There are eight major strategies that we use to advance our Strategic Plan:
Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plans (SCWQP).
Upper Mississinewa River Watershed Management Plan
Upper White River Watershed Management Plan
Prairie Creek Reservoir Management Plan
MSD Dam Removal Feasibility Study
Land-use and Local Area Plans
Large scale conservation plans
NRCS Conservation Plans
Example: Upper Mississinewa River
This report contains an analysis of community concerns gathered at the beginning of this project, a Watershed Inventory (which provides data and analysis from various sources regarding the Upper Mississinewa River Watershed’s physical features and land use) and a Water Quality Inventory (which provides historical water quality, biological, and habitat data as well as results and analysis from chemical and biological water quality monitoring that were conducted as part of this study).
Results from these inventories are used to identify subwatersheds within the Upper Mississinewa River Watershed that have the most impaired water quality (referred to from herein as “critical areas”). The final portion of the plan determines possible sources of pollution in these critical areas and recommends a plan of action to mitigate them.
Example: Urban Land Use Planning
The Delaware County SWCD supports Local Area Planning efforts and has worked with Ball State University professors on a series of projects that explore the role of in-fill development as a means of agricultural and ecological land preservation.
The community design programs mirror the volume of housing, commercial, and public/service sector developments that have occurred since 2010, rooting proposals in a level of reality.
Education and Outreach
The district will educate and conduct outreach for the public through the following events, activities, and educational aids:
Workshops and Field Days
Augmented Reality Sandbox
Booths at Community Events
Cooperative Invasives Species Management Area (CISMA)
Women4theLand Learning Circles
Indiana Academy's Envirothon Group
"Pathway to Water Quality" at the Indiana State Fair
Volunteer judging at the National Future Farmers of America Conference
Delaware County 4-H Forest and Soil/Water Conservation awards
Printing of the Delaware County 4-H fairbook.
Indiana Woodland Steward quarterly magazine (for Delaware County forest landowners).
HISTORICAL EDUCATION TOPICS AND PRESENTATIONS
PCR Vegetative Management
Nutrients, Water Quality, Pest Management
Water Management: Diversion and Grade Control Structures
Low Impact Development
Agricultural Land Conservation
Lawn Management and Green Gardening
Stormwater Management/Stormwater Pollution
Minnetrista Nature Area Learning Lab
Information & Marketing
The district will provide and promote conservation information to the public through the following items:
Brochures and other publications
Sharing National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) weekly “Conservation Clips” through email
Press Releases and Newspaper
Customer Service (i.e. phone calls, emails, walk-in requests for information)
Supervisors and staff serving on various community boards and committees
Links and Resources:
USGS STREAM STATS
County Plat Book
White River Water Quality Monitoring – as part of the Muncie Dam Removal & Modification project
Mississinewa River Water Quality Monitoring – as part of the 319 Watershed Management Plan
Drinking Water Water Quality Monitoring – testing and education for Delaware County residents
Biological Surveys - as part of EcoBlitz
Fish and Macroinvertebrate Studies
Example: Water Quality IN
Water Quality Indiana (WQI) blends science with journalism and provides impactful recruitment into STEM and media fields through experiential learning. Students collect a range of water-quality data from local waterways and conduct interviews with stakeholders. They then transform knowledge to judgment by producing defendable scientific results and generating multimedia products. Students transform judgment to action by disseminating their deliverables to a public audience of consultants, regulators, and landowners to help create a sustainable future.
Technical Assistance (Engineering)
The district will provide technical assistance in the following ways:
One-on-one conservation planning and application assistance
Agriculture conservation Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed to NRCS specifications
Customer Service (e.g. soil survey information, topography maps)
Local working group conservation concerns priority ranking
Conservation project planning studies
Cost Share Assistance (Grant making)
Financial Incentives to Landowners/Operators
The district will connect landowners/operators in Delaware County to the following sources of conservation financial assistance:
Federal conservation programs (i.e. farm bill programs)
Federal conservation cost share/incentive programs (i.e. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) 319 grants – funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA))
State conservation cost share/incentive programs (i.e. Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) and Clean Water Indiana (CWI))
Local, private grant cost share opportunities
Clean Water Indiana (CWI)
Clean Water Indiana's primary goal is to reduce nutrient loading in our streams and rivers. This is a problem not only for the Gulf Coast and the giant dead zone plaguing the area, but also for the health of our local ecosystem. Projects funded by CWI aim to decrease the nutrients flowing into surface waters and preserve our soil by keeping it out of the waterways.
On-Farm Network (OFN)
Over the past two years, the Delaware County SWCD has been working on a CWI grant in partnership with Madison, Randolph and Blackford Counties to implement nitrogen testing with the On Farm Network. There are currently 11 farmers signed up across these four counties who will benefit from this program. The purpose of the testing is to determine the nitrogen left in the stalks when the plant reaches maturity. This reading will enable farmers to see how much nitrogen is needed for proper plant growth. This method saves farmers money from over applying and also saves our streams from nutrient overload.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
The other facet of this grant included the promotion of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. This State/Federal Cost-Share aims to add riparian buffers, filter strips, and hardwood trees in those agricultural zones along our waterways. The program will also pay for wetlands restoration, for native grass plantings, and for promoting wildlife habitat.
All of these practices will contribute to a healthier environment by decreasing nutrient loading, increasing biodiversity, and keeping soil on our fields and out of our water.
Administrate and Coordinate Projects
The district will seek financial support from the following sources:
State grants, including Clean Water Indiana (CWI) and Lake and River Enhancement (LARE)
Federal grants, including IDEM 319
Local, private grants
SWCD Annual Tree Sale
Program Support Specialist Agreement with Natural Resources Conservation Service
Tracking conservation progress and how funding is utilized:
Annual SWCD Financial Report to Indiana State Department of Agriculture
Annual SWCD Financial Report to Indiana State Board of Accounts
SWCD Program Report for Annual Meeting
Report on federal, state and other dollars
Cropland Transect Surveys of tillage practices used and cover crop usage
Conservation Project Tracking