The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Benefits of filter strips listed 2012.06.27

Written by David Green.

Landowners are likely to finance filter strips with cost share programs, not credit cards, but like those credit card commercials say, the benefits are priceless. Not only do filter strips protect water quality by trapping soil particles, nutrients and pesticides, they can also improve water infiltration and enhance wildlife habitat.

The recommended vegetation and dimensions vary depending on soils, land uses, and surface water flow (runoff), but filter strips all have the same basic function. Ideally, water runoff spreads out and flows as a thin “sheet” across the filter strip. Vegetation slows the runoff enough to let some suspended soil particles, plant debris and other contaminants settle out. This reduces sedimentation in streams. Trapping sediments in filter strips can be especially beneficial in streams that provide subsurface drainage outlets, as it can help reduce sediment removal costs associated with drainage maintenance.

Some plant nutrients, such as phosphorus and the ammonium form of nitrogen, bind to soil sediment, so trapping the sediment also traps those nutrients. Certain pesticides are also trapped with soil particles. In the filter strip, those pesticides break down and the nutrients fertilize the vegetation rather than disrupting the balance of life in the water downstream. 

Another advantage is that water moving slowly through a filter strip has more time to soak in instead of running off and adding to surface flow. The ground in a filter strip is often more permeable than crop ground, so water soaks in faster, too. 

Filter strips offer a variety of other benefits. The setback afforded by filter strips generally assures that less drift from spray applications will reach ditches or streams. This setback also provides a greater measure of safety to farm operators, as machinery can’t operate as close to potentially hazardous stream or ditch banks. Under certain conditions, filter strips may also offer access to fields that might otherwise be hard to reach at certain times of the year.

Although filter strips usually aren’t installed primarily to benefit wildlife, the vegetation provides food and cover that is especially attractive to songbirds and small mammals. The strips can also become travel corridors so wildlife can move from one area of habitat to another without the risk of crossing open fields.

Researchers have measured the advantages of filter strips with small-scale studies on individual fields and small watersheds. But showing the benefits in larger watersheds is still a challenge. Even if a filter strip makes a dramatic difference in the quality of water leaving a particular field, the benefit can be hard to measure in water from the whole watershed. That’s why it’s so important for landowners throughout a watershed to install filter strips.

For more information about putting in filter strips contact the Fulton SWCD at 419-337-9217 or visit the website at: http://swcd.fultoncountyoh.com.

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