Upcoming EMSWCD Board and Committee Meetings

The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD), all of Multnomah County East of the Willamette River, has scheduled Board and Committee Meetings at the District Office (Board Room), 5211 N. Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97217, for the months of May and June 2015. Visit this page to see upcoming meetings.

From our farmers: My journey with organic certification at Headwaters

Headwaters Organic Certification

This is the second in our “From our farmers” series, and was contributed by Sue Nackoney of Gentle Rain Farm, one of the farmers enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

Ever since Jim and I started Livin’ Spoonful, where we make yummy raw food crackers and cookies, we were committed to 100% organic ingredients. In our minds, there was no other way to be offering food to people that was truly nourishing, with the intention of helping them to thrive. That was almost 13 years ago.

Today, with our feet on the ground for our first season at Headwaters, we are finally realizing our vision of growing our own food ingredients for the crackers. It has been such a joy to be able to start Gentle Rain Farm and be a part of this amazing program and opportunity. Read more

We are hiring! New Conservation Program Supervisor and Conservation Technician/Outreach positions

EMSWCD yard

Updated May 15, 2015.

We are excited to announce that we are hiring for two new positions: a Conservation Program Supervisor and a Conservation Technician – Outreach and Education!

The Conservation Program Supervisor will serve as the program supervisor for the Land Legacy and Grants Programs, and also as lead planner for our District, overseeing the development and implementation of our strategic, program-specific and annual plans and reports.

The Conservation Technician – Outreach and Education will serve as the lead for outreach and education for the Rural Lands Program, promoting programs and offerings to rural, private landowners through a wide variety of outreach activities.

Please note: the application period for these jobs ended on May 11th, and we are currently reviewing applications.

Announcing our 2015 Partners in Conservation grants!

Growing gardens

The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) awards $739,322 through its 2015 Partners in Conservation (PIC) grants for conservation and environmental education projects.

We received 34 PIC applications this year, representing projects in each of five grant program areas: restoration and monitoring, stormwater management and urban landscaping, urban gardens and sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and equitable access to conservation benefits. The PIC grant program funds projects through a competitive process in order to support the efforts that are most closely aligned with the EMSWCD’s strategic priorities.

This year, the EMSWCD Board of Directors awarded 24 grants, including two multi-year PIC Plus grants. EMSWCD provides partial funding for most of these projects, with a minimum 1-1 match for all grant amounts over $10,000. EMSWCD’s PIC funding for 2015 will leverage more than $2 million in additional support! A wide variety of projects were funded this year, from a project to restore over 100 acres in the Mirror Lake floodplain to another project that will establish a new community garden at the Floyd Light Middle School in East Portland.

Read the full press release here (PDF), which includes the full list of 24 grant projects and details about each. Learn more about our annual and monthly grants here.

From our farmers: Timing is everything!

Brian of Wild Roots Farm

This piece was contributed by Brian Shipman of Wild Roots Farm, one of the farmers enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program. This is the first in a series “From our farmers”; stay tuned for more Headwaters news soon!

There’s a simple, overused saying that I frequently refer to when making decisions on the farm or in the garden: timing is everything. In the spring, time moves erratically, in fits and spurts that are dictated by our transitioning weather. After spending much time in the winter laying plans and plotting calendar schedules for the upcoming growing season, it is so exciting to see the days lengthen and temperatures rise. All the plans we make in the off-season are so important in the spring, when we don’t have time to waste thinking about numbers, dates and so on. There are basically two modes to a farmer’s year: on- and off-season. For most farmers, winter is off-season – time for rest. The spring is the crucial transitional period when we know the countdown has begun – and it can be a challenge to remain patient knowing the work that lies ahead!

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