Officials with the Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District have another busy year ahead of them, with a number of projects and events planned.
The Upper Prestile Stream Main Stem 1 Restoration Project, Phase 1, is now underway.
“The completion of the UPSMS 1 Sub-watershed Survey in 2013 provided the CASWCD the opportunity to move forward with our water quality improvement efforts in the Prestile Stream Watershed. In the fall of 2014, the CASWCD was awarded an EPA 319 grant for $61,940, through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, to install a series of best management practices (BMP) within the Main Stem 1 sub-watershed,” said Kassy Michaud, on behalf of the CASWCD.
“This grant allows the CASWCD to provide cost-share agreements for the local landowners and towns within this sub-watershed to fix the nonpoint source pollution (NPS) sites that were documented in the 2013 survey,” continued Watson, noting the restoration project started earlier this year.
The agency is also seeking participants for the Riverside Public Market (RPM) in Presque Isle.
“The CASWCD began collaborating with the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee (PIDRC) in 2014 to begin a new market that provides our community with fresh, local foods and Maine-made products. The vendors who participated last year will be back for the 2015 season, but the RPM is seeking more local farmers and Maine artisans to join the team and help the market grow,” said Michaud.
The market will be open on Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located at Riverside Park in Presque Isle.
“The large military tents are temporary until the PIDRC seeks enough funding to have the permanent building constructed. If you are interested in becoming a vendor and being part of a growing local market, please contact me at the CASWCD office and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with an application form,” said Michaud.
Nominations are also being sought for the 2015 annual meeting and dinner — the date and time of which has yet to be determined.
“We want your input. Each year the District honors a local farmer or forest landowner for their ‘outstanding’ efforts in conservation. If you know of an individual who fits this criteria, please nominate a local producer for the 2014 Outstanding Conservation Farm of the Year and/or the 2014 Forest Landowner of the Year by contacting me at the District office,” said Michaud.
Michaud can be reached by calling 764-4153, ext. 130, or emailing kathryn.watson @me.nacdnet.net.
The CASWCD is also busy making plans for their Soil Health Field Day, slated for this fall. The event will focus on how to build healthy soils, and exploring effective management practices that are working on Aroostook County farms. More information and details will be announced at a later date.