By Nadia Lorencz
The Mason Times
MASON, Mich.-The Ingham conservation district is urging farmers and community members to integrate permaculture into their landscapes and farms.These plants have multiple functions one of which aids in controlling flooding.
Michelle Beloskur was the coordinator and one of the main speakers of the event. She reported the many accomplishments of the Ingham conservation district and a few things they hope to improve in 2016.
Among the ICD’s main purposes are to connect with local people about local issues. They aim to raise awareness of natural resources and work with landowners to environmentally verify farms and other private lands.
The ICD also plays host to land education workshops that educate farmers on programs that can help them reduce environmental risk on their farm, be more protective of the environment, and also bring awareness to financial support that is available to the community.
Beloskur shared the benefits of getting involved with the ICD.
“It all comes back to the fact that we’re all using the same shared natural resources. We’re all sharing the same soil and water. The better you take care of your natural resources, the better off you’re going to be,” Beloskur said.
Another speaker of the meeting was Michigan State University graduate Egypt Krohn. Her main topic of discussion was permaculture: its benefits and how to integrate it into the community.
Permaculture is a design process that is used when planting organisms. It is a design in which various plants reflect a layout that could be found naturally in the environment and where each plant can have multiple functions.
Krohn spoke of the benefits of integrating permaculture into the community. Although more people are becoming aware of permaculture, it is not widely used by many.
“It’s a way to conserve water especially if you’re growing food on your landscape,” said Krohn. “Permaculture also can improve pollinator habitat which has a lot of ecological benefits.”
The benefits of permaculture include using greywater (water from washing clothes, showering, etc) that normally goes to waste, and integrating it into your landscape to be more environmentally friendly.
The ICD annual meeting is a way for people in the community to learn more about conservation and ways they can volunteer to help make where they live more environmentally friendly.
“It’s a way for me to learn more about what I can do to help keep the community I live in healthy and conserve natural resources for the future,” said MSU student Sean Harrington.
For more information on conservation in Mason and the rest of Ingham County, you can visit their website at inghamconservation.com.