The Worcester County Conservation District is a valuable resource of information and referrals on a wide range of environmental topics. The District will coordinate assistance from all available sources, public and private, local, state and federal in an effort to develop locally driven solutions to natural resource concerns. The District office is also a resource center offering a variety of pamphlets, fact sheets, posters, and many free resources for the public.
The technical services are provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service in cooperation with the conservation district.
On-farm energy audits help Massachusetts farmers improve energy conservation and efficiency- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the expansion of an initiative to help local farmers conduct energy audits and improve their overall energy efficiency. On-farm energy audits are tailored to each agricultural operations primary energy uses. The audits help farmers determine the amount of energy used by the entire operation and also identify short- and long-term measures farmers can implement to conserve energy and achieve greater energy efficiencies. Read more at http://www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov/news/news_energy_audits_Feb-2011.html
Web Soil Survey Program- http://ma.nrcs.usda.gov or websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/
Order a Soil Test- www.umass.edu/soiltest
2008 Farm Bill Programs available through our partner NRCS
If you own or manage farmland or forest land, run a greenhouse, or grow shellfish or other specialty crops in Massachusetts, then the 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs can help you address natural resource concerns and opportunities on your land.
You will need a plan- a conservation plan or a forest management plan to identify the resource concerns and conservation practices needed to meet your conservation and environmental objectives. Contact our NRCS field office 508-829-4477 ext. 101 to help in developing a plan and to apply for financial assistance to implement your conservation practices.
- Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) - provides conservation planning services to private and public individuals, groups, entities, and units of government who own and /or manage land.
- Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) – helps mitigate the risk of drought to farms through new irrigation systems.
- Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) – rewards farmers who are good conservation stewards of their land and offers compensation for enhancements.
- Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) – helps promote farm and forest production by enhancing the environmental quality of soil, water, air, plants and animals.
- Farm and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP) – works in partnership with eligible entities such as the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) program to protect agricultural lands through the purchase of development rights.
- Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) – offers compensation for landowners to protect, restore and enhance grasslands.
- Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) - promotes the protection and restoration of wetlands through the purchase of easements and enhancement activities.
- Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) – helps improve fish and wildlife habitat and restore natural ecosystems.
For most NRCS programs, you will need to complete several forms and meet additional eligibility criteria. The following forms are available by calling the office 508-829-4477, ext. 101 or visit www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov
Massachusetts Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines for Urban and Suburban Areas: Guide for Planner, Designers, and Municipal Officials can be accessed at the link below: