 to learn more about invasive species, to learn about the MISIN app used to map invasive species in our area, to volunteer, or schedule a presentation to a group or organization.
Bill Westrate is our local volunteer and invasive specialist who will be dropping by the office every Wednesday to answer questions about invasives and help identify plants and insects. Call 269-445-8641 x 5 and ask to leave a message for Bill so, he can connect with you if you are stumped about some new species on your property.
Cass County Conservation District is funded by State & Local government grants/support, donations, program sponsorship, and product sales (plat books, trees and tree supplies). In order to better serve our community we need your support too.
Volunteers are an integral part of accomplishing the Conservation District goals. Assistance is needed at the office, with the invasive species program, stream monitoring projects, at special events, preparations for Tree Sale and more. Please consider donating some time to your local District. Call today to get on mail list and provide your contact information and areas of interest – we appreciate your concern for the environment and willingness to lend a hand.