Photo by Irenee Payne
HALL COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT
The Hall County Conservation District was formed on March 23, 1983. Prior to 1983, Hall County was part of the Upper Chattahoochee River Conservation District. Former District Chairman Rudolph Clark, Supervisor Tom Blackstock, and others foresaw the tremendous growth and changes ahead for Hall County. They believed a district representing just Hall County would be in a better position to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and changing county.
With Hall County progressing into a more urban setting, it is imperative that we maintain the agricultural resources that remain. It is the responsibility of the Hall County Conservation District to educate the community on agriculture and sustainable practices, while preserving the diverse utilization of landscape to enrich our soil and water systems.
hall county conservation district annual meeting
October 21, 2019 at North Hall Community Center, 6:00 pm
Hall County Conservation District would like to formally congratulate Cassidy Hartog, a rising senior from Chestatee High School, for being a scholarship recipient at the national resources conservation workshop in Tifton, GA for 2019.
Endangered species workshop
On September 23, 2019, Hall County Conservation District held an Endangered Species Workshop at Elachee Nature Preserve. The workshop included information on conservation programs in agriculture, endangered wetland species, human activity on coastal ecosystems, invasive plant species, and the endangered species of the longleaf pine ecosystem. Speakers included Linda May of DNR, Mark Mandica of the Amphibian Foundation, Louise McPherson of NRCS, and Lauren Gingerella of the North American Land Trust. The event was sponsored by Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D.
NUISANCE WILDLIFE & VEGETATION SEMINAR
On November 27, 2018, Hall County Conservation District held a seminar at Riverside Military Academy on Nuisance Wildlife and Vegetation. Speakers included Lynne Womack with Georgia Forestry Commission, Michael Foster with UGA Extension, Dr. Gino D’Angelo with the University of Georgia, and Matt Ondovchik with USDA Wildlife Services. The event was sponsored by Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D. Topics covered at the seminar included invasive plant and insect species of Georgia, backyard nuisance wildlife, white-tailed deer management, and feral swine management.
Native medicinal botany guided walk and seminar
On Saturday, July 21, 2018, Hall County Conservation District, arranged a Native Medicinal Botany Guided Walk & Seminar at Linwood Nature Preserve. Speakers included Margaret Rasmussen, the Executive Director of The Redbud Project Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society; Pam Eakins of the Ladies Homestead Gathering here in Hall County; and Karin Hicks of the Georgia Native Plant Society. The morning included a history of the native flora of the Gainesville Ridges, a presentation on making tinctures, and presentations/guided walk on plant identification.
pond management seminar
In August 2018, sponsored by Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D, UGA Extension, DNR, NRCS, and Hall County and Upper Chattahoochee Conservation Districts arranged a Pond Management Seminar at Lake Laceola, nestled in a mountain community near the heart of Cleveland, Georgia. Speakers included Steven Patrick of UGA Extension, Chris Looney of Georgia DNR, and Chelsea Cutler of NRCS. People in attendance learned about water quality maintenance and the removal of invasive species, and those in attendance were able to see a pond shocking demonstration from DNR.
Hall County Conservation District put together a similar seminar at Eagle Ranch in Flowery Branch, GA in October 2018, and 6th-9th grade students were able to participate in the event.
High Tunnel Construction and Education
Hall County Conservation District works with the Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D to bring necessary farming equipment and seminars to Hall County. In 2018, both groups worked together to establish a high tunnel at Tadmore Elementary in Hall County (left image). In September, Hall County Conservation District, Hall County Extension, and Hall County Farm Bureau returned to the school to educate teachers on how to maintain and maximize use of the high tunnel.
In 2019, Hall County Conservation District and Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D worked to construct a high tunnel at Sugar Hill Elementary for their Agriculture Club (right image).
To access Hall County Conservation District’s powerpoint on tips for using high tunnels, click below.
Local Ag Days
Twice a year, Hall County Conservation District works with Hall County Extension and Hall County NRCS to participate in Ag Day at varying local schools in Hall County. In September 2018, Hall County Conservation District presented on soil health and sustainability to kindergarten through fifth grade students at White Sulfur Elementary.
Louise McPherson, Soil Conservationist with USDA- NRCS, demonstrated the effects of runoff on different soil structures. Cread Brown, Hall County’s USDA- NRCS District Conservationist, and Greg Bell in affiliation with Hall County Conservation District, put together layered, edible soil for the students to learn and enjoy about sediment and soil layers.
Assisting neighboring districts
Hall County Conservation District works closely with neighboring districts to promote outreach and education throughout Northeast Georgia. Our District partners with the Blue Ridge Mountain Conservation District to educate students on freshwater invertebrates and their ecosystems, as well as pollution prevention.
Irenee also travels independently to the Mountain Research and Education Center in Union County, which is a part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Conservation District, to teach local students on watersheds and pollution. She utilizes a multi-district owned enviroscape for her demonstrations (see below).
Hall county conservation district annual meeting
Each October, Hall County Conservation District holds an Annual Meeting, where the district board recognizes farmers and local students who have made contributions to agriculture and conservation throughout the previous year. The event consists of food, live music, and fellowship.
In October 2018, Hall County Conservation District awarded the Dyer Family Farm (left) 2018 Conservation Farm Family of the Year for their active conservation efforts on their family farm, which has been around since 1868.
The district also awarded Supporter of the Year to Todd Clark (right) for his continuous contributions to conservation agriculture across Hall county; Clark has assisted in the establishment of conservation practices on multiple farms in the county!
Local college students applied to receive scholarships from the district, and this year, the three scholarship winners were Rebecca Bowen, Brandy Carr, and Rhea Chawla.
Georgia’s First Lady:
At the October 2018 Annual Meeting, Sandra Deal served as the guest speaker.
other district projects and events
Monthly Meeting Information
Hall County Conservation District meets on the second Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise stated, at 8:15 AM in the Conference Room of the Hall County Agricultural Service Center Building at 734 East Crescent Drive, Gainesville, GA 30501.
To access meeting minutes and other information, click below.
Contact HALL COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Irenee Payne, District Program Assistant