Friday, May 21, 2010

Alabama Smart Yards Program

There's a new publication available to homeowners titled Alabama Smart Yards It is available at this link, but please realize it is a large publication to download or print   This publication was a team effort between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association, the Alabama Master Gardeners Association, and the Auburn University Department of Horticulture.  Quoting the publication "Conservation and efficient, responsible use of our natural resources is the overriding concept and the educational goal of the Alabama Smart Yards (ASY) program. Participating in this process will save you time, energy, and money while preserving our natural heritage."  This 100-page publication details subjects such as landscape design, planting, watering, mulching, wildlife, pests, stormwater, and protecting waterfronts.  The publication was recently mentioned at one of the Rock Creek Watershed meetings, and wanted to highlight it here. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May Council Meeting

The next Winston County Natural Resources Council meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 20th, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  Agenda items include a review of the Natural Resources Field Day, and the grant proposals to be submitted to the Winston County Commission to support the FAWN program and the Youth Fishing Derby.

Winston County Rainfall

About a year ago, I began keeping rainfall records as part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).  One of the nice features of the network is that anyone can get a "station precipitation summary report" for any time period of interest.   When I requested the summary for the past year for my station, AL-WN-1, the total came to 75.04 inches.  According to this map, our average annual rainfall is about 52 inches.

The rain gauge required by CoCoRaHS is about $30.  It will hold 11 inches of rain and is accurate to a hundredth of an inch.  Rainfall is reported over the internet each morning between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Another Winston County resident, Charles Brannon in Addison, also reports rainfall each morning; our reports are viewable at this link.  This link is always available in the links section of this blog.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Renew Our Rivers

Please come out to Houston Recreation Area June 17 - 19 for the "Renew Our Rivers" Smith Lake Clean-up. Annual clean-ups on Smith Lake in Winston County are sponsored Alabama Power Company, Winston County Smith Lake Advocacy Inc, Winston County Commission, Bankhead National Forest, and numerous local organizations, merchants and volunteers. The target of this June's clean-up is loose styrofoam and litter, which will be accepted at the Houston Recreation Area boat ramp. A volunteer appreciation picnic will be held on Saturday, June 19. Please join us to help keep Smith Lake clean and beautiful!

A flyer for the clean-up is at the following link.

Please print and post!

Kids Fishing Derby

Bankhead National Forest's annual kids fishing derby is set for June 5, 2010 at the Black Warrior Work Center on Hwy 33 North. Please help us spread the word and post the attached flyer around the County. The kids fishing derby is targeted at youth ages 5 - 12 and promotes wise use of our fish & wildlife resources.

Anyone interested in volunteering or assisting with the derby can contact Allison Cochran at 205-489-5111 or

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fourth Annual Winston County Natural Resources Field Day

The Fourth Annual Winston County Natural Resources Field Day was held recently at Randy and Linda Moody's and Lennith and Shelia Hill's Farm. In my view, the participation was excellent. Here's a listing of the type participants at the field day:

18  Instructors
21  Volunteers
11  Foresters receiving Continuing Education Units
45  Loggers receiving Professional Logging Manager
        (PLMs) points
30  Private landowners (not including loggers that are also private
1    Bloodhound

Total 125

Each logger received 6.0 PLM points and foresters received 4.0 continuing education credits.   Registration went smoothly, the tour guides kept everyone on track, the speakers did a good job, the weather cooperated, the food was excellent, and the helicopter was able to land.  Thanks to all the speakers and volunteers, the Bankhead National Forest staff, the Winston-Marion-Franklin AFC work group, the Winston County 4-H'ers, and all the WCNRC members who assisted on this team project. Here's some photo's from the event.