Local youth establish wildlife habitat in county

Local youth establish wildlife habitat in county

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Since 1985, Earth Team volunteers have been assisting the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) with a multitude of tasks in preserving and improving our nation’s natural resources.
In March, two local groups helped the Union City field office do just that. These projects start with private landowners offering their lands to establish wildlife habitat, improve water quality and reduce soil erosion. NRCS helps with technical and financial assistance, but the main focus is on the volunteers themselves.
The first project was completed by Troop 55 of the Boy Scouts from Union City. “We were pleased to have Troop 55 working with us again this year,” said Matthew Denton, Obion County district conservationist.
There were seven Boy Scouts with three adult Scout leaders and assistants. They planted a mixture of indigobush, wild plum, silky dogwood, southern crabapple and Virginia Pine — all totaling 400 trees and shrubs. This planting was done with funding through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on a Bobwhite Quail project. The Boy Scouts and their Scout leaders logged 28 hours of volunteer time.
Another site was planted by Earth Team volunteers from the Obion County Central High School forestry class instructed by Nick Lucas. Seventeen students and their teacher logged 99 hours of volunteer service on this task. There were about 850 trees and shrubs planted totaling one quarter of a mile, encompassing 1.2 acres of hedgerow and bobwhite quail covey headquarters. Virginia pine, wild plum, silky dogwood, southern crabapple and indigobush were among the species planted. This project was implemented with CRP funding utilizing the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement program.
These two groups worked diligently on these plantings and their help was sincerely appreciated, Denton said. “Part of being a volunteer is service to the agency, but often overlooked is what volunteers gain themselves. These individuals who donated their time and effort will be rewarded knowing that the ‘fruits’ of their hard work will be providing habitat for many wildlife species for years to come.
In 2010, Earth Team volunteers logged more than 660,000 hours of time nationwide.  Anyone can become an Earth Team volunteer. All that is needed is the will and interest in maintaining or enhancing one of our many natural resources.
For questions about these programs, contact the Union City field office or any local USDA Service Center.

Published in The Messenger 5.31.11

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