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Toolshed Meeting on Cover Crops


Conservation Series


Newsletter is Now Available

Our January 2020 Newsletter is filled with information on upcoming meetings and sales and well as articles to keep you updated on habitat and conservation opportunities.  



S.T.A.R. - New Press Release Issued

S.T.A.R.'s highlights for 2018:
-  180 participants on 438 fields, for a total of 27,418 acres on Illinois land
-  382 of hte 438 fields participating recieved 3 stars or higher on a 5-star scale, or more than 87 percent.
-  Champaign County is now joined by 42 other Illinois counties also participating in the program. 
S.T.A.R. participants complete a field form that is scored by a local reviewer, which then assigns points for everything from the cover crops used on acreage, to the kinds of fertilizer used for nutrient management at different points before and during the growing season, to various possible conservation practices used on that field to prevent runoff into nearby water sources.
S.T.A.R. uses a science committee of university researchers and other experts to ensure the field forms accurately compare practices used and how those effect the natural resources of the state. Fields are then ranked on the 5-star scale, and participants receive a sign for their fields to identify their S.T.A.R. designation.
The program touts several key benefits for more participation: decreasing nutrient loss in the soil and encouraging other farmers to help meet the state’s nutrient loss reduction goals; increasing net farm income and possible new markets to sell crops grown using conservation practices; and supporting the ongoing work of soil and water conservation districts to preserve and promote the state’s natural resources.

S.T.A.R. for 2019

The S.T.A.R. program is now open for the 2019 Crop Year after a very successful 2018 year. There were 436 fields and 27,157 acres rated for 181 different individuals in 41 different counties! In fact, 41 other counties are now licensed to offer S.T.A.R. program.
In May, 2018, we received a formal endorsement from the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture that can be viewed here.


Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the spring prescribed burn at the Barnhart Prairie a success. 



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St. Joseph Wetland Restoration and Education Project Update:

The CCSWCD is working to complete the educational center at our St. Joseph Wetland site.  Construction began this spring, and the 90' long concrete entrance of Illinois Route 150 is complete.  Donations are being accepted from those who want to be part of this exciting opportunity for environmental education and enjoyment. The education center will include a permeable pavement for parking, bio-retention basins and raingardens, educational signage around a viewing area and seating benches built by high school students at St. Joseph-Ogden.  The site has already been used by many groups and individuals, and the local Boy Scout troop, along with others, will be part of completing the center. Please help us bring this premier outdoor classroom to life so all can learn about the flora and fauna of a wetland.  To learn more, please check out our history and plans for education at the St. Joseph Wetland Restoration and Education Site. 


Event Details

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Conservation Series

07:30 am - 09:30 am


Salt Fork Implementation Committee Meeting

03:30 pm - 05:00 pm


08:00 am - 05:00 pm


Conservation Series

05:00 pm - 07:00 pm


LUC7 Envirothon

08:30 am - 01:30 pm