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The primary responsibility of the Ionia Conservation District is to protect our natural resources. We encourage the use of land and water within the limits of its capabilities, and encourage the treatment of each acre with the proper protection and improvement it may need.
In addition, we acquaint communities with the importance of soil and water conservation, and assist residents with conservation concerns. Through many public programs, we not only educate and serve, but do our best to make wise use of natural resources A FUN EXPERIENCE FOR ALL!
Please take some time to browse through our website, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions. We’re here to serve.
Your Ionia Conservation District works with many state and regional programs to bring you information and resources. Some of these are depicted below, and there are many more. With the help of these agencies, we offer a host of programs throughout the year. Please visit our Programs Page to see what's on our calendar!
2016 Free Well Water Screening
Why should you be worried about knowing how much nitrate is in your drinking water? Nitrates and nitrites are molecules made of nitrogen and oxygen that can combine with various organic and inorganic compounds. When high nitrate levels enter the blood stream, the bloods' ability to carry oxygen can be severely and negatively impacted. This condition can be especially dangerous in young babies less than 6 months old, causing a disease commonly referred to as "blue baby syndrome". High nitrate levels may also be detrimental to the health of pregnant women and individuals who already have diseases or conditions that impact their bloods' ability to carry oxygen.
High nitrate levels in water can be caused by multiple factors; however, the major sources include runoff from fertilizer usage, sewage leaking from septic tanks, and erosion of natural deposits within the aquifer.
The Ionia Conservation District will screen drinking water well samples for nitrate and nitrite on July 11, 2016. The hours are 9:00 am through 5:00pm for dropping off samples. Samples can be brought to the Ionia Conservation District office at 431 Swartz Ct, Suite #300, Ionia. There is no fee to participants. The screening is open to everyone who uses a personal well for drinking water. The number of samples that can be tested is limited to 3 per household.
This service is for private drinking water wells only. Please do not bring samples from public water supplies (as these are already tested regularly), or non-drinking water sources. A one-ounce sample of water is sufficient, and can be transported in any small, clean jar. Directions for collecting a good water sample inlcude:
1. Collect samples just before getting them to the sample drop-off. Samples must be less than 48 hours old for a valid nitrate test.
2. Fill out the water sample information sheet. A copy of this form will be available when samples are dropped off; a printable form is also available by clicking here: Water Screening Information Sheet
3. Pick a tap that supplies water that has not run through any treatment devices (water softener, carbon filter, etc.). An outdoor faucet often works well.
4. Run the water for 20 - 30 minutes before collecting the sample. This will give the pump time to flush the water pressure tank and plumbing so you can collect a valid sample. Disconnect any hoses before collecting the sample; do not sample through a hose. Rinse the sample bottle and lid thoroughly in the water to be sampled, and then fill and cap the bottle.
5. Label the bottle clearly with your name, the sampling date and the well name (cottage well, Mom's well etc.) using a waterproof pen. Put the sample information sheet into a waterproof bag, and then seal the water sample and the information page into a second waterproof bag.
6. Keep the sample dark and cold (on ice or refrigerated) until it is dropped off.
All results are confidential. Participants will be mailed a copy of their results in 8 to 10 weeks, with information about what they can do if the concentration of nitrate or nitrite is too high.
You can get more information about this event and copies of submission forms from Ben Galbraith (MAEAP Technician) with the Ionia Conservation District Office at (616) 527-2620 ext. 113.
This screening is sponsored by the Ionia Conservation District and the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). It is paid for by funds generated from the Michigan pesticide and fertilizer registration and tonnage fees.
2016 Ionia County Conservation Photo Contest
Do you have beautiful nature pictures that you would like to share? Enter them in the 2015 Ionia County Conservation Photo Contest for a chance to win prizes and share your nature-themed pictures with the residents of Ionia County!
The 2016 Ionia County Conservation Photo Contest will include four photo categories:
- Families and Farm Animals
- Natures Gifts
- Wildlife and Landscapes
- Farm Equipment Old and New
Three top winners will be selected for each category. Each first place winner will receive a $25.00 Meijer gift card, each second place winner will receive a gift certificate for $15.00 worth of native trees or wildflowers from the Ionia Conservation District and each third place winner will receive a gift certificate for $10.00 worth of native trees or wildflowers from the Ionia Conservation District.
Winning photographs will be displayed and awarded at ICD's Annual Meeting, which will be held on March 22, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Photo Contest Rules:
Entries must be submitted by 4:30 pm, March 7, 2016
Completed Entry Form (s) and Photo Release Form (s) must be sent for photo to be eligible
Photos must be taken within the State of Michigan (unless the category specifies that it be taken within Ionia County)
Total of four photographs, one for each category, may be submitted in total
Photographs must be submitted in a digital format
Click HERE to download copies of Photograph Entry Forms, Photograph Release Forms and Model Release Forms
Click HERE to read the full list of rules and for additional information on submitting photographs
All questions regarding the 2015 Ionia County Conservation Photo Contest should be sent to the Ionia Conservation District at (616) 527-2620 ext. 101 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Directors
The Conservation District is served by an elected Board of Directors who each serve a four year term.
Art Pelon - Chairman (616) 761-3952
Ed Blyth - Vice Chairman
Betsy Koehnlein - Secretary/Treasurer
Pat Maurer - Member
Carolyn Lindberg - Member
Melissa Eldridge, District Manager (616) 527-2620 ext. 101 email@example.com
Ben Galbraith, MAEAP Technician (616)-527-2620 ext. 113 firstname.lastname@example.org