Links of Interest
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the federal agency that works hand-in-hand with the American people to conserve natural resources on private lands. Formerly the Soil Conservation Service, NRCS brings 60 years of scientific and technical expertise to the Partnership.
The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is the national organization for 3,000 local conservation districts across the country. Conservation districts are local units of government responsible for the soil and water conservation work within their boundaries. The districts' role is to increase voluntary conservation practices among farmers, ranchers and other land users.http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/partners/
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) is responsible for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management - of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. The Division works to balance the needs of people and wildlife today so wildlife will be available for everyone's enjoyment today and for future generations.http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/index.htm
The Worcester County Conservation District is a supporter of the Envirothon. The Envirothon is America's leading natural resource education program for high school students. Teams comprised of five students represent their school or organization in a statewide competition testing their knowledge of: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and current environmental issues. To learn more visit: http://www.maenvirothon.org
Patriot Resource Conservation and Development Area
Patriot Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils develop and carry out an action-oriented plans for the economic, social and environmental enrichment of their communities. The RC&D councils promote conservation, development, and use of natural resources to improve economic activity, and to enhance the environment and standard of living in all communities. The program’s aim is to provide a system for rural development, encourage the wise use of natural resources, and improve the quality of life.
RC&D councils are locally organized, sponsored and led. Council members are recruited from the local community and empowered with leadership responsibilities. (serves Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcester counties)
319 Littleton Road, Suite 302
Westford, MA 01886-4133
A soil test can be a valuable tool in assessing and preventing horticultural, agronomic, and some environmental problems. There are five different types of tests available such as: Soil pH, Standard Soil Test, Standard with Organic Matter, Soil Texture and Soluble Salts through UMass Amherst. To obtain an order form, visit: www.umass.edu/soiltest
Web Soil Survey
Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information. www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/soils/
Soil Evaluator's Workshops
Worcester County Conservation District coordinates Soil Evaluator’s Workshops in Massachusetts between USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC). To find upcoming classes in Worcester County, visit: http://www.neiwpcc.org
Asian Long Horn Beetle (ALB)
The ALB is an invasive insect and present if Worcester County. Indicators that show a tree might have an ALB infestation include: dead leaves that appear too soon, excessive sawdust around tree bases and tree crotches, excessive oozing sap, and random holes measuring approximately 3/8 of an inch in diameter (about the size of a dime). If you feel you have seen the ALB or damage from the ALB please contact: Massachusetts Asian Longhorn Beetle Cooperative and Eradication Program at (508) 799- 8330 or Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources (MDAR) at (617) 626-1779. To learn more, visit: www.massnrc.org/pests/albreport.asp
Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB): New Science Curriculum from USDA Just in Time for Spring!
Announcing Beetle Busters: A Real-World Environmental Science Program - FREE from the USDA - Order Your FREE Copy at http://BeetleBustersKit.com
You've likely heard about the threat of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) to the trees in your community. This invasive species has devastated other towns around the country, causing entire neighborhoods to lose many of their trees. And in fact, many science educators just like you have been seeking a curriculum tailored to this critical issue – for as you know, the best way to make science engaging and meaningful to students is to make it real.
Now, you can bring local science right into your classroom with Beetle Busters – a fun, hands-on science program brought to you by the USDA. You and your students can take action together to help stop the spread of the ALB by recognizing the beetle, searching for it and reporting your findings directly to USDA!
32-page Teacher's Guide, Asian Longhorned Beetle ID Cards (classroom set), ALB Bookmarks (classroom set), Online Game: Freeze & Collect – for in-class or at-home play
The multi-unit program includes standards-based, age-appropriate activities for 3rd through 8th grades and 9th-10th grade science classes, and includes a unit for after-school programs.
The Web site includes a wealth of additional resources, printable materials, and more! Check out http://beetlebusters.info/beABeetleBuster_educators.php to:
Obtain supplemental resources and materials, Report your class's search-and-report findings, Access the all-new online game, Freeze and Collect, Follow the ALB on Facebook and Twitter
You can achieve your teaching goals while challenging your students to make a difference in your community.
Order your FREE kit online at http://BeetleBustersKit.com today! Don't wait! Supplies are limited and are fulfilled on a first come, first served basis.
Beetle Busters is the newest educational component of USDA's ongoing effort to eradicate the invasive Asian longhorned beetle in at-risk communities across the United States. Learn more about this initiative at http://www.BeetleBusters.info
About Doyle Community Park- Meander along 3.5 miles of trails that pass through woodlands, meadows, and gardens, all part of an elegant former estate that is also home to the LEED-certified Doyle Center. Doyle Community Park is an oasis of nearly 200 acres of open space amidst the busy urban centers of Leominster and Fitchburg. The park includes the Doyle Center, an inspiring "green" conference center and gathering place that is a model of sustainability. Built in 2004, the Doyle Center is a 14,000-square foot, gold-rated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building surrounded by ?tree-lined avenues within Doyle Community Park. With additional meeting space available in two adjacent buildings, the Center serves as an active conference, meeting, and events venue. The Doyle Center is the home base for the Putnam Conservation Institute (PCI), established by The Trustees in 2003 to help volunteers and conservation professionals working in Massachusetts connect, learn, and share their experiences. PCI sponsors and co-sponsors numerous programs and events at the Doyle Center and throughout the state, and is an ?important part of the Center’s success and activity. The Center is also one of three statewide campuses for The Trustees, with offices for professional staff, volunteers and interns. http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/central-ma/doyle-reservation.html