National Trails Day Celebration, Big Success in Kalkaska

National Trails Day Celebration, Big Success in Kalkaska

Kalkaska North Country Trail (NCT) “Trail Town” partners and the community came together to celebrate National Trails Day in Kalkaska on Saturday, June 2nd. Over 100 people participated in this event in Kalkaska, and over 120,000 people participated nationwide to maintain and celebrate our trails. NCT Trail Town member means that we are part of the NCT Community that supports hikers with services and embraces the trail as a resource. 

Michigan Shoreline Stewards

Michigan Shoreline Stewards

re you a lakefront or riverfront property owner who cares about maintaining and improving your shoreline habitat?

If yes, there are a number of actions you can take to protect the quality of our lakes, rivers and streams. Not only will you be improving water quality, you will be helping to provide better habitat conditions for all types of wildlife including birds, frogs, salamanders, turtles, insects, fish and others.

Right Tree, Right Place

Right Tree, Right Place

We were all getting spring fever, right? Seeing that bare ground, and just patchy snow in the woods, and then the white stuff hit us yet again. No matter! Spring is still on its way. And spring means it’s time once again to think about planting. And the thing you should consider first of all in early spring is planting trees and shrubs.

USDA Offers Renewal Options for Expiring Stewardship Contracts

EAST LANSING, March 5, 2018 — Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to renew their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract.

Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation.

Participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on Dec. 31, 2018 can access the benefits of the recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands.

NRCS will mail contract renewal notification letters to all participants whose contracts expire in 2018, which will contain instructions on how to apply for renewal.

Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by April 13.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, tree and shrub planting for wildlife, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

Some of these benefits of CSP include:

  • Improved cattle gains per acre;

  • Increased crop yields;

  • Decreased inputs;

  • Wildlife population improvements; and

  • Better resilience to weather extremes.

NRCS recently made several updates to the program to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds, and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives. These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit

Kalkaska receives 2018 International Society of Arboriculture Gold Leaf Award for Landscape Beautification

Kalkaska receives 2018 International Society of Arboriculture Gold Leaf Award for Landscape Beautification

The Arboriculture Society of Michigan and the Michigan Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture has awarded the 2018 ISA Gold Leaf Award for Landscape Beautification to the Village of Kalkaska and the Kalkaska Conservation District for the passionate dedication of Staff and Volunteers in planting 50 trees in the Village to replace mature trees lost due to storm damage in August 2015. The award recognizes the well-executed planting of 50 trees by volunteers on Saturday, October 21, 2017.