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

Conventional deicers can wreak havoc on ecosystems.

With all this snow it’s important to consider water quality when salting driveways and walkways. Most communities send out big trucks that dump loads of salts on roads. Many homeowners will also add salts to sidewalks to keep people safer from slip hazards. Conventional deicers like salts often wash into nearby streams and can create aquatic dead zones that suffocate plant and aquatic life.

Many municipalities are coming up with new methods to melt snow and ice or prevent it from sticking to walkways and roads. Here in Wayne County, sand has proven to be an excellent alternative. There are many options found in the home that contain even more eco-friendly ingredients, including brines, coffee grounds, and even sugar beet juice.

Here are a few:

Alfalfa Meal

Alfalfa meal is mostly used as a fertilizer, but it’s also effective for melting ice. Alfalfa meal has a grainy texture that also offers more traction as you walk. Although a deicer, use this alternative in moderation. Excessive nitrogen can leach into waterways and could lead to algal blooms.

Sugar Beet Juice
Sugar beet juice is a popular ice melt option that lowers the freezing point of ice and helps deicers stick to the ground better. Beet Juice is safe for pets and not corrosive to vehicles. On its own, sugar beet juice isn’t as effective as other deicers, but it does reduce the amount of conventional deicers you would need to clear up walkways. This alternative is gaining traction in Canada. ( read article from Modern Farmer)

Coffee Grounds
Don’t toss those Keurig pods of coffee grounds. These grounds can help with melting ice, plus they add traction to the walkways.

 

Brines
That extra pickle juice in the jar? If you’re not going to drink it, maybe you can use it to clear your frosty sidewalks. In another effort to turn waste into something useful, people have creatively used brines like pickle or cheese brine instead of road salts.

Baking Soda
This alternative works in a similar way to salt. It lowers the freezing point of water when it permeates it, working well in environments that have cold weather, but not extremely cold weather.

Epsom Salt
This is a great option for ice melt because it’s as effective as table salt and rock salt, but it’s much safer to use around plant life. Mix the Epsom salt with some sugar for the best results.

Another consideration is the placement of snow. When piles melt there is a potential for flooding. If your home is on a grade or hill, shovel snow so that it doesn’t roll toward your home when it melts. Always keep drainage areas around your home clear of snow and ice build-up. Make certain to locate snow piles in areas that gradually penetrates into the ground when piles melt. Never shovel snow into a street drain.

Parts of this post were taken from an article written by Paige Bennett from EcoWatch To read the full article visit https://www.ecowatch.com/sustainable-alternatives-winter-salts-2656111075.html

Let us know if you like these posts, feedback is appreciated, email maxine@waynenyswcd.org

The 2022 Annual Forever Green Tree & Shrub is Underway!

The District offers varieties of low-cost bare root seedlings and transplants, conifers, deciduous trees, bushes and shrubs, fruit plants, conservation packs, habitat boxes, and other products.  All plants are grown by private commercial nurseries, these plants provide an economical source of conservation landscaping materials, windbreaks, and quantities for reforesting. Start here

Gift Wrapping Ideas

Here are some Gift Wrapping Ideas.
Try the Japanese tradition of furoshiki fabric wraps.

To make it easy, use fabric squares made from machine washable 100% organic cotton that can be reused in a wide variety of ways. Make your own art! Your gift recipients can either re-gift or hang it in their home or office as wall art, use it as a face mask or grocery bag, style it as a scarf, and more. Here is a furoshiki guide to wrapping

Newspaper is another great material that is frequently recommended for wrapping.

Newspapers are printed that morning in the same city and are recyclable, making them more affordable and sustainable than typical wrapping paper. Get creative and buy newspapers from other countries, many bookstores carry these or shop antique stores for print media with memorable dates.

Wrap your presents as usual, but add the twine or ribbon. Grap that gathering bag and collect items like fresh pine cones, beautiful white birch bark, twigs, moss, and greens make your gift extra special. Look in the cupboard for bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Use floral wire to attach kumquats, holly sprigs.

Tree Farmers are proud members of the New York State Grown & Certified program, which highlights New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to the best practices in safe food handling and environmental stewardship.

The program is currently available to produce growers who are certified for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and are participating in Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) plans.

Did you know that there are over 47 Christmas tree farms across New York State that are now NYS Grown & Certified!

Shop local, find a New York-grown Christmas tree vendor nearest to you https://on.ny.gov/3DGoRzV

To learn more about the Grown and Certifed program contact Ian@waynenyswcd.org

In this time of being thankful, it is so important to remember that a community is maintained through a whole community effort. Every person has a role and a responsibility to look out for our neighbors, both big and small. Conservation is working towards a better tomorrow of land, waste, infrastructure, air, ecosystem, and water quality management.  We are all partners in this mission.

If nothing else, be thankful that Wayne County is made up of a wonderful place of much of the beauty available on this earth. It is made up of hard-working people that love what they do, their neighbors, and their community.

Thank you for giving Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation some of your valuable time to learn more about your community and events that offer continued growth and knowledge of the natural resources around you! May you and your loved ones have much to be thankful for and be blessed from above!

With yours,  and well-wishes ~ Lindsey

Lindsey M. Gerstenslager, District Manager

Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District

Let’s Talk Lake Ontario Webinar Series – Green Stuff in the Water: No Day at the Beach

Join the Lake Ontario Partnership for a one-hour webinar talking about Cladophora! Wednesday, November 17th Noon – 1:00 P.M.

What is Cladophra

Cladophora are those green mats of algae in the water that you may have seen on beaches and along shorelines in Lake Ontario. While Cladophora is necessary for a healthy ecosystem, when nutrient levels in the water are too high—i.e., from lawn fertilizers, agricultural and urban runoff, and septic and sewage treatment systems—we see too much Cladophora growth. This can present aesthetic and odor issues that impair recreational uses of the lake, as well, decaying Cladophora harbors bacteria that can pose health threats to humans, fish, and wildlife.

Link to join: https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?MTID=e2314291261b79dedf2f9a22a20369aa6

Event number: 161 404 9404

Event password: welcome1

Guest speakers
David Depew, Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Mary Anne Evans, Research Ecologist, United States Geological Survey, Greg Ford, Great Lakes Water Monitoring Manager, Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

Agenda
12:00 – 12:05 Welcome
Moderator: Emma Tahirali, MECP

12:05 – 12:15 State of Lake Ontario overview
Luca Cargnelli, ECCC; Kristina Heinemann, US EPA
12:15 – 12:25 Introduction to Cladophora in Lake Ontario – What is it and why it’s a problem
David Depew, ECCC
12:25 – 12:30 Nutrient management
Luca Cargnelli, ECCC; Kristina Heinemann, US EPA

12:30 – 12:40 Cladophora monitoring work
Mary Anne Evans, USGS
12:40 – 12:50 Community/citizen science profile: The Visual Assessment Survey Tool
Greg Ford, Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative
12:50 – 12:55 Audience Q&A
Moderator: Emma Tahirali, MECP
12:55 – 1:00 News you can use
Dr. Joan Kennedy, DEC; Emma Tahirali, MECP

Webinar Registration