Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District promotes sustainable land development and works with private landowners to address their natural resource concerns. By partnering with local, state and federal organizations, the FSWCD provides education and technical assistance to private landowners with issues related to soil, agriculture, water, invasive species, forestry, land development, and other related natural resource issues. Please contact your local legislators to encourage them to support soil & water districts statewide!
Nominations are currently being accepted for 1 open seat on the FSWCD Board of Supervisors.
This is a great opportunity to represent local landowners' interests and contribute to natural resource projects in the Interior! Board members meet about once per month in the evenings. Duties include: oversight on district projects, reviewing budgets and expenditures, signing official documents, contributing ideas for new projects, raising funds for the district, and other related duties. The time investment is about 6hrs per month but can be more if the Board Member is interested.
Nominations are due by December 14th and must be signed by 3 district cooperators. Click here for the nomination form.
FSWCD has been asked to develop a task force to work at solutions to keep Fox Springs available to the public. If you are interest in joining the task force please contact Joni Scharfenberg at 907-479-1713 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the recent Newsminer article here.
New Agricultural Projects for South Side Of Fairbanks
FSWCD was recently awarded a grant to provide technical assistance for gardening and agriculture in south side Fairbanks, an “urban food desert”. This grant will help FSWCD to offer agricultural workshops, promote local community gardens and markets, and offer technical expertise to gardeners. Local partners include JP Jones Community Development Center, Calypso Farms, City of Fairbanks, Breadline Inc., No Limits, Cooperative Extension Service, and others. This project will bring together a diverse group of citizens and organizations to produce food and learn conservation practices. The community will be greener and cleaner, storm water and erosion issues will be addressed, and agricultural assistance will be provided.
Green Infrastructure in North Pole
FSWCD’s two North Pole projects at Memorial Park and City Hall are in their second year of development. Alaska DNR’s Community Forestry Program grant showcases green infrastructure projects. Both locations are along waterways and use a variety of techniques to redirect the rainwater runoff and snowmelt from running directly into the Chena River. This allows the soil to act as a filter before the water enters the ground water system. Working with the contractor Weber Inc., techniques include using a berm and swale combination near the parking lot, sloping the paved walkway away from Chena slough instead of towards it, installing gravel and grass mesh, and practicing strategic planting to reduce erosion. These are all techniques designed to demonstrate that green infrastructure can be used successfully in Alaska. Construction is well underway and we’re looking forward to the grand opening of Memorial Park at the end of the summer. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for the event!
Elodea Success Story: Kenai Peninsula Clarion
Refuge Notebook: Elodea gone from the Kenai Peninsula?
Herbicide Targets Elodea
The Summer 2016 FSWCD Newsletter has just come out! Click here to view it.
Interior Alaska Hay Field Renovation study:
This project will test the effectiveness of four different treatments to improve soil health and hay production on overly compacted, low production hay fields in Interior Alaska. The treatments include:
(1) using an overseeder to seed brome, (2) using an overseeder to seed tillage radishes, (3) overseeding tillage radishes in two consecutive summers, (4) broadcast seeding radishes, and (5) control plots. Tillage radishes are valued for their ability to break up compaction, improve nutrient availability, and improve water infiltration rates.
The project was begun in 2014 and will continue through December 2017. During the summer of 2014, the unusually rainy weather made it impossible to put in the plot treatments. This last summer of 2015 saw year 1 of the treatments being applied. Preliminary observations are that the radishes overseeded into brome hay tend to be outcompeted by the grass and remain very small (up to 6 inches in height). The treatments where the brome hay is sprayed out using Cornerstone and then radishes were broadcast seeded show much better radish growth! Radishes reached about 5 feet in height and had large roots, perfect for breaking up compacted soils.
Click here for the research poster.
For more information, contact Jessica at 479-1213 x108.
Agricultural Trials and Demonstration Projects:
From 2010-2011, FSWCD conducted a Forage Renovation Demonstration investigating the benefits of aeration and urease inhibitor use on hay fields in interior Alaska. To view the brochure, click here. We plan to conduct more agricultural demonstrations in the future as funding allows.
2016 Youth for Habitat Crew Research
FSWCD YouthFor Habitat in partnership with the USFWS assisted the University of Alaska, University of Miami in Ohio, and the USFWS with several research projects including a boreal owl study, invasive weeds "brown down" and Chinook Salmon reproduction in the Chena River.
Our Annual Report for fiscal year '12-'13 is now available to be viewed by clicking here. This document summarizes the work we have done for each FSWCD goal, including:
1. Prevention and Eradication of Noxious & Invasive Species,
2. Conservation of Plant and Soil Resources,
3. Sustainable Agricultural Resources & Economy,
4. Conservation/Maintenance of Water Resources,
5. Conservation of Forest Resources,
6. Education, and
7. Promotion of Affordable Energy
Calendar of Events
Now available online! Click here to see the latest meetings and events!
Ever wanted to plant your own garden or grow the biggest tomatoes in town? FSWCD will be hosting FREE workshops at JP Jones throughout the whole winter. Learn more here!