#5MinuteNatureChallenge

Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Our biggest event of the night was our annual election. It ended with the re-election of supervisor Lance Deal, who was running against Dr. Lois Zook. We appreciate the willingness of both Lance and Lois to serve their county as Board members and District Supervisors. Lance Deal will serve a three year term, ending in 2022. To wrap up our Annual Banquet and Meeting, we had the honor of receiving a Proclamation from the Muskingum County Commissioners. Here is a photo of Commissioners Mollie Crooks and Cindy Cameron presenting that Proclamation. We appreciated their attendance that evening! We also wanted to share a couple of photos of our Board Members, past and present, enjoying the evening. Thanks to all of you for your support of our District over the past 75 years and we look forward to serving you for another 75.
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
The Vernon Farm was founded by Jacob Gaumer in 1819 and is the 5th Registered Bicentennial Farm in Muskingum County. Here we have the official Ohio Department of Agriculture Press Release, honoring Linda Vernon and her family for their 200 year ownership of this Muskingum County farm.
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Our annual meeting and banquet had some very special visitors this year. With this being our 75th anniversary, we wanted to focus on Muskingum County's long farming history and we were lucky to have Kirk Hines from the Ohio Department of Agriculture at our banquet to award one of our residents an award for their farm's bicentennial anniversary. Linda Vernon and her family were in attendance to celebrate their family farm turning 200 years old. That's 200 years in the same family! Their ancestors started their Adams Township farm in 1819, and that isn't totally unusual for Muskingum County. We have a total of 28 farms in Muskingum County that have been owned by the same family for 100 years or more. The oldest farm in Muskingum County was started in the year 1800. We were blessed to have several of those families in attandance at our annual meeting. Pictured below are the Vernon family receiving their award from Kirk Hines and a group photo of some of those Centennial, Sesquicentenial and Bicentennial farm owners. What a wonderful gathering!
Photos by Lynn Wells
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Each year we award an award for the biggest tree in Muskingum County. This years tree belonged to Carl and Linda Vernon. Carl and Linda’s tree is a beautiful White Oak measuring an enormous 210 inches in circumference, 90 feet tall, with a 94 foot average crown width. Thanks to Carl and Linda for their submission this year and congratulations on having the biggest tree for 2019.
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
This year we had many great nominees for our Educational Outreach Award. But we realized that we could not compare apples to oranges. So we decided to award two programs and award a large group and small group award.
The first award presented was to the small group. Board Member Becky Vansickle presented the award to the “emPOWER” Hour for Women Support Group, held in partnership between Eastside Community Ministry and Muskingum Behavioral Health. The group is open to all women freeof cost. The women in this group come from all walks of life and meet on Fridays for fellowship, encouragement, crafts, gardening, and community service.
This summer one of the raised beds at Eastside Community Garden was designated for the emPOWER group and they dedicated their time to the study of butterflies. Melissa and April from our office held an educational presentation on pollinators and pollinator plants. The group then planted native plants that attract butterflies. The group used the life cycle of a butterfly as a metaphor for the changes that we all inevitably go through in our lives. They took field trips to Mission Oaks, Restoration Park, and the Franklin Park Conservatory. The group has come to realize that gardening and being outside in the sunshine has amazing health benefits, both physically and mentally. We also are firm believers that people need to get outside.

The large group award went to Zanesville City Schools. Here you see Board Member Mark Weiser presenting the award Zanesville City School teacher Jessica Stonecypher and one of her students. Zanesville City Schools serves 2,800 students. In 2016, Zanesville City Schools partnered with the District by providing an urban garden space at the community high school. The produce from this garden has gone into the City Schools Summer Lunch Program for three summers now. The garden has been expanded and an educational program was provided by the District. The city schools have installed raised beds at several schools, apple trees have been planted at John McIntire Elementary, and bee hives have been established at the middle/high school campus. Plans are for a small hoop house to be installed for the purpose of raising lettuce and leafy greens to be used in the cafeteria. In addition to urban agriculture, Zanesville City Schools has also worked to develop a zero-waste initiative. The buildings all use washable lunch trays instead of disposable, recycling programs have been established in the middle and high schools, and the middle school diverted over 3,500 pounds of leftover food scraps from the landfill. The Earth Club at the high school holds periodic litter clean up events at the school.
Photos by Lynn Wells
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Muskingum Soil & Water Conservation District
Our Conservation Educator of the year award went to Jeremy Ryan, Agricultural Education teacher at West Muskingum School District. Jeremy is in his 9th year as the Agriculture Education teacher at West Muskingum High School. He teaches a variety of topics, from environmental science to livestock selection, mechanical principles, animal and plant science, animal health and business management.
He also serves as the advisor of the West Muskingum FFA Chapter, and coaches the FFA members in judging teams for livestock, soils, forestry, parliamentary procedure, agricultural sales, public speaking, poultry, equine, wildlife, and nature interpretation. He has had 27 students earn their State FFA Degree out of the 63 total West M has had since 1968 and 9 students earn their American FFA Degree out of the 11 total since 1968.
Jeremy currently has 10 students working on an industry certification sponsored by Ducks Unlimited. This certification is in the area of Ecology Conservation and Management and tests the students’ skills in ecological principles and wildlife management, as well as habitat, forest, grasslands, wetland, and waterfowl conservation management.
Here we have Board Supervisor Mark Weiser presenting Mr. Ryan with his award.
Photo by Lynn Wells
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Our annual meeting and banquet had some very special visitors this year. With this being our 75th Anniversary, we wanted to celebrate our extensive Muskingum County agricultural history. We have a total of 28 farms… https://t.co/CaABU6x9Qu

Our annual meeting and banquet had some very special visitors this year. With this being our 75th anniversary, we wanted to focus on Muskingum County's long farming history and we were lucky to have Kirk Hines from… https://t.co/tE9Jfmzc45

Each year we award an award for the biggest tree in Muskingum County. This years tree belonged to Carl and Linda Vernon. Carl and Linda’s tree is a beautiful White Oak measuring an enormous 210 inches in… https://t.co/QQ1HjoGp48

This year we had many great nominees for our Educational Outreach Award. But we realized that we could not compare apples to oranges. So we decided to award two programs and award a large group and small group… https://t.co/Um0TTmPSK7

Our Conservation Educator of the year award went to Jeremy Ryan, Agricultural Education teacher at West Muskingum School District. Jeremy is in his 9th year as the Agriculture Education teacher at West Muskingum High… https://t.co/3uRTOcUaNj

Our 2019 Friends of Conservation Award winner was none other than Dorothy Montgomery. Growing up on a Muskingum County Century Farm during the depression, Dorothy learned early how important conservation is when her… https://t.co/BhIzw6dKDj