By: Anna Wozniak
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Seventy-six years of conservation were celebrated with the Williams Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)’s annual open house and election.
The open house was conducted from 2 – 6 p.m., with entertainment provided by John Reichle starting at 3:30 p.m.
At 3 p.m., the 2023 Outstanding Cooperator Award was presented to Gary and Olivia Hendricks. Gary and his daughter Mindy were present to accept the award, both happy and proud to share the details of their winning project.
The Hendricks own a farm south of Kunkle off County Road 17, near the Ohio Turnpike. This farm has been having severe erosion problems for years, with mounds of dirt needing to be brought from the ditches off of the turnpike back to the Hendrick’s farm every year.
This spurred a project to stop erosion, and also study the way particles in water work. A grassed waterway can help prevent erosion, but the Hendricks took it one step further with the implementation of a cascading waterway.
This idea consists of grass strips between small pools, dug out to collect water. The idea is that the pools will give the nutrients in the water time to settle back into the dirt while it is filling up, before it overflows onto the next portion of grass.
District Technician Manuel Lay was happy to share the particulars of the project, and shared that it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
“We didn’t know where a lot of the tiles were, so a lot of it was thinking in the middle of the job and adapting to things we were unable to find prior to digging.”
Lay also shared that this project, started during the winter of 2019, was slow going as everyone learned to navigate EPA funding requirements, especially since this is the very first project in Williams County to have utilized EPA funds.
Gary shared that the effects of this waterway have already been noticeable, stating that “there never were animals out there before because it was just bare ground for half a mile. Now, there’s all kinds there, all in the first year. It’s amazing to see.”
Voting for the Williams SWCD Board of Supervisors began on November 1, 2023, via absentee ballot, and ended November 30, 2023 at 6 p.m.
Bob Short and Ed Nickolite were voted to the Williams SWCD Board of Supervisors.