Indianapolis, April 30, 2018 – In recognition of Stewardship Week, April 29 – May 6, 2018, leaders of Indiana’s Conservation Partnership want to remind you that each of us has a connection to natural resources. This year’s theme is “Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home.”
“Water is a life necessity, a resource we all rely on,” says Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA). “A small percentage of Earth’s water is fresh and useable, so it’s important that everybody does their part to help keep it clean.”
2018 marks the 63rd year of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Stewardship Week, one of the nation’s largest annual programs promoting conservation. NACD represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, which were established to encourage resource conservation across the country.
Indiana has 92 soil and water conservation districts that work hand-in-hand with members of the conservation partnership to assist farmers and other private landowners who want to voluntarily improve their natural resources.
“Clean water is important to everyone,” said Jamie Scott, who serves as president of Indiana’s Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. “No matter where you are right now, you are in a watershed and your daily actions, whether on the farm, at work or in the backyard have an impact.”
Every inch of land on planet Earth is part of a watershed. They cross county, state and national boundaries. They come in all shapes and sizes from thousands of square miles to a few acres. There are thousands of watersheds in the U.S. and when rain falls on these watersheds it can carry sediment and other pollutants as the water drains to a nearby pond, stream, river, or lake.
Jill Reinhart, acting state conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service explains that Indiana’s Conservation Partners have focused their activities and resources on improving soil health for several years. “I am so proud to say we have developed a common soil health statement promoting four simple principles that when used together can make a big difference in keeping sediment and other pollutants out of our water—keep the soil covered, minimize soil disturbance, rotate crops and use cover crops, and keep living roots growing as long as possible.”
Kettler encourages you to take time to learn about your watershed, your local community water supply sources and how you can make a difference. You can find your local watershed by visiting: http://www.in.gov/isda/2991.htm.
The Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP) is made up of eight Indiana agencies and organizations that share a common goal of promoting conservation. To accomplish this goal, the ICP members provide technical, financial and educational assistance to support and implement economically and environmentally compatible land and water stewardship decisions, practices and technologies. http://icp.iaswcd.org/
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. www.nacdnet.org.