A better tomorrow, today

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Dec 16, 2013
Just a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Sandusky River Watershed Coalition’s Annual meeting.
 
Committee members shared with the audience the highlights of activities and accomplishments of projects over the past year.
 
It’s encouraging to learn that our common goals — those of the soil and water conservation district and the Coalition members — are designed to help us all make the necessary land-use adjustments to improve and protect our natural resources. 
 
Many of us recognize our foremost task as the stewards of our land and water resources, to take the best care possible of them so they can take care of us.
 
Way too many streams have been polluted and other resources depleted or destroyed because we haven’t taken it serious enough. And it goes beyond political party affiliations. Developers and community planners are responsible, but so are many others.
 
From businesses, big and small, to every farmer and private landowner, we have to each do our part and work together to ensure the sustainability of our ecosystems.

American lawyer and political leader William Jennings Bryan once said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice; it’s not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved” So, we can sit and wait for someone else to do something, or we can choose to join in and assume our vital role in the planning process. It’s inevitable population growth will continue. Even so, it’s within our capacity to determine how we will grow and what we are willing, or not willing, to sacrifice.

Whatever we do, good or bad, determines our environmental future. Whether it’s recycling, establishing a riparian buffer or managing the storm water runoff, incorporating the best management practices can and will make a noticeable difference. Maybe not overnight, but the important point to remember is that our everyday activities affect our watersheds, our ecosystems, wildlife and us. It’s a choice we are making each day.

The Christmas season seems to always foster an attitude of giving and caring, something we can never have too much of. With few exceptions, someone lives downstream of each of us; it is our responsibility to care for and about others. Oftentimes it boils down to each of us either making a good decision or a bad decision, perhaps based on the information we have. We owe it to ourselves, our children, or in the soil and water district’s situation, the people we serve and assist to learn as much as we can about our watersheds, ecosystems and the environment.

Agricultural operators and farm landowners in our surrounding area might want consider a “Soil Health Workshop” slated to be held at the Huron Township Conservation Club on January 14. Topics that will be covered by Jim Hoorman, who is with the OSU Extension, include soil ecology and nutrient recycling and ecological farming practices, among other conversations. Space is limited. For more information about the workshop or to submit your reservation, contact the Erie Soil and Water Conservation District.

As American vaudeville performer and naturalist Charles Kellogg once said, “As a farmer, man himself became closely attached to the landscape, firmly rooted to the soil that supported him. At times the soil seemed bountiful and kindly and again stubborn and unfriendly, but it was always a challenge to man’s cunning” The farmer knows how to turn the soil and how to harvest a crop.

The message we have today is how managing our farms for soil health has proven to be one of the easiest and most effective tools “to increase crop productivity and profitability while improving the environment.

May we determine to always do the best we can, making a difference today for a better tomorrow.