Only a few months back, the Loudoun County Soil and Conservation District, by a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors authorized $580 thousand dollars to underwrite the cost of best management practices (BMPs) for Loudoun County farmers and landowners, to keep our water free of waste and to resist the erosion of our top soils.
At its last meeting, only days ago, the Board approved eight cost share grants totaling an additional $146 thousand dollars. The voting Directors were James Christian (Chair), James Wylie (Vice Chair), John Flannery (Treasurer), Marina Schumacher, and Jim Hilleary.
This year the Board has authorized about $726 thousand dollars of the Million Dollar grant authorized for Loudoun County from down state.
This is the largest dedication of funds to clean water and rich soil this district has achieved, and we have more authorized funds yet to approve.
We focus on the “nutrients,” the waste that flows into our rivers and streams, and then the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.
On the other hand, we struggle to avoid and stem erosion, as it takes a thousand years to make rich top soil, so it’s nothing to waste.
The funds the District has approved will pay for thousands of feet of fencing (to keep livestock out of streams), troughs so the livestock can get water in the fields and pastures they inhabit, acres of grass, wells, thousands of feet of pipes for water and electricity, vaults, and stream bank protection, a pumping plant, and buffers to protect the soil against erosion.
The local Soil and Conservation District still has funds for more best practices projects – and the District is reaching out for landowners and farmers who could use some help to make it happen.
This program is the Loudoun Soil and Water District’s “cost share program.”
Landowners and farmers should consider whether they are suitable candidates for these cost share programs.
In the recent election, a valued and long serving member of the Board and the district’s Vice-Chair, Jim Wylie was not re-elected despite the Chair’s public call that his service was vital to the Board. Accordingly, by unanimous vote, on motion of the Chair, Jim became an Associate Director, so he could continue to serve the District.
The District had the applications for funding that it did, not only because of its hard working staff, but also because local media outlets let the public know that these cost-share programs were available.
If a landowner or farmer wants more information, may have a situation that could benefit from BMPs, they should visit LSWCD.org or call Loudoun’s Soil and Water Conservation District at 571-918-4530.