By Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District - September 2020
Agricultural conservation funding from the Commonwealth for Culpeper Soil and Water was three times the normal rate this past year and all of that funding was allocated to conservation projects, including many in Orange County and the Upper York project area.
Wildlflower Meadow Buffers Along the Waterfront
This was a remarkable achievement by conservation district staff and includes many stream fencing projects and cover crops. Septic system pump-out and repair funding remains available in the Upper York watershed. This program activity in the Upper York (Orange County only at this time) is also at an all-time high and another grant for this will commence later this year. This new grant will still be for Orange County and will include Gold Mine Creek in Louisa County. Anyone interested in septic program cost share at this time in the Upper York watershed in Orange County should contact Henny at 540-948-7531. Further information on the new grant will be forthcoming later.
The Culpeper District continues to have vouchers to cover the cost of having your residential lawn soil tested for lime and fertilizer needs by the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab (Orange County only). The District aims to educate homeowners on the proper use of lawn fertilizer and soil testing as the scientific basis for fertilizer applications. The goal is to reduce excess fertilizer use and untimely fertilizer use, both which typically result in fertilizer runoff into Lake Anna. More information is available from Stephanied@culpeperswcd.org. Soil testing for lime and fertilizer can help reduce water quality problems in the Lake.
Further, Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has a nutrient management program that establishes official agreements with lawn care companies that maintain that the company will only apply fertilizer based on soil test results. Lake Anna Civic Association has a list of local companies that provide lawn care services around the Lake and at this time, to the best of our knowledge, none of them are party to such an agreement with the DCR. Residents, as consumers of these services, could encourage their contractor to establish such an agreement. This would be a “Lake Friendly” action all could undertake. For more information on the program: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/wqagree#water-quality-companies. This applies to all of Lake Anna properties.
Currently, one of the “Lake Friendly” LACA recommendations is to maintain a buffer between your lawn and the lake shoreline. Below is a example of planting a buffer at the shoreline.
The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) has specifications and funding to help establish a perennial buffer in the shore area. More information is available at https://vaswcd.org/vcap and from firstname.lastname@example.org.