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Conservation districts help protect precious resources

LANSING, Mich. — Celebrated annually since 1955, the National Association of Conservation Districts’ Stewardship Week is one of the largest national programs promoting natural resource conservation.

Set between the last Sunday in April and the first Sunday in May, it’s a time put aside to help remind people to care for the nation’s natural resources and environmental treasures for generations to come. This year’s theme is “Healthy Soil: Healthy Life.”

April 24 through May 1, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in partnership with the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, is honoring national Stewardship Week natural resource conservation within the state’s agricultural community.

“Through the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, staff works hand in glove with farmers to protect the vitality of Michigan’s soil health and natural resources,” said Gary McDowell, MDARD director. “Through our partnership with the state’s 75 conservation districts, we celebrate the vital work these programs play in protecting our natural resources and recognize the importance of soil health, which gives us bountiful crops and forests, clean air and water, and recreational spaces.”

Michigan conservation districts were created in 1937 to promote and implement important soil conservation practices critical to the long-term management of a precious, finite natural resource. said Dan Moilanen, executive director of MACD.

“It remains one of our main missions, in addition to local management of forests, wetlands, dunes, urban spaces, and more,” Moilanen said. “Without healthy soil, food and textile production would be severely diminished. Healthy soil truly does equate to a healthier life, and with that in mind, we are excited to celebrate Stewardship Week.”

During the week, MDARD and MACD will share conservation information, soil facts including on Michigan’s state soil, Kalkaska sand, and publish a “Fresh from the Field” podcast with soil scientist expert Karl Hausler who was instrumental in identifying Kalkaska sand. To listen to the “Fresh from the Field” podcast, go to https://bit.ly/3NX8mpb.

To participate, go to a local conservation district webpage at https://www.macd.org/find-your-district.

NACD’s resource page is available athttps://www.nacdnet.org/news-and-events/stewardship-week/.

For more information on MAEAP, go to www.maeap.org.

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