What is the Midland Conservation District?
The Midland Conservation District is one of 78 Conservation Districts in Michigan. Michigan Conservation Districts are “unique” local units of State Government, established to carry out conservation programs. Conservation Districts utilize state, federal, and private sector resources to assist people with the wise use and protection of the natural resources on their lands.
When Conservation Districts were first established in the Dust Bowl Era, they worked mostly with farmers, ranchers and forest owners,
but landscapes have changed and districts have adapted. Like other types of landscapes, urban and suburban communities face natural resource challenges.
Click Here to take you to a great video about Hugh Hammond Bennett : The Father of Soil Conservation"
Water quality and quantity, air quality, non-native invasive species, habitat degradation and reductions in open space all affect land-use management in developed and developing areas.
Districts are helping to address these natural resource issues across the nation. Past research has shown that close to 70 percent of the nation’s conservation districts are involved in some form of urban and community conservation.
These include soil interpretation-protection, urban erosion and sediment control, tree planting and management, invasive species management,
Conservation Districts continually scan the needs of their local communities, work in partnership with others involved in conservation to set local priorities, and develop action plans to solve natural resource problems. The delivery of these efforts by Conservation Districts allows citizens to manage their private lands for a cleaner, healthier Michigan.
The Midland Conservation District is governed by a locally elected, five-member Board of Directors.
The Directors make decisions regarding the District’s programs and activities, and hire qualified staff. The staff provide information, technical assistance, workshops, public education, and cost-share opportunities, as well as affordable trees/shrubs to enhance wildlife and reforestation.
For more information about Michigan Conservation Districts, please visit the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts.
As early as 1935 USDA managers began to search for ways to extend conservation assistance to more farmers. They believed the solution was to establish democratically organized soil conservation districts to lead the conservation planning effort at the local level. To create a framework for cooperation, USDA drafted the Standard State Soil Conservation Districts Law, which President Roosevelt sent to the governors of all the states in 1937.
The first soil conservation district was organized in the Brown Creek watershed of North Carolina on August 4, 1937. Today, there over three thousand conservation districts across the country. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/about/history/?cid=nrcs143_021392
Midland Conservation District Mission
The mission of the Midland Conservation District is to find environmentally cooperative means for land usage and sustainability by providing a gateway for information, resources and partnership.
Goals: The primary goals for the Midland Conservation District are to provide landowners with assistance and education about available financial and technical assistance and to provide general natural resources information to citizens of Midland County.
Programs: The Midland Conservation District assists landowners and managers to better manage for their conservation, wildlife and forestry goals. Our forestry and wildlife professional provides natural resource guidance and assistance to landowners in the development of private land projects. Providing technical information as well as information on existing programs and financial assistance that may be available
Board of Directors:
Karen Thurlow - Administrator/ District Manager
has been a business manager for over 40 years, is a business owner, a Farmer & Beekeeper and has lived in Midland all her life. Karen is passionate about conservation practices of all types, youth education about conservation and agriculture are a big priority.
She is certified in environmental education programs, Project Learning Tree (American Forest Foundation) and Project Wild (DNR).
Karen is currently on the Coleman Agriscience Advisory Board and Land Lab Planning Committee. She also is a volunteer at MCTV and Dahlia Hill.
Karen was appointed by the state as a board member in 2014 to restart the district after a brief shut down and has been the administrator since January of 2015 and is thankful to have this opportunity.
Laura Norcutt- Chairman
Retired Federal Wildlife Biologist with 32 years working for the US Peace Corps, USDA and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Experience includes aquaculture, wildlife damage management, natural resource plan development, and aquatic invasive species. In October 2017 moved to Midland County with husband to 40 acre property in Sanford. We plan to manage it for wildlife, honey bees, chickens, vegetables and fruit. Laura also wants to work with the community to help promote renewable land management and sustainable agricultural practices.
Mary Johnson-Vice Chair
holds a BA from the University of Michigan. She is a retired social worker and has been a Master Gardener Volunteer for Michigan State University since 1993. She and her husband own a small, 8 acre, property in Midland County where they grow flowers and vegetables. Gardening, preservation of farm life and the enjoyment of the outdoors are very important parts of her life. As a member of the Midland County Master Gardener Association, she is committed to encouraging good gardening practices and IPM.
Is a Retired Chiropractor who practiced for 38 yrs. I raised a family in the surrounding community. It was my life’s mission and work to care for patients concerned about their well being. It is an easy fit to be involved in the Midland Conservation District for the health of our environment and the resultant benefit to our world.
was born and raised in the community on a family farm. An experienced retired Bridge builder involved with structural engineering. Close to the environment and conservation daily. Is involved in gardening, farming and has a cow-calf operation.
He wants to help build a stronger community with the Midland Conservation District.
I am a retired pharmacy technician, and a former 4 H leader for Midland County.
I want to help and learn about improving conservation and agricultural practices.
Board Meeting Schedule 2020 : (Open to the Public 7 - 9 PM)
Location: USDA Office, 954 E. Isabella Rd, Midland MI. 48640-8230
Click Here for 2020 Meeting Schedule
Approved Minutes (click date to follow link to minutes)
October 15, 2019 Draft
September 19, 2019
August 20, 2019
July 16, 2019
June 18, 2019
May 21, 2019
April 16, 2019
March 19, 2019
February 19, 2019
January 15, 2019
December 18, 2018
November 20, 2018
October 16, 2018 No Meeting Held
Any meeting minutes are available Via Email request.