Monday, March 30, 2009

District Supervisor Elections

Dugdemona Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Election for 2009.
The Dugdemona SWCD serves Jackson, Winn, and Caldwell Parish west of the Ouachita River.

OPENS: APRIL 1, 2009
CLOSES: APRIL 30, 2009

For individuals interested in serving,
Nomination Petitions can be obtained at:
Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District
301 West Main Street, Suite 210
Winnfield, LA 71483

Petitions must be completed between April 1and April 30, 2009 and must be postmarked PRIOR to May 1, 2009. For more information please call: 318-628-4438 or
email us at

Election will be held on Saturday June 13, 200

The Dugdemona Soil & Water Conservation District encompasses all of Winn and Jackson Parishes and a portion of Caldwell Parish. Concerned and eligible landowners in Caldwell, Jackson and Winn parishes have an opportunity to help manage and conserve the natural resources in this area by serving on the Dugdemona Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) Board. If the issues and programs stated in this document interest you, please call Vikkie Lafollette at 628-4438.

I. Mission: To provide leadership, education, and technical assistance through conservation planning and programs to assist all land-users in solving the needs to conserve, sustain and improve the soil, water, and other natural resources in the

Vision: To be recognized as the community leader by establishing partnerships and coordination plans of action to achieve soil and water conservation.

II. Goals and Objectives:
· Establish soil and water conservation policy for the SWCD.
· Assess resource needs.
· Develop strategies to address these needs.
· Provide quality conservation education to Parish educators and school children.
· Provide land users with technical assistance.
· Develop programs to address local natural resource problems.
· Serve as a focal point for addressing local natural resource issues and coordinating various programs to help solve identified concerns.

III. Legal Authority:
Title 3, Section 1201-1219 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes defines a Soil & Water Conservation District as a governmental subdivision of the State of Louisiana, and a public body corporate and politic.

IV. Current Major Issues:
· Landowners needing technical assistance
· Surface Water Quality
· Coastal wetland loss
· Cropland erosion
· Invasive/Non-native plant species
· Urban storm water runoff
· Insufficient operating funds

V. Major Programs and Activities:
· Federal Farm Bill conservation programs
· CWA Section 319 agricultural cost-share program
· Conservation equipment rentals
· Tree seedling sales
· Approval of conservation plans
· Review of Parish planning proposals
· Conservation educational programs for Agricultural producer, school, and civic groups
· Publish SWCD newsletter
· Revise and publish annual business plan and annual report.
VI. Funding Sources:
· State government
· Local governments (Police Jury, Drainage Board)
· Local business and organization donations
· Competitive grants
· Federal grants, cooperative interagency agreements
· Tree sales and equipment rentals
· Educational workshops and seminars

VII. Expectations of SWCD Supervisors:
· Take advantage of SWCD supervisor training opportunities
· Attend board and conservation related meetings
· Participate in district programs and activities
· Serve on a LACD (Louisiana Assoc. of Conservation Districts) committee
· Be involved and responsible for SWCD program direction
· Promote soil and water conservation in the community
· Help manage SWCD staff
· Represent the SWCD in public
· Help secure financial resources
. Attend local, reional, state and national meetings

VIII. Benefits of being a SWCD Supervisor:
· Representing locals resource concerns
· Providing a voice and a service for the citizens within your SWCD
· Satisfaction of providing your time to improve the environment and sustaining local resources
· Being actively involved with assistance and educational programs
· Provide leadership in community resource conservation

Items To Consider Before Submitting a Nomination

  1. Do you understand and are you committed to the mission of the District?
  2. Can you devote the time, resources, and energy required of a SWCD board member?
  3. Do you understand the roles and responsibilities of the District?
  4. Are you willing to attend meetings regularly, making them a priority for the duration of your term?
  5. Are you willing to participate in the necessary training, education, and development activities?
  6. Will you actively serve on District and LACD Committees?

If you are unable to answer any of these questions, please contact the SWCD Chair at (318) 628-4438 for more information.

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 3, 2009 Water Festival

Water resources are vital to the health and well-being of our society…..even here in Louisiana, where water is often taken for granted. Water is a life sustaining non-renewable resource. As water quality and conservation issues continue to grow it is important that our children learn how they can contribute to its wise use and protection.

For this reason, this effort titled “Make a Splash with Project WET” was funded in part by the Caldwell, Jackson and Winn Parish Police Juries. The festival on beautiful Caney Lake consisted of structured learning stations and exhibits where students actively engaged in hands-on water activities and investigations. Student groups rotated from one activity station to the next where activities included topics such as the hydrologic cycle, ground water, watersheds, soils, water quality and the Sparta Aquifer.

On March 3, 2009 approximately 300 4th grade students and 47 educators from Caldwell, Jackson and Winn parish schools made the trip to Jimmie Davis State Park in Chatham, Louisiana to take part in an effort to raise an awareness of the need for water education and conservation. The objective of this annual event is to highlight the role of water in people’s everyday lives and to teach children of the science and history of water, one of our most essential natural resources.

The students who attended the festival came from schools within the Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District. Each teacher and student left the festival with a commemorative bag containing useful educational items including journals for the students to record their experiences and knowledge gained from each of the activities. All educators who attended this festival strongly agree that these Project WET activities expose children to the important subject of resource conservation in a way that both compliments and reinforces traditional classroom learning. That, in itself, is fun and exciting.

There is no question of the vast enjoyment the students receive from this type of activity participation, but most importantly the students gain critical knowledge of water and other natural resources and some basic components of resource conservation and management. With the goal of increasing conservation education and awareness in mind, we educated and trained over 60 high school students from Caldwell, LaSalle, Jackson and Winn parish schools prior to and during this event. Those students were presenters, presenter assistants and volunteers through the entire event.

This annual event would not be possible without the support, commitment and dedication from the generous collaboration of our sponsor, the conservation partnerships, volunteers and individuals in our community.

We would like to thank the Acadia, Bodcau, Boeuf River, Caddo, Calcasieu, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Northeast & Sabine Soil & Water Conservation Districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, Trailblazer RC&D, the La. Dept of Environmental Quality, the La. Dept of Agriculture & Forestry, the US Forest Service, AmeriCorps, FFA and 4-H students, teachers, principals and School Boards from Caldwell, Jackson and Winn parishes, and the numerous volunteers.
We also thank the sponsors of the event. These sponsors are the Jackson Parish Police Jury, the Winn Parish Police Jury, the Caldwell Parish Police Jury, Caldwell Bank & Trust, Weyerhaeuser Company, Homeland Federal Savings Bank, Jackson Parish Farm Bureau, Bank of Winnfield and Jackson Parish State Bank. We know times are extremely difficult in the current economic climate, yet you have not waivered in your commitments to the conservation effort, words cannot fully express our gratitude; the water festival would not possible without your dedication to conservation. Together, we made a difference.

Please click on the links below to view pictures from this year’s festival.
And for part two go to:

The water festival is an annual event that takes place during each school year. The 2009-2010 water festival is expected to take place in October of 2009. If you would like to be a sponsor of this event or other conservation programs, you would like to volunteer or have any questions please contact Vikkie Lafollette at the Dugdemona Soil and Water Conservation District at (318) 628-4438 or

Were you a presenter, volunteer, teacher, student or sponsor of this event? If so please fell free so make comments on this event or any other conservation issues. We would love to hear from you!