Events

Seeding Success:  Cover Crop Best Practices in Tainter Creek Watershed

Join us for a free webinar!

April 29, 2021, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm CT

Cover crop root differences

In this webinar hosted by Valley Stewardship Network and Pasture Project, Karl Dallefeld, co-founder of Prairie Creek Seed, will discuss strategies to incorporate cover crops into your current farming operations, including timing of seeding, combining with fertilizer application, and the optimal seed varieties for the Tainter Creek climate.

Click Here to Register!

Sign Up for Water Action Volunteer (WAV) Training – April 21st or April 24th, 2021

 

Become a Citizen Scientist!  Join Valley Stewardship Network (VSN) on either Wednesday, April 21, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. or Saturday, April 24, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. to be trained as a Water Action Volunteer (WAV) and learn how to contribute to the health of our watersheds by sampling the water in our streams! 

 

You can join a network of over 500 citizen scientist volunteers across the state who are part of the WAV program. As a WAV volunteer, you’ll learn about water quality and aquatic life in your local stream while collecting valuable scientific data. You’ll monitor dissolved oxygen, temperature, transparency, and flow once a month from May – October and collect stream bugs and other critters each spring and fall. We provide the equipment and teach you the methods.  Learn more about the WAV program here: https://wateractionvolunteers.org.

Your training begins with an online, self-guided study that is followed by an in-person workshop (conditions permitting) to be held at the West Fork Sports Club. Registration is required. Email info@valleystewardshipnetwork.org to register.  The deadline for registration is April 19.  Additional information will be sent to you upon registration.

Once trained, you can expect to spend 1-2 hours per month collecting stream data. Volunteers often work in a 2-3 person team and monitor wadeable streams and rivers, often located near their home or within a short driving distance. The data you collect is entered into the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR’s) Surface Water Integrated Monitoring System (SWIMS) online database. Anyone with web access can view the data in the database, which is searchable by county, stream, or site name.

Celebrate Earth Day Throughout April with Presentations Co-Hosted by VSN and the McIntosh Memorial Library

 

What is VSN’s Water Action Vounteer (WAV) Program All About? 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at 4:00 p.m.  Rice Spann, VSN’s WAV Training Coordinator, will be describing our WAV citizen science water monitoring program. VSN volunteers monitor local streams for dissolved oxygen, temperature, aquatic life, and more.  The WAV program is conducted in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources.  VSN provides all the equipment necessary.  Training will be held later in the month (see above).

If you missed the presentation but are still curious, you can watch it on YouTube here!

Connect to Protect Your Watershed!

Friday, April 16, 2021, at 10:30 a.m.  Connect with VSN staff members as they talk about VSN activities to protect our local watersheds, including discussion of some past programs and their native planting programs, sustainable grazing project, Watershed Council formation, water quality monitoring, bird-friendly beef program, and community outreach.

“Nature’s Best Hope” Book Study

Friday, April 30, 2021, at 10:30 a.m.  VSN Board Chair Tom Lukens will lead a book study of Nature’s Best Hope by Doug Tallamy in which Tallamy urges homeowners to take environmental action into their own hands one yard at a time.  Tom will discuss efforts he has made this year to plant native plantings in both a yard in town and in a rural location as part of the overall discussion.

The above three programs are all hosted by the McIntosh Memorial Library on Zoom.  Links for these presentations can be found on the library website under Adult Programs or on the Library Facebook events page.  

Presentation

Wetlands, Watershed, and Cold Water Resources

March 16, 7:00 p.m., on Zoom

In this presentation by Tracy Hames, you’ll learn about what wetlands are and how they help manage the water that flows through our watersheds.  Historically viewed as wastelands, wetland loss was rampant in Wisconsin for many decades.  The legacy of wetland loss has contributed to many of our current natural resource and societal problems, such as increased flooding, decreased water quality, and accelerated loss of fish and wildlife habitat.  Hames will present wetlands from a new perspective, showing how we can use them as solutions to the water-related issues we face, especially flooding. 

A video recording of a similar presentation can be found here.

Portrait of Tracy Hames

Tracy Hames was raised in Arden Hills, Minnesota.  He developed a love and appreciation for nature and the environment at a young age through many years of hunting, fishing, and camping.  Tracy obtained a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Macalester College in 1984 and an MS in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 1990.  He is currently the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.

About Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA)
WWA is a non-partisan, science-based, statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and enjoyment of Wisconsin’s wetlands.  We envision a state where wetlands are healthy, plentiful, and support ecological and societal needs, and where citizens care for, appreciate, and interact with these natural treasures.  As a membership-based non-profit, our ability to work for wetlands throughout Wisconsin is dependent on the generous support of our members.  Please become a wetland supporter by joining Wisconsin Wetlands Association today!

Valley Stewardship Network Annual Meeting for 2020 

If you missed the meeting, watch the videos!

 

See a short video that recaps some of the year’s activities here!

For a recording of the entire annual meeting presentation, click here.

 

Valley Stewardship Network Annual Meeting for 2020 will be held on Thursday, November 12, at 7:00 p.m.

Join us for our first virtual annual meeting!

We will be hosting our annual meeting on Zoom this year.  If you would like to attend, please email us at info@valleystewardshipnetwork.org to register.  We’ll send you a link to the meeting.  We’ll introduce you to staff and board members, talk about what we’ve been up to this year, and preview a bit of our plans to belatedly celebrate our 20th anniversary next year!

Although we won’t be having a dinner with the meeting, Rooted Spoon Culinary is offering their usual Thursday-night take-out dinner with a bit of a Valley Stewardship Network flavor.  They are offering a Scandinavian meal featuring Swedish meatballs prepared from bird-friendly beef from local farmer Mastodon Valley Farm.  Bird-friendly beef means that they leave some of their fields ungrazed until late July to allow grassland birds time to raise their young.  Grassland bird populations are being decimated, and Valley Stewardship Network supports bird-friendly beef and hay practices.

In addition, you’ll be able to buy our Connect to Protect Your Watershed T-shirts and Valley Stewardship Network glasses with your Rooted Spoon dinner.  You’ll also get links to a short video showing what VSN has been up to this year as well as links to two previous Conservation on Tap presentations – one featuring Mastodon Valley Farm and one about prairies.

To sign up for the meal, head to www.rootedspoon.com starting November 9th.

Valley Stewardship Network will be at the Viroqua Farmers Market on  August 22nd and September 26, 2020

We will have our new Watershed T-shirts, glasses, and bumber stickers for sale.  Come and find out which watershed you are in.  

 

Links to videos from our 2019-2020 Conservation on Tap Season
(Not all events were videotaped.)

Wednesday, January 8: Savanna Pastures – Regenerating Earth’s Ultimate Ecosystems

Peter Allen, Mastodon Valley Farm

Oak savannas were the dominant ecosystems across much of North America including the Driftless for millions of years.  Although they are now the most rare and endangered ecosystem in North America, oak savannas offer the ultimate model for productive and profitable agro-ecosystems.  

Click on the link to see a video of the presentation:  https://youtu.be/vRnzs7bNuho

 

Wednesday, March 11:  Driftless Prairie, Savanna, and Woodlands-A Journey of Discovery

Armund D. Bartz, Driftless Area Ecologist-Natural Heritage Conservation, WI- DNR

Although uncommon plants dominate these types of SW Wisconsin sites, learn how and why reptiles, butterflies and moths, other invertebrates, and some birds largely depend on these sites for their survival and future existence.

Click on the link to see a video of the presentation:  https://youtu.be/sv13c4NaoOw

 

Become a member.

Now is a great time to join Valley Stewardship Network. We’d love to learn about your conservation interests and see how we might be able to help. You can join today or at this event, our annual meeting.