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December 2021

District Board Elections

The Election will be held at the Annual Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, December 7, 2021 to fill new terms for three (3) Board of Director positions (Terms are not limited; 2 positions will be 4-year terms and 1 will be a partial term of 2-years.) The Conservation District Board consists of a total of five (5) Directors. For candidate information please see our December 2021 Newsletter

As locally elected public officials, Directors are responsible for the overall operation and management of the district, while the staff carry out the day-to-day activities. Board members develop and implement policy for staff as well as guide the district in conservation and stewardship activities to best serve our county’s future and strive to fulfill our mission to protect and enhance Cass County’s natural resources.

Annual Meeting and Board of Directors Election
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
3:00pm-6:30pm at the Cass County Council on Aging – 60525 Decatur Rd, Cassopolis, MI 4903 with official board meeting starting at 6:15pm.
– This year due to COVID precautions our meeting will be little different
We hope you can stop by and stroll through this year’s annual meeting conservation “trade show booths” featuring our CCCD updates & annual report, MAEAP & SESC program area highlights, annual awards, and booths from our partner organizations NRCS, CISMA as well as SWMPC, SWMLC, and Dr. Lawless International Dark Sky Park

All Cass County residents of legal voting age are eligible to vote in the CCCD Board of Directors Election. See candidate article on page 4 of the December newsletter and be sure to cast your vote. Ballots are available absentee at the office until 3pm on the day of the election and then in-person voting will be conducted at the annual meeting. 

Staff will be present to answer questions plus, you’ll leave with a special gift ‘bucket’ from us sporting our new logo. Someday we’ll return to our annual meeting dinners but for now we’ll enjoy a smaller crowd and still be able to share success stories, snacks, and plans for the future.

For the official business side of the Cass County Board of Director Annual Meeting (election results)
join us in person or via zoom at 6:15pm. 

Email admin@cassccdistrict.org for the link.

New Logo
You might have noticed…we have a new logo! The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts has introduced a new logo for the 75 local Conservation Districts to use. We are excited to start using this fresh new look in our publications – look for the leaf/water drop as we have begun revising our materials. We will be ordering t-shirts too – more information soon.

SESC
With rain sadly brought erosion this summer. We try our best to inform and guide those working on projects near lakes and streams to take precautions for such rain events by placing silt fence, filter sock, erosion control blankets and other tools but, too often folks are simply not aware of this need and start without them.   Unpermitted projects are also charged a $100 unpermitted project fee which is upsetting to those unaware of the program. However, this permit process is very important as it allows reflection to the impact a project might have on the neighboring properties and shared water resource and plans erosion controls which can protect them. Besides the SESC permit there are other permits required for some projects such as work in the road right of way, seawall permits, and of course building permits. Our office has updated a Land Development poster which outlines all the various permits which may be needed for different projects – please take a peek and share with others so they will be prepared to start their project with proper permits, set-backs, and controls in place.

Tree Sale
Our tree planter is getting stored away for the season and we have been ordering plants for our end of April 2022 tree sale. Expect the new catalog in early February. Last chance to make any special request – call Korie at 269-445-8641 x 5 to discuss items you would like to see available.

Recycling 
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.

Cass County is offering a 2nd Household Hazardous Waste and Tire Collection scheduled for August 21.

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 will be ending for the season soon AND we have added a special hike scheduled for Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at Spirit Springs Sanctuary with special guest Justin Gish, Land Protection Specialist with the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy. All he hikes start at 5:30pm (we suggest arriving between 5-5:30pm so you don’t miss them). 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

Welcome! 

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.

District Board of Director Meeting Dates

Newsletters:
Summer 2019 Newsletter
Autumn 2018 Newsletter
Fall 2017 Newsletter

Cost Share Program in Cass County

MAEAP

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.

Learn More


SW x SW Corner CISMA

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.

Learn More about the CISMA and the Target Invasive Species

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Next Steps…

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.


Help us build your District