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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sarah Damsell
Contact Title:
District Manager
Organization:
Orleans County Natural Resource Conservation District (OCNRCD)
Phone Number:
802-334-6090 x7008
Email Address:
sarah.damsell@vt.nacdnet.net

Title: PLEIN AIR EXHIBIT – Waters of Life: Farms and Waters Art Opening Reception on February 14th at Sterling College

The Orleans County Conservation District, Memphremagog Watershed Association and Sterling College will host an art exhibit featuring farms and waters of the Memphremagog Watershed. Local artists painted at sites around the Northeast Kingdom with the NEK Plein Air painting group who mission is to document today’s landscapes that contribute to tomorrow’s history. Paintings included local waters as well as soil and water conservation practices at four farms that are working with the Orleans County Conservation District.

This exciting art project includes highlighting strip cropping and grassed waterway in corn fields, grazing and laneways in pastures, and riparian forest buffers. These conservation practices reduce soil erosion, increase infiltration and available soil water, and improve soil health, water quality, and farm community relations. Strip cropping is planting cropland across the slope so that grass strips are alternated with strips of annually tilled crops. Grassed waterways are generally planted with perennial grass in annual crop fields and are constructed to convey runoff from concentrated flow areas where gully erosion control is needed. Artists and community members can learn more about these local conservation practices at the exhibit.

A phosphorus cleanup plan for Lake Memphremagog (or TMDL) was approved in 2017 and includes a 46% load reduction from agricultural lands in addition to load reductions from streambanks, forest lands, waste water, and developed lands to meet phosphorus targets in the Lake. In Orleans County in 2017, farmers utilized the Orleans County Conservation District and Natural Resource Conservation Service services to reduce runoff by installing 5,020 feet of trails and walkways, 42,736 feet of fence and 75,000 square feet of heavy use area protection three waste storage facilities. Farmers also planted 2,223 acres of cover crops (a 10% increase from last year) and wrote 27 nutrient management plans. Other landowners wrote 12 forest management plans with NRCS assistance. These numbers do not include state-funded conservation practices or those implemented independently.

Please join us for light refreshments and to recognize all the good efforts farmers are making on Wednesday, February 14th from 5 – 7 pm at the Sterling College Brown Library (1205 N Craftsbury Road, Craftsbury Common) for our opening reception. At 6:00 local conservationists and farmers informally talk about some of these conservation accomplishments in Orleans County and efforts to clean up Lake Memphremagog.

The exhibit will run from February 14th until March 30th. This is a FREE event and open to the public.

CALENDAR INFO

Held at Sterling College Brown Library, sponsored by WonderArts and Memphremagog Watershed Association in collaboration with local farmers and the Orleans County Conservation District.

February 14th, 5-7 pm Reception for Plein Air Exhibit 6:00 Informal Presentations on current conservation efforts.

Title: Waters of Life: Farms and Waters

Contact Title: District Manager
Organization:
Orleans County Natural Resource Conservation District (OCNRCD)
Phone Number:
802-334-6090 x7008
Email Address:
sarah.damsell@vt.nacdnet.net

 

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