[Download a registration form for this course at http://www.vbco.org/watershedcourse.asp]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2006
Marcy Colclough, Southwestern Michigan Planning Commission, (269) 925-1137 x25
Erin Fuller, Van Buren Conservation District, (269) 657-4030 x5
Learn to protect water quality at watershed management course
Protecting water quality takes more than cleaning up one lake or river - it means looking at all the surface and groundwater bodies that flow together in one watershed. Learn to care for your local watershed by attending Directing the Flow: A Watershed Management Short Course, October 3- 31 at the Van Buren Conference Center in Lawrence, Michigan.
Local officials, students, builders, developers, farmers, residents and others concerned with water quality and land use in your community are invited to attend this program, which will focus on understanding local watersheds. The course will address watershed science, local history of water use, land use impacts on water quality, accessing local tools and resources to protect your lake, stream or river and a watershed tour and field experience.
"This program will give people a great opportunity to learn about their water resources and how land uses can affect them," says Marcy Colclough, course coordinator. "The information won’t come from some far away place, it will be local and relevant information that is useful to citizens and decision makers in Allegan, Van Buren and Berrien Counties."
There will not only be opportunities to learn about watershed issues and water quality, but also opportunities to network with others in southwest Michigan facing similar challenges in protecting water quality and managing growth and development.
The Watershed Short Course will be held from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. every Tuesday night in October. Dinner will be served from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. with the program following each night. There will also be a watershed tour and luncheon on Saturday, October 28. Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits may be available for taking the course.
The registration fee is only $50. The course includes 5 dinners, course materials, tour and lunch. The reduced cost is made possible by the program funders and sponsors including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality through a grant for the Black and Paw Paw River Watersheds, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, JF New and the Bangor Downtown Development Authority. The registration deadline is September 28, 2006. Be sure to register as soon as possible, because seating is limited. The first 20 to register will receive a $20 refund of the registration fee. Call the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission at (269) 925-1137 x25 for more information or to receive a registration form. Forms are also available at http://www.vbco.org/watershedcourse.asp.
This course is being coordinated by the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission and the Van Buren Conservation District with support from the following partners: Van Buren County MSUE, Kellogg Biological Station Land and Water Program, Berrien County MSUE, Berrien County Conservation District, Friends of the St. Joseph River, Sarett Nature Center, Southwest Michigan City Management Association, Allegan County Math and Science Center, Kalamazoo Conservation District, Allegan Conservation District, Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail Association, The Nature Conservancy, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Black River Watershed Coordinator
Van Buren Conservation District
1035 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Phone: (269) 657-4030 x 5
Fax: (269) 657-4925