Free Drinking Well Water Screening
The Berrien Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) will sponsor a free drinking water well screening on Wednesday, June 20th and Thursday, June 21st from 8am - 4:00pm. Bring your water samples to the Berrien Conservation District Office at 3334 Edgewood Road, Berrien Springs.
Samples from drinking water wells will be screened for nitrate and nitrite. The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water. Forms should be filled out in advance and are available at the Conservation District office or online at www.berriencd.org or you may fill out a form when you arrive. This service is for private drinking water wells only. Public water supplies are tested regularly. Please do not bring samples from public water supplies or non-drinking water sources. Only drinking water well samples will be tested. A special bottle is not required; any small clean jar will work—one ounce of water is enough.
Please follow the directions below to sample your well. Collect samples just before bringing them to be sampled. Samples must be less than 48 hours old for a valid nitrate result.
1. Fill out the water Sample Information Sheet. (These will also be available when you bring your sample in)
2. Pick a tap that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well.
3. Run the water for 20-30 minutes before collecting the sample. Do not sample through a hose. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled.
4. Label the bottle your name, date, and the well name (cottage well, Mom's well, etc.) using a waterproof pen.
5. Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is dropped off.
All results are confidential. You will get your results as well as information on what to do should nitrite or nitrates show up in your drinking water. If you do not wish to wait a few minutes for your results you may just drop off the sample along with your completed form.
You can get more information from the Berrien Conservation District office at 269-471-9111 ext 3, at www.berriencd.org, or email [email protected].
Native Plant Presentation and Sale
Planting native wildflowers and grasses in your landscape increases the diversity and can lead to greater variety and abundance of wildlife on your property. Over 95% of our upland bird species feed their young exclusively on insects and spiders. If your landscape cannot provide the required quantities of insects and spiders, birds will not be able to successfully raise their young to the fledgling stage. Every caterpillar living on a host plant in your native planting increases the odds of your local birds being able to produce a new generation. Do you want more butterflies and birds? Do you want an increase in the wildlife in your landscape? Plant natives! Native plantings generally do not require fertilizer or insecticides. Natives will require little to no watering ONCE established. Additionally, the deep roots of many natives filter water as it flows through the soil. Many native species are quite beautiful and some are simply stunning. Native plants are available in a wide range of colors, textures, and sizes to suit your landscaping needs.
Annual Tree & Shrub Seedling Fundraiser
A variety of bare root seedlings of evergreens, deciduous trees, shrubs, and fruit trees are being offered. Rain barrels and composters are also available. Orders may be placed at the website store, or order forms may be obtained from the office at 3334 Edgewood Road, Berrien Springs, MI. You may also print from the website or request one to be mailed to you by calling 269-471-9111 ext. 3. Orders are due by April 6th. Quantities are limited and some varieties will be available to purchase during order pickup/sale days.
Where: Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds, 9122 US Hwy 31, Berrien Springs, MI 49103
When: Order pickup days and sale days are Friday, April 20 from 3:00 pm in the afternoon to 8:00 pm, and Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Cost: Please refer to prices at the store tab on this website
Wildlife & Pollinator Workshop
Looking to attract deer, songbirds, pheasants and butterflies onto your property, at the same time improving air, water, and soil quality?
Grassland habitats provide significant value to our natural resources in Michigan. Grasslands provide filtration to water, collect carbon to help clean our air, and hold down soil to prevent erosion. They also provide homes and food for a variety of wildlife including deer, songbirds, butterflies, turkeys, pheasants, and much more. Pollinators are being threatened, and their greatest need are grassland habitats with vibrant native wildflowers. Without pollinators, we face a threat of food shortages as pollinators allow food to grow.
This workshop will provide an overview of the value grasslands provide on a landscape. It will also provide information on where to find seed and how to plant it, what financial and technical resources are available to assist you in creating and managing grassland habitats, and will showcase the great organizations who are here to help improve our habitats.
There will also be a short presentation on invasive species of concern for SW Michigan.
Where: Camp Friedenswald, 15406 Watercress Way, Cassopolis
When: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Pre-Registration required: For more information and to register to attend, please visit www.mucc.org/pollinators. Please contact Anna Mitterling at [email protected] or 517-346-6454 with additional questions. In addition, if you would like a short guided hike of Camp Friedenswald before the program, please call Korie at the Cass Conservation District at 269-445-8641 x5.
Sponsored by Berrien, Cass, & St. Joseph Conservation Districts, and the SW X SW Corner CISMA
Protect Your Oak Trees From Oak Wilt Disease
Oak Wilt, a fungal disease affecting oak trees, is moving through Michigan at an alarming rate. While the disease can impact all oaks, the red oak family is the most susceptible, often dying within 30 days of becoming infected. To help homeowners, arborists, and tree services identify and prevent the spread of oak wilt, a free educational presentation is being hosted by ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree organization, the Three Oaks Parks and Recreation Board, the Berrien Conservation District and the SW X SW Corner CISMA. Respected plant pathologist, Dr. David Roberts, Ph.D. at Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will provide an overview of the disease and outline its biggest concerns, so homeowners can protect the long-term health and vitality of their trees.
Oak trees make up a significant percentage of Michigan’s forests. The image of Michigan’s lake areas without oak trees is not a good one! It is important to know how to spot oak wilt and what actions to take.Presentation topics will cover the disease, how it affects oak trees, and how it is transmitted via sap beetles to fresh wounds and through root grafts. Other topics will include how to manage oak wilt once identified, important dates and restrictions, what to do with diseased wood, and guidelines for hiring a tree service or arborist.
RSVP to Nancy Carpenter [email protected] 269-471-9111 x 3
Invasive Species Presentation
Lean about invasive plant species affecting this area and new ones to watch out for on the horizon. Identification and management of some of the most troublesome yard invaders will be covered including Japanese Knotweed and Honeysuckle.
Where: Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, 13988 Rangeline Road, Niles, MI 49120
When: Sunday, March 11 from 1pm to 2 pm
Cost: Fernwood members $8, non-members $10
Register here: http://bit.ly/fwInvasiveSM
“Helping Family Farmers Thrive”
A FREE soil health seminar will be held at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension center located at 1791 Hillandale Rd. Benton Harbor, MI 49022 on March 20, 2018. Registration with coffee and donuts is from 8:30 am to 9:00 am and the seminar is from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Dr. Ray Smith, owner of Phase II Inc., will present information on nutrient interactions and soil health, and how nutrients in the soil become available to plants. Dr. Smith has over 50 years of experience as a certified agronomist and soil consultant. He has developed a fertilizer formulation that is environmentally friendly to maximize crop quality and yields.
Speakers Ryan Smith will talk about economic farming challenges and Keith Morris will explain application of the Phase II fertilizer system in different crops.
The event is sponsored by the Berrien Conservation District, for questions call 269-471-9111 x3.
No pre-registration required
Sponsored by the Berrien Conservation District and Phase II
Presentation on “The Future of Agriculture”
Michigan’s farm economy in the 21st century, new technology, and water quality will be the speaker topics at the Berrien Conservation District’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018, at Love Creek County Park, 9228 Huckleberry Road, Berrien Center, MI 49102. Matt Smego, the Manager of State Government Relations for Michigan Farm Bureau will be the special guest speaker.
Doors will open at 5:30 pm with dinner to start at 6:00 pm.
The evening program by the Berrien Conservation District will include a full dinner, awards for Conservation Farmer of the Year and MAEAP Environmental Stewardship, and Conservation District updates. There will also be door prizes.
‘How Homeowners Can Protect Their Trees from Oak Wilt Death’
Free Homeowner/Arborist Educational Presentation
Oak Wilt, a fungal disease affecting oak trees, is moving through Michigan at an alarming rate. While the disease can impact all oaks, the red oak family is the most susceptible, often dying within 30 days of becoming infected.
To help homeowners, arborists, and tree services identify and prevent the spread of oak wilt, a free educational presentation is being hosted by ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree organization, and by the Berrien County Conservation District. Respected plant pathologist, Dr. David Roberts, Ph.D. at Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will provide an overview of the disease and outline its biggest concerns, so homeowners can protect the long-term health and vitality of their trees.
Oak trees make up a significant percentage of Michigan’s forests. The image of Michigan’s lake areas without oak trees is not a good one! It is important to know how to spot oak wilt and what actions to take.
Presentation topics will cover the disease, how it affects oak trees, and how it is transmitted via sap beetles to fresh wounds and through root grafts. Other topics will include how to manage oak wilt once identified, important dates and restrictions, what to do with diseased wood, and guidelines for hiring a tree service or arborist. The presentation is interactive and attendees are encouraged to bring questions. Free handouts will be available.
Please join us and protect your trees!
Where: Chikaming Township Hall, 13535 Red Arrow Highway, Harbert, MI, 49115
When: Thursday, October 19, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Invasive Species Identification and Management
Wednesday October 18th 9:00 am-12:00 pm
The Berrien Conservation District and Chikaming Open Lands will be hosting an Invasive Species Identification Workshop on Thursday September 28th at 6:00 PM. This is an opportunity to learn how anyone can assist professionals and land managers by reporting invasive species populations in Southwest Michigan. Invasive Species are known to degrade natural ecosystems by out competing native vegetation as well as providing poor habitat and food sources for native fauna. This workshop will focus on the identification of both native and invasive species, and the importance that native species have in the function of healthy ecosystems. There will be discussion of invasive species that are currently impacting the region as well as new invaders that have not yet established in the area.With increased awareness there is a greater chance that new invasive species can be recognized and addressed promptly to prevent their establishment. At the conclusion of the workshop there will be an opportunity for a short walk outside to see invasive species in a natural setting. If you have any questions please contact Jared Harmon at (269) 471-9111 Ext. 3.
Location: Chikaming Open Lands Office 12291 Red Arrow Hwy Sawyer, MI 49125
New Buffalo Japanese Knotweed Symposium
Tuesday August 29th 1:00-4:30 pm
The Southwest X Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) will be hosting a symposium discussing Japanese Knotweed which is a highly aggressive and difficult to manage invasive species that is threatening Southwest Michigan. The event will be taking place at the New Buffalo Township Library located at 33 N. Thompson Street on August 29th from 1:00 to 4:30 pm. This is a free event that is open to the public and is directed toward property owners, municipal staff, land managers, and concerned citizens.
Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive perennial plant that can spread rapidly when improperly managed. This species can quickly shade out desirable native plants and can threaten homes and public infrastructure by breaking pipes, asphalt, and building foundations. Japanese knotweed is capable of spreading from very small plant fragments and will take years of careful management to eradicate.
This symposium will include information on the identification, impact, and management techniques for Japanese Knotweed removal. There will also be information about what steps have been taken by local municipalities to control Japanese Knotweed in their communities. There will be an opportunity for public comment and the chance to answer any questions regarding the necessary steps to control and eradicate Japanese Knotweed in our communities.
**** 3 RUP Credits Available****
Monday August 21st 5:30-6:30 pm Sodus Township Library Presentation
3776 Naomi Rd, Sodus, MI 49126
There will be a presentation of the top 10 most concerning invasive species that impact or have the potential to cause problems in Southwest Michigan in the future. This is an opportunity to learn Identification as well as how to control invasive species and the importance of invasive species management. There will be live samples of these species at the presentation to aid identification and free materials for participants to take home to assist in invasive species identification and management. At the conclusion of the presentation there will be an opportunity to see a stand of invasive Japanese Knotweed that is growing in town.
Monday August 7th from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Invasive Species Workshop Watervliet District Library
333 N. Main Street Watervliet, MI 49098
The SW X SW Corner CISMA will be hosting an invasive species presentation at the Watervliet District Library on August 7th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about the impact that invasive species have on the environment, economy, and human health in Southwest Michigan. You will learn how to identify, control, and report invasive species that are both present or have the potential to invade the region in the near future. There will be time for questions at the conclusion of the presentation and free information to take home with you. If you have any questions please contact Jared Harmon at the Berrien Conservation District at (269) 471-9111 x 3 or [email protected]
Berrien Conservation District welcomes special guest speaker, John Kempf, for the “Working with Cover Crops Field Day.” This on-farm event will be held Tuesday, July 25th, at 11025 M-140, Niles, Michigan (Carl Wagner III’s Farm). The event runs from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Presenter John Kempf, from Orwell, Ohio, is the founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA), a leading crop nutrition consulting company. A top expert in the field of biological and regenerative farming, John has a unique ability to simplify and clearly explain very complex concepts in the areas of soil and plant health. John will explore the characteristics of what makes a soil able to suppress disease organisms, how cover crops play into this scenario, and which cover crops are disease conducive versus disease suppressive.
As a farmer who grew up in and remains a part of the Amish community, John has a very special understanding of plants’ functional immunity. He sought out alternative approaches to prevent damage to his crops once they stopped responding to conventional pesticide treatments. John is an internationally recognized lecturer on the topic of biological agriculture and plant immunity.
Attendees will be able to view a cover crop demonstration plot showing various species and will learn more about what their advantages and disadvantages are.
Speaker Marcy Hamilton from the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission will present on the opportunities for farm renters and owners in the Ox Creek and St. Joseph River watersheds to improve water quality with USDA cost share assistance.
Presenter Josh Appleby will provide information on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.
Dinner is included. This event is a MAEAP Phase 1 meeting and pending for Restricted Use Pesticide Credits. The event is free and the public is invited but reservations are required. Please RSVP before Thursday, July 20th, by calling the Berrien Conservation District at 269-471-9111 x3 or email [email protected]. Early reservations are encouraged. Sponsors include the Berrien County Farm Bureau, Wilbur Ellis, Greenstone Farm Credit, and Scott’s Cover Crops, Michigan Wine Collaborative, and the Eau Claire Fruit Exchange.
This project has been funded wholly or in part through Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Wednesday, July 26th - Pesticide Container Recycling Event in Benton Harbor and Buchanan
No registration needed
Recycle Agriculture Pesticide Containers (jugs, drums, and mini bulks - removed from cages) free of charge.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pick up large bags to use for collection and storage of the containers in the time leading up to the July 26th event. Get free bags at your local Conservation District in Berrien, Cass, or Van Buren Counties, and at Co-Alliance in Buchanan.
Call Jill Adams at 269-983-7111 x8234 or call the Conservation District at 269-471-9111 x3.
Friday July 14th from 10 am to 3 pm
Benton Harbor Invasive Species Mobile Boat Wash
700-, 1098 Riverview Dr, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Friday, July 7th from 10 a.m to 3pm
4th Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Boat Wash
Paw Paw Lake East Boat Launch 5778-, 5874 N Watervliet Rd, Watervliet, MI 49098
The Southwest X Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) will be educating boaters about preventing the spread of harmful invasive species during Michigan’s 4th Annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz July 1 through July 9, 2017. In collaboration with Michigan State’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters crew, free boat washes will be offered to those coming on or off the lake to prevent the spread of harmful invasive species, such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil. The event will include giveaways, boat washing, and one-on-one outreach. Stop by to learn about the species to keep an eye out for, and keep our lakes healthy! Have any questions? Contact Jared Harmon at the Berrien County Conservation District at 269-471-9111 x 3 or [email protected]
Tuesday, June 27th from 6:00 p.m to 7:30 p.m
New Buffalo Invasive Species Presentation MISIN Training
SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Area (CISMA)
Join us June 27th to learn how you can help the State of Michigan track invasive species populations. There will be a presentation on invasive species and the MISIN program (Midwest Invasive Species Information Network). This program is instrumental in understanding the locations and movement of invasive species that impact our environment, economy, and wildlife.
New Buffalo Township Library (Pokagon Room)
33 North Thompson Street, New Buffalo, Michigan 49117
Wednesday, June 21st "Working with Wetlands" Field Day
This is an on the farm field day to present information on Wetlands, how to enroll in the Wetland Reserve Easement Program, Wetland Restoration, Easements, and the Ag Assistance Program.
Information for farmers in the Ox Creek and the St. Joseph River Watersheds on available USDA programs will be presented, along with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. Invasive species of special concern will be covered. Also, representatives from ANR/TransCanada Pipeline Company will be available to answer questions about pipelines under farm fields and wetlands. Dinner is included. This event is eligible for three Restricted Use Pesticide Credits and MAEAP Phase 1.
The event is free and the public is invited but reservations are required.
When: Wednesday, June 21
Time: 4:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: Vic Rogers Farm, 161 North Blue Creek Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
RSVP: Berrien Conservation District 269-471-9111 x3 or email [email protected] before Friday, June 16th. Early reservations encouraged!
Sponsors include ANR/TransCanada Pipeline Company.
This project has been funded wholly or in part through Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Nonpoint Source Program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
WILDFLOWERS & GRASSES! NATIVE PLANT PRESENTATION!
Wednesday, May 31st, 2017
Bridgman Public Library, 4460 Lake Street, Bridgman, MI 49106
1:00 pm: Presentation by Vern Stephens, owner of "Designs By Nature"
3:00 pm to 6:00pm: Sale is open to the public; large variety of plants in quart pots.
Friday, April 28th from 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m
New Buffalo Japanese Knotweed Workshop
SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Area (CISMA)
Join us April 28th to learn the impact of Japanese Knotweed in the New Buffalo Community and throughout Southwest Michigan. Topics discussed will include identification, mapping, and issues associated with this aggressive invasive plant. There will also be an opportunity for questions and input for what can be done to resolve this growing problem. Following the discussion we will head outside to identify Japanese Knotweed in town.
New Buffalo Township Library (Pokagon Room)
33 North Thompson Street, New Buffalo, Michigan 49117
If you have any questions regarding registration please contact Jared Harmon from the Berrien County Conservation District. (269) 471-9111 ext. 3059 or email [email protected]
Friday, April 21, 2017 from 3pm to 8pm and Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9am to 12 noon.
Annual Tree and Shrub Seedling Fundraiser.
Pre-Orders are being accepted now through April 7th. A variety of bareroot evergreens, deciduous trees, shrubs, and fruit trees are being offered. Rain barrels and composters are also available. Orders may be placed on-line at www.berriencd.org, or, order forms may be obtained from the office at 3334 Edgewood Road, Berrien Springs, MI, from the website, or you may request one to be mailed by calling at 269-471-9111 ext. 3. Information about each item can be found on the website store.
The location for picking up orders, or to just come to the sale, is the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds. Pickup & sale date/time is April 21st in the afternoon from 3-8pm and April 22nd from 9am until 12 noon.
Friday, March 24th, Check in 8:30am. Workshop from 9am to 3pm.
Understanding Soil Life, Fertilizer, and its Energy Potential.
A Free informational seminar on "Soil" will be held on Friday, March 24th, from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm at the Bertrand Crossing LMC campus located at 1905 Foundation Drive, Niles, MI. Speakers Ray Smith along with Keith Morris will present “Understanding Soil Life, Fertilizer, and its Energy Potential”. Attendees will learn how fertilizer affects soil/plant physiology, and the biological effects of soil energy. Attendees are welcome to bring in results from a soil sample to learn what the results are really saying.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 check in 8am, Start time 9am and ends at 3pm.
Japanese Knotweed Symposium
A workshop for land managers & concerned citizens
Knotweed is a major problem in southwest Michigan. This invasive plant can damage roads, pipes, sewer lines, and building foundations. It also chokes out native vegetation, increases erosion, degrades water quality, and hurts habitat for fish and wildlife. At this workshop you will learn how to identify and control it on your property or property you manage.
This is Free and a lunch will be provided! Please RSVP by March 13th.
Friday, September 23, 2016 from 10 am - 2 pm
Japanese Knotweed Symposium offered in St. Joe
The Southwest by Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) is hosting a symposium about the invasive plant Japanese knotweed. The symposium will bring together experts to discuss how this plant grows and spreads as well as control and prevention techniques. The symposium will be held on Friday, September 23 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center at 601 Main Street, St. Joseph, MI. The event is free and lunch will be provided if attendees RSVP by September 15.
The event is targeted to road commission staff, municipal staff, land managers, landscapers, homeowners, environmental organizations, and anyone who owns or manages property that might be affected by Japanese knotweed. This non-native invasive plant (also known as Michigan Bamboo or Mexican Bamboo) is spreading explosively in parts of southwest Michigan. It can damage roads, pipes, sewer lines and building foundations. It also chokes out native vegetation, increases erosion, degrades water quality and harms habitat for fish and wildlife. Common control techniques like over-the-counter herbicides, pruning or mowing can actually stimulate its spread. Effective treatments for Japanese knotweed involve a combination of community education and using the right herbicides at the right time.
The featured speaker will be Dr. Leslie Kuhn, Field Projects Coordinator and Co-founder of the Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative, which works with private, commercial and municipal landowners on regional invasive species control projects. Dr. Kuhn is also a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Michigan State University, where she has combined her involvement with invasive species issues with her research interests. Other presenters will include partners of the SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, the City of Kalamazoo, Native Landscapes, and the Michigan Department of Transportation.
People interested in attending are asked to RSVP for this free event by calling the CISMA Coordinator Erin Fuller at (269) 657-4030 x 5 or registering online at www.vanburencd.org/event/japanese-knotweed/. Three Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) credits will be available for attendees. This symposium is hosted by the SW x SW Corner CISMA, the City of St. Joseph and The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center and funded in part with funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program through the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development.
The SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area is a partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, individuals, and various interested groups that manage (or have a stake in managing) invasive species in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties. Partners include the Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Conservation Districts, Chikaming Open Lands, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, The Stewardship Network and many others.
September 8th, 2016
Hey! What’s up with my tree?
Michigan Trees: 12 Things You Need to Know
FREE presentation on the value of trees to our landscapes and society and issues that threaten
their health. Diagnosis and management of major tree problems such as the lethal Oak Wilt Disease,
Colorado Blue Spruce Decline, Anthracnose diseases, Boring Insects, and herbicide toxicity from our
lawns represent a few among many issues that will covered during this enlightening program.
Presented by: Dr. David L. Roberts, Senior Academic Specialist with the College of Agriculture at
Michigan State University.
Location: Lincoln Township Public Library, 2099 W. John Beers Road, Stevensville, MI 49127
Date: Thursday, September 8 Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Questions? Contact Nancy Carpenter at the Berrien Conservation District 269-471-9111 x3 or email
No reservations required, however seating limited to 75 people.
Bring your tree questions!
Sponsored by: The Berrien Conservation District, DNR -Urban and
Community Forestry Program, and ReLeaf Michigan