Photo Credit NY Ag in the Classroom

The New York Agriculture in the Classroom Grants are now open for indoor grow systems for schools in NY interested in a classroom project. Schools can apply for three types of grow systems that would best meet their educational goals, classroom space needs, along with experience level in school gardening and curriculum integration.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom aspires to provide teachers the tools to facilitate experiential-learning opportunities using agriculture as the context for learning by investing $70,000 in the grant program.

The selected schools that receive grow systems will be asked to submit two progress reports yearly, and respond to messages or inquiries as asked. Regional Agriculture in the Classroom curriculum training will be held during the school year, and at least one teacher from the recipient school must attend the training. The educator trainings will deepen your understanding of the paired curriculum available and companion resources, and allow for teachers to develop a network of support in each region.

Interested teachers can apply for one of three available grow systems: a 2445 soil-based rack grow system, a bundle of three aeroponic tower gardens, or a high tunnel. Schools will be awarded the grow system that best meets their educational goals, classroom space needs, experience level in school gardening, and curriculum integration plans. The systems will serve as “garden classrooms” where food-based learning can be integrated with math, science, language arts, and social studies while helping teachers meet core curriculum requirements. In addition, recipients will receive educational resources, workshop opportunities, and access to a growing network of school food gardeners throughout the state.

Interested teachers can apply for the Grow with Us Grant by Friday, January 3, 2020.

More information about the Grow with Us Grant and the application can be found by visiting the New York Agriculture in the Classroom website at www.agclassroom.org/ny.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom is a partnership of Cornell University, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York State Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and New York Farm Bureau. New York Agriculture in the Classroom fosters an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our food and fiber system.

 

New York State “Grown and Certified” Christmas trees and wreaths will be on display in the state’s regional welcome centers and Taste NY stores, promoting New York’s agricultural and tourism industries.

New York’s Christmas tree industry sells nearly 300,000 trees from more than 750 tree farms located across the state.

The NYS Grown & Certified program tells buyers the products they are selecting come from farmers who grow their products in an environmentally-responsible manner.

NYS Grown & Certified participating tree farm producers in Wayne County are:

Brick Church Farms Christmas Trees and Gift Shop
5502 S. Geneva Rd.
Sodus, New York
(315) 483-9876

Franke Farms
3700 Boss Road Extension
Marion, NY
(315) 986-1349

New York State’s agriculture industry is one of our great assets and keeping it growing and thriving is one of the most important things we can do. When you see products with the New York State Grown & Certified seal, you are assured that it comes from a local farm that adheres to high food safety standards and environmentally responsible practices.

To learn more about the NYS Grown and Certified program contact Ian Priestley AEM Specialist at 315-946-7200 or email: Ian@wayneNYswcd.org

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program. of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds.  As the CBC enters its 119th year, join us as we count the birds wintering throughout the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.  For more information, please call Chris Lajewski at (315) 365-3588 or email clajewski@audubon.org.

Space is limited. Registration required.  Call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org

This week Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $16.2 million has been awarded to support agricultural water quality conservation projects across the state.

As part of the funds awarded, Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District will receive $95,105.00 to provide assistance to three farms to address erosion and phosphorus export, stormwater control and green infrastructure improvements to roofs and gutter systems to direct stormwater away from sensitive areas. Since the inception of the Ag Non-Point program, WCSWCD has assisted over 40 farms with the implementation of best management practices. These BMPs have had a direct effect on potential pollutants from entering the waterways and provide substantial water quality improvements to the watersheds of Wayne County.

All projects support the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Program by funding the implementation of agricultural water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect natural resources while maintaining the economic viability of New York State’s diverse agricultural community. In total, more than 90 farms will benefit from the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program. For a complete list of projects awarded, please visit the Department of Agriculture website.

“New York is a leader in the fight to protect clean water, preserve agriculture for the future and combat climate change,” Governor Cuomo said. “From our aggressive clean energy plan to environmentally responsible farm practices, we are committed to supporting projects that will protect our natural resources and ensure a better future for the next generation. This program, which paved the way for many of our other on-farm environmental protection programs, continues to help our farmers use cost-effective methods to protect our waterways.”

The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program in coordination with the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. The program is a part of the Agricultural Environmental Management framework, a broader effort that helps farmers achieve higher levels of environmental stewardship and more efficient, cost-effective farming systems.

Through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program in coordination with the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee projects include best management practice systems to keep nutrients and other potential pollutants from entering waterways. BMPs include a variety of measures including, vegetative buffers along streams, cover crops, nutrient management through manure storage, and other conservation measures.

The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program is funded in the 2018-19 State Budget through the historic $300 million New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Since 1993, New York State has dedicated approximately $210 million to the program.

The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program builds on the Governor’s efforts to provide historic water quality protections across the state through the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017. In 2019, the New York State budget also committed an additional $500 million for capital costs of clean water infrastructure projects.

Following Governor Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State announcement, state agencies allocated more than $82 million in competitive grants for projects to address nutrient pollution in water bodies that have been affected by harmful algal blooms. For more information visit https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/

 

 

The agricultural assessment program allows eligible farmland owners to receive real property assessments based on the value of their land for agricultural production rather than on its development value.  Any assessed value which exceeds the equalized agricultural assessment on the land may qualify for a reduced tax assessment.

Landowners must apply through the local town assessor for an agricultural assessment. Further Information on Agricultural Districts can be found here, contact information for local assessors can be found here.

Do you qualify? Find out by visiting the Soil Group page, there you can find more information about the program and will be able to download a brochure. You may also call our office at 315-946-7200

What Are Grass Pavers?

Grass or block pavers, or grow-through pavers—are an alternative to traditional asphalt that can be made from concrete or recycled plastic. The open cells in the paver system allow grass to grow through them making them eco-friendly. Applications include driveways, walkways, crossovers on medians, boat launching ramps, fire lanes, and even RV and boat parking lots.

Creative Grass Paver Driveway
 The example shown is the center strip of a fully functioning ribbon driveway which showcases a variety of succulents and thymes. Although a portion of the garden is necessarily hidden when the car is in residence and occasionally a flower will get decapitated when an auto pulls in, this complex assemblage of succulents provides a startling pop of beauty in a totally unexpected place!

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What Are The Benefits?

    • Paver systems help to reduce stormwater runoff and filter out pollutants. Stormwater runoff on a regular pavement can pick up oil and other road pollutants and washes the toxic mess into rivers, bays, and streams.
    • Pavers also absorb water, reducing or slowing down the water that races over the pavement in a rainstorm, preventing erosion.
    • Grass pavers recharge groundwater. Those spots of grass allow rain to soak into the ground, putting it back into aquifers.
    • Through the magic of transpiration, porous pavers will keep the air around your driveway cooler!
Many Shapes and Styles

Be creative. Paver designs come in many shapes and sizes. You can even create your own design.

How to Install

Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District
7312 RT 31 Lyons, NY 14489
315-946-7200