Henry County Comprehensive Plan Update
For those of you unable to make the public input meeting for the Henry County Comprehensive Plan on 12/11/13, here is an update.
I think the public input meeting for the Comprehensive Plan for the County went well. There was a good turnout with approximately 40 people there. Bi-state headed the meeting and gathered information via interactive activities with the attendees, really spurring some thoughts about the County.
In general, the main priority of those in attendance was agriculture and agricultural lands (prime & important), and making sure that these things were incorporated into the new Comprehensive Plan. I feel this message was heard “loud & clear.” The other main takeaways included attracting new commercial industry and commerce to areas along I-80 & I-74 thoroughfares, containing residential and commercial development to local city limits and their 1.5 mile buffers, and incorporating some sort of stormwater management into new development guidelines.
There will really be only one more public input meeting and that will be shortly before the time of the Plan’s installation. So if you were unable to attend the initial meeting the other night and would like to have some input on the new Plan’s guidelines, I was told to follow the Planning Committee’s activities closely and get involved with any focus groups that arise.
Finally, additional input can be place via an online survey before January 31, 2014: www.surveymonkey.com/s/HenryCountyCompPlan
Ryan J. Arch
Henry County SWCD
2013 FFA Section 3 Soil Judging Contest
FFA Section 3 held their Soil Judging Contest once again this year to help better educate our youth. It was a beautiful day with 158 students from 11 different schools to participate in a fun and interactive education experience. Thanks again to everyone that helped to make the day a success. A special thanks to Kewanee High School who again hosted this year.
Pictured below are the Kewanee teams.
The school and individual rankings are listed below:
(Tie broken on Pit #1)
7. Stark County
9. Bureau Valley
11. Riverdale (Team of 2)
1. Storme Barton - AlWood
2. Felicia Shaw - AlWood
3. Emily Pettis - Kewanee
4. Tyler Hamerlinck - Sherrard
5. Mary Koby - AlWood
6. Pedro Avila - Sherrard
7. Megan Mansker - Galva
8. Alexis Johnson - Kewanee
9. Morgan Gustafson - Sherrard
10. Kaylea Flynn - Sherrard
Annual Conservation Tour A Great Success!
Every year the Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District hosts an Annual Conservation Tour, usually in the summer. The purpose of the tour is to showcase "conservation in action" by inviting the community to a local farm that models any number of conservation practices to reduce erosion, increase water quality, promote wildlife habitat, reduce nutrient runoff, reduce stormwater runoff/pollution, etc. This August, Al DeCrane's family farm just outside of Galva was chosen to host the Wildlife Habitat/Conservation Tour. The tour was a great success drawing over 120 individuals from the surrounding area out to Al's wildlife haven. On the tour of Al's property, which includes a pond, cool season grass CRP, native grass & forbs CRP, hardwood tree plantings, a windturbine, and more, guests were educated about a number of conservation practices, wildlife habitat & promotion techniques, and even about renewable wind energy. Presenters included IDNR District Forester:Steve Felt; QDMA West-Central Branch President: Chase Burns; NRCS District Conservationist: Nick Fritch; FSA County Executive Director: Garrett Lenz; and Invenergy Projects Manager: Eric Kliene. Guests also enjoyed a pork chop sandwich dinner grilled by the Illinois Pork Producers Association. The Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District would like to thank the DeCrane family for their hospitality and inspiration, the Illinois Pork Producers for the chops, all our speakers for their presentations, and the community for another productive, educational, and successful tour. See you again next year!
Hulting Recieves 15 Year Director Service Award
Albert Hulting of Sheffield recieved a 15 Year Director Service Award at the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts Annual Meeting in Springfield, IL on July 21 through 23. Albert is currently serving as a director of the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District Board.
Congratulations to Albert Hulting!
Tom & Margaret Hitzhusen Family from Henry County Named 2013 Conservation Farm Family & Governor’s Award Winner
Pictured from L to R: Charlie Meier (IL Representative), Steve Chard (Acting Bureau Chief-IL Dept. of Ag), Tom Hitzhusen, Margaret Hitzhusen, Lonnie Wilson (AISWCD President)
Tom & Margaret Hitzhusen’s family was named the 2013 Conservation Farm Family of the year and presented the Governor’s Award, during the Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts’ (AISWCD) 65th Annual Meeting/Bureau of Land & Water Resources’s (BLWR) Summer Conference award ceremony on Monday, July 23rd in Springfield, IL.
This award, sponsored by AISWCD, Brownfield Network, Prairie Farmer, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture – BLWR, recognizes one outstanding conservation farm family that exemplifies “Total Resource Management.” There are 97 Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts throughout the state, comprising 16 Land Use Councils (LUC). After advancing as the winner from their Land Use Council, the Hitzhusen family and their resource conservation efforts on their farm competed against the remaining 6 LUC winners in Springfield. The AISWCD Awards Committee selected the Hitzhusen family as the 2013 Conservation Farm Family of the year and presented the family the Governor’s Award.
In addition to a plaque distinguishing the family’s award, the Hitzhusen family also received a $500 check from Meijer and a Memorex Station Audio CD player from Brownfield Network. As recipients of the Governor’s Award, the Hitzhusen family will be honored at the Illinois State Fair Ag Day program on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 and will receive a personalized “Conservation Farm Family” sign for display on their farm.
The Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District, and its affiliates, would like to sincerely congratulate the Hitzhusen family for their dedication and commitment to soil and water conservation. Their family farm is truly a model of conservation for the county.
Terry Jones Wins SWCD's Spring Email Sign-Up Contest
In an effort to reduce mailing costs, reduce paper waste, and keep up with the digital age, the Henry County SWCD sponsored an email contest this spring. People could either sign-up in the office or on the web to receive SWCD updates, brochures, newsletters, etc. via email. Upon sign-up, one would be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $25 VISA Gift Card. Terry Jones, from Kewanee, was this spring’s Email Contest winner! Keep a look out on our website for the next email contest this Fall!
Deanna Huddleston Wins Henry County SWCD Rain Barrel Drawing
Each year during the Henry County Fair, the Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District holds a drawing for a free rain barrel at their booth in the Merchant's Building. Congratulations to Deanna Huddleston! She won the drawing for this year's 55 gallon, black rain barrel!
Rain barrels play a vital role in water conservation by preventing stormwater runoff. They are also a great way of collecting and storing water from roofs of homes, sheds, and barns. This stored water can then be used at a later date for watering gardens or yards, filling bird baths, etc. By preventing stomwater runoff from attaching to soil or pollutants, such as pesticides and fertilizers, rain barrels can greatly reduce the negative impacts pollution has on our water supply. And by reducing the volume of water being carried away into storm drains, rain barrels reduce the amount of water municipalities need to process after rain events. For more information regarding rain barrels, call the Henry County Soil & Water Conservation District. And don't forget to stop by our fair booth next summer for a chance to win your very own rain barrel!
Sharon Matson (left), Administrative Coordinator with the Henry Co SWCD, presenting Deanna Huddleston with her new rain barrel
Henry County SWCD Sponsored 23rd Annual Poster Contest
Every year, the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors a poster contest for kindergarten through twelfth grade students. In 2013, we celebrated the 23rd year the Henry County SWCD has proudly sponsored this annual event. Through our poster contest, students are encouraged to express their thoughts about soil, water, and other natural resources topics through art. The poster contest theme coincides each year with the annual Soil and Water Stewardship theme. 'Where Does Your Water Shed' was the theme for 2013. With this exciting and adventurous theme, students had the opportunity to better understand the water cycle and the paths our precious freshwater takes across, through, and beneath our landscape.
Winners of the kindergarten through sixth grade levels received a bicycle. Contest winners of the seventh through twelfth grade levels received a $50 Visa Gift Card. Prizes are donated by the Henry County Soil and Water Conservation District. Poster contest winners at the local level advance to compete at the state level.
2013 Henry County SWCD Poster Contest grade level winners are:
Kindergarten - first grade: Alex Duarte, Visitation
Second - third grade: David Ocampo, Irving
Fourth - sixth grade: Alli Lambin, Alwood Middle
Seventh - ninth grade: Andrea Seabloom, Alwood Middle
Congratulations to the 2013 Henry County Poster Contest Winners! There were many creative and imaginative posters designed by the students this year. Thank you to all of the students and teachers that participated!
2013 Council 2 Envirothon
The Envirothon is a hands-on and interactive learning experience for high school students. Students gain knowledge of the environment and natural resources. Teams compete in five areas: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a fifth category on an environmental issue. Teams test their knowledge of the environment and compete against other high school teams from Bureau, Marshall-Putnam, Mercer, Rock Island, and Stark counties. Thirty one teams from six counties competed at the Envirothon, this year!
Twelve teams from Henry County competed at the Envirothon on March 13th, 2013 at the Black Hawk East Campus in Galva, IL. The top team from Henry County for 2013 was Galva High School Team #1. Team members included: Mason Cavanagh, Victoria Gyunn, Colton Sanders, Emma Corkill, & Danielle Strand. The Galva High School FFA advisor is Trish Main.
Congratulations to Galva High School!
2012 Illinois State Soils Contest
On October 9th, 2012 twenty-three schools came together in Henry County to test their knowledge of soils at the Illinois State Soils Contest. The contest was based out of the east campus of Blackhawk College and the soil pits were located just above the northeast corner of Johnson Sauk Trail State Park. It was a great experience for all involved to learn and compete.
Team rankings and individual rankings are listed below:
Top 10 School Teams:
8. Scales Mound
10. West Carroll
Top 10 Individual Teams:
1. Logan Simon (Liberty)
2. Max Havens (Canton)
3. Miranda Schlipf (Elpaso-Gridly)
4. Kaleb Bridgewater (Liberty)
5. Connor Klingele (Liberty3)
6. Whitney Murphy (Canton)
7. Gracia Rump (Farmington)
8. Codee Schlipf (Elpaso-Gridly)
9. Rachel Sloan (Midland)
10. Jacob Sorrill (Liberty3)
Conservation Compliance and Highly Erodible Land
In regards to Conservation Compliance and Highly Erodible Land requirements, please read the following news release... Change$ to Good Faith Provi$ion for HEL violation$.