• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Conservation Authority offers funding for projects that protect soil and water

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In Agencies
Nov 10th, 2017
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Livestock in a watercourse can lead to bacterial and other contamination -Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association photo

Livestock in watercourse can lead to bacterial and other problems – Ontario Soil Crop Improvement Association

Farmers and others with projects that target environmental threats or enhance natural environments may be eligible

by Mary Riley Brock Citizen

Farmers and other residents looking for ways to reduce threats to local waterways and lands may have funding resources available from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA).

An example of funding is to target phosphorus run-off, a threat raised in the Environment Commissioner’s recently-released report on the environment.

Melissa Rosato, communications specialist for LSRCA’s lands and stewardship, says the agency welcomes innovative ideas, and while there is an extensive list of projects eligible for funding, “if your idea isn’t on the list, by all means, talk to us about it.”

Using phosphorus-limiting projects as an example, Rosato said both urban and rural run-off is a threat to creeks and rivers and ultimately Lake Simcoe, but there are ways to limit it. Farmers can get financial help for such projects as manure storage and handling. For example, they can receive up to $10,000 for storage tanks.

There is also help for clean water diversion projects, such as ways to eliminate standing water in fields with a lot of manure.

Rosato said there is also help for crop farmers with soil testing, nutrient management and cover crops planted in the off-season to help prevent soil erosion.

“Farmers know their land the best, better than anyone else,” she said. “They are often the ones who come up with the most innovative practices. We have lots of opportunities to help farmers in many different ways, as long as the project is to protect soil and water and/or enhance natural areas.”

While there has been much success within the agricultural community, she said there are still farmers who may not be aware of funding programs.

The conservation authority offers easy-to-access funding to help farmers experiment with practices and projects they may have not yet tried, but are proven environmentally effective at limiting phosphorus inputs. There is no need to have an Environmental Farm Plan for funding programs and “we walk them through the process, with a free site visit to talk about the many options.”

Rosato said along with farmers, owners of public, private or commercial properties within the Lake Simcoe watershed are also eligible, which includes most of Brock Township.

For more information, visit lsrca.on.ca\funding, or contact Andrea Gina at stewardship@lsrca.on.ca, or call her at 1-800-465-0437 ext. 236.

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