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Watershed Wonders 

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

   

 

This term may or may not be familiar to many of you reading this article. Let us get one thing covered: a watershed is not a shed that has water in it, but is a term that has a very important meaning when we delve into the realm of water movement through the environment and also water quality. It is important to know that water quality is certainly everyone’s business as we all play a role in how good or bad that our water quality is based on our daily activities. Through this week’s article, we will explore what the term watershed means, how water moves through our environment, basics about factors influencing water quality, why we need healthy watersheds, and what we can all do to ensure a healthy water source.

  

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Ohio Wildlife: Hummingbirds 

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

Hummingbirds are truly something to admire not only for their beauty but also for the services they provide to their environment especially when we think about the work they do as pollinators. How much do you know about hummingbirds? Where do they live? How did they get their name? Just how fast do their wings move? What all do they eat? These are just a few of the many questions that I will answer as we learn about one of nature’s amazing creatures, the hummingbird. This article will focus on one hummingbird that calls Ohio home, the ruby-throated hummingbird.

    

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 Basics of Composting

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

  

The first question that many of you likely have is what in the world does the word vermicomposting even mean? In the programs that our office offers on this topic, many students and adults alike turn their heads when they see this word appear. Vermicomposting is a unique concept that is gaining popularity as people are looking to ways they can be better stewards of the environment and our natural resources. In this article, we will look at what vermicomposting means, how it works, how you can get started, and the benefits of composting.

 

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Vernal Pools

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

 Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

Surely many read the title to this article and may have instantly been left wondering if this was truly an article about nature. Fear not, this is an article about a unique natural feature that dots the landscape of Ohio. Vernal pools are found in many forested areas of Ohio and find themselves home to a wide variety of both plants and animals. Through this article, we will answer several questions by explaining what vernal pools are, the functions they serve, the plants and animals of vernal pools, where they are located, and how to maintain them. Let’s look at a little-known feature of our natural landscape.

  

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Grubs

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

 Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

Have you ever noticed that your grass pulls up off the ground like a loose piece of carpet? Chances are that you have the pest that is the focus of this week’s column, grubs. What are these creatures of nature and how do they impact your environment? How do you control their impact? These questions and more will be answered as we look at yet another feature of our natural environment.

 

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Ohio Wildlife: The Muskrat

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

 Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

The time has come for another installment of our Ohio Wildlife Series. This week we will feature an animal that some might be familiar with while others may not be, the muskrat. Many of you may have seen this animal before but may have confused with a beaver, which is a close guess, as they are both members of the rodent family. Where do these animals live? What do they eat? What do they look like and how do I tell them apart from the beaver? Read on in this article to find out more about another animal that calls Ohio home. 

 

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Basics of Pond Care 

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

 Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

So you may have had a pond for some time, recently purchased property with a pond, or are thinking about digging a pond. For those of you who may be getting into pond care, you will likely first wonder where you should even start. Whom can I go to in order to find information on caring for my pond? How do I control weeds and algal blooms around my pond? What tips are out there to keep my pond healthy? These are questions that loom in the minds of many pond owners, so let us look at how we can have healthy, vibrant ponds that aid to the aesthetics of our properties and that are good for recreational opportunities such as swimming or fishing.

 

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 Understanding Agricultural BMP's

 

  By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

  

As a Soil & Water Conservation District, we want to provide those we serve with the tools and information they need to be good stewards of our precious natural resources. Many of you may be aware that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the Western Lake Erie Basin as an impaired waterway. According to the Ohio Sea Grant, this helps to clear the way for additional action to combat pollution that causes harmful algal blooms (HABs) to occur on Lake Erie. There are many best management practices (BMPs) that can be implemented which help to combat problems associated with runoff and soil loss. What are these practices? Where can you find information on them? 

 

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Getting Value from Soil Testing

  

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

  

With the recent news that the Ohio EPA designated the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) as impaired due to high nutrient levels found in the area, the time seems right to talk about one very important best management practice (BMP), soil testing. While many producers and landowners already employ such practice, do we know how to get the most value from a soil test that will help manage soil nutrients? Soil testing is an excellent practice to employ as it helps to gauge the nutrient levels of the field and fine tune practices with nutrient management. 

 

 

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Ohio Wildlife: Groundhogs

 

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

 Throughout our Ohio Wildlife series, we have looked at some of the animals that call Ohio home. These animals come in a variety of sizes, colors, and behaviors that make them all unique in some way. This installment looks at another animal found well throughout Ohio in all 88 counties, the woodchuck, otherwise known as the groundhog. How much do you know about this animal such as its habitat, behavior, or how many there are? Read on to find out more!

 

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Relaxing with Nature

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist 

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

 It is a common fact of life in our modern society that we are always on the go. Meetings, children in sports, family responsibilities, or work responsibilities seem to dominate our lives and give us plenty of stress. Technology is everywhere as just about everyone has a smartphone, tablet, computer, or some other electronic device that seems to grab our attention more than anything. Is there something that can be done to unplug and destress from this on the go lifestyle? Does it cost anything? The solution to unplugging and reducing your stress is quite simple actually: Get Outdoors!

 

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Understanding Paulding County Soils

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

How much do you know about the soils that make up Paulding County?

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The Wonders of Wetlands

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

How much do you know about wetlands? 

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Coexisting with Wildlife

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

Humans and wildlife are sharing the same resources. How do you make sure that there are no conflicts with wildlife? 

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Ohio Wildlife: The Mink

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

Ohio is home to some amazing wildlife. How much do you know about the mink? 

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Exploring Ohio's Geology

 

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

 

Rocks are formed by many different ways. Paulding Elementary 3rd graders went on a journey through the rock cycle and put their identification skills to the test to identify some rocks. 

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Attracting Birds All Year Long

  

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

  

We all enjoy sitting outdoors in the morning or evening and listen to the birds singing their harmonious and pleasant songs. The sounds of cardinals, blue jays, and robins are simply music to the ears in the opinion of many a bird lover. What are the tricks to attracting these voices of nature to your backyard and bring them back time after time? Let’s look at some ways that we can attract birds to our yards while also helping them at the same time. 

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What is a Soil & Water Conservation District?

 By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

 Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

  

 

How much do you know about the Paulding Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) or SWCD’s in general? Do you know the services we offer or our mission? After reading the articles that we publish, it only makes sense to give a little background on who we are and what we do to serve the residents of Paulding County. 

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Wildlife Feature: Coyote & Skunk

  

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

   

In two articles on Ohio Wildlife, we have discovered some interesting facts on the deer, fox, wild turkey, and the beaver. Of course, there are plenty more animals which call our great state of Ohio home. In part 3 of our Ohio Wildlife species, we will feature the coyote and the skunk. In this article we will discuss their habitat, diet, behavioral characteristics, as well as, some new interesting facts that may not be well-known.

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Smart Planting Tips for Pollinators!

  

By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

   

While spring may be the farthest thing from your mind right now, that does not mean we cannot think warm thoughts of green grass, bountiful flowers, birds chirping, and pollinators buzzing around of course! Many of us enjoy these sights and sounds, but they would not be possible without those pollinators moving from place to place. As a homeowner, there are several things that you can do to support these creatures in both your landscaping and gardens.

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Fun with Fossils

 By: Patrick Troyer, Education Specialist

 Email: patrick.troyer@pauldingswcd.org

   

 

What types of plants or animals live long ago but are no longer in existence? How do we know they existed? For those answers, we look to the fossil record which provides a wealth of information on what once existed on the Earth. More than likely you have heard of the term fossil, but do you know what they are or how they form? Payne Elementary 4th graders had these questions and more answered when they enjoyed a program on fossils and had the opportunity to identify some..

 

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