For July 11 (on a summer schedule)
1 – A new nature preserve in Midland County will be dedicated this weekend.
The Little Forks Conservancy will officially open the Albert and Virginia Szok Preserve to the public at a ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 12. Following the dedication, guests are invited to explore the property.
The 8-acre property was donated to Conservancy by the children of Albert and Virginia Szok in memory of their parents. The new preserve is located within the Pine Haven Recreation Area at the end of Maynard Road, along 1,200 feet of the Salt River.
A short hiking trail and bench will be added to the property for users to enjoy the beauty along the river’s edge.
Albert Szok was a long-time Midland Public Schools teacher, who helped develop environmental education programs for the Chippewa Nature Center and environmental education standards for the state of Michigan.
Chippewa Watershed Conservancy will help permanently protect the preserve through a conservation easement donated to them by the Szok family.
2 – Conservation funding is available for agricultural producers in the Saginaw Bay area.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make $6.3 million in conservation financial assistance available to private landowners in Michigan to help improve water quality and wildlife habitat around the Great Lakes.
The financial assistance is available to farmers and agricultural producers in selected Michigan watersheds through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Farmers and landowners interested in obtaining assistance to implement conservation improvements on their land must apply before Aug. 1. The financial assistance is available to agricultural producers in the Saginaw Bay area, the Western Lake Erie Basin, and areas of Northern Michigan near the Great Lakes.
Conservation activities like planting cover crops and installing buffer strips can help improve water quality in the Great Lakes. A portion of the funding is targeted to reducing the amount of phosphorus runoff that contributes to algal blooms that damage aquatic habitat and water quality.
More information is available online from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
— Mr. Great Lakes is (usually) heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.