10/21/10 Whether it’s installing filter strips along water ways, development of a nutrient management plan, fencing livestock or using conservation tillage practices on erodible soils, the end result is the same – improvement of neighboring waterways.

A free workshop will be hosted by the Michigan Area Council of Governments (MACOG) in cooperation with the Marshall County and St. Joseph County Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) to inform people about the benefits of agricultural conservation practices to improve water quality.

MACOG has received a Clean Water Act grant to develop a watershed management plan for the Heston-Stock Ditch Headwaters Watershed.  The Watershed is bounded by New Road, Mulberry and Kenilworth Roads in St. Joseph County and 1B Road in Marshall County and includes Lakeville and LaPaz.

Grant activities include development of the watershed plan to improve water quality, conducting a water quality monitoring program, evaluating the water- bodies in the Heston-Stock Ditch headwaters for potential sources of pollution, and identifying who will be responsible for future improvements in the watershed.

Agricultural producers in the watershed are encouraged to attend this informative session, where they will hear about ways they can install conservation practices to improve the environment as well as improve their bottom line.  There will be an opportunity to complete an application through the various funding programs.

The workshop will be held, November 4th from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the LaVille Elementary School Cafeteria.

For more information about the Heston-Stock Ditch Headwaters project or the workshop, contact: Karen Mackowiak at the Michiana Area Council of Governments (574-287-1829) or go to the macog.com website, scroll down to “Heston-Stock Ditch Grant” under “Environmental Planning.”