Date Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Categories: Department of Agriculture
More than 120,000 acres of Delaware farmland are now permanently preserved for future generations, state officials announced today, marking the 20th anniversary of the state’s preservation program. With 17 farms on 2,245 acres entering the latest round of the program, the new milestone means that 24 percent of First State farmland is now preserved for perpetuity.
Governor Markell joined state officials and members of the General Assembly to honor the winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor Day Poster Contest, recognize the City of Dover as the First State’s longest-running Tree City USA, and honor Delmarva Power as a Tree Line USA utility and for its volunteer work in underwriting the cost of Arbor Day observances throughout the state.
Rain Vasey, a 5th-grader at Water Girl Farm Academy in Lincoln, is the winner of the 2016 Arbor Day School Poster Contest. The Delaware Forest Service sponsors the contest for Delaware schoolchildren in grades K to 5 for all public, private, home, and charter schools. The winners receive a tree planting at their school, a gift card, a tree-themed book, and an invitation for them and their family to attend the State Arbor Day event with Governor Markell on May 12
A total of 15 municipalities, homeowner associations, and nonprofits will receive almost $40,000 for community tree projects from the Delaware Forest Service’s 2016 Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program. The program’s goal is to increase tree canopy, beautify community spaces, and promote the benefits of trees. In addition, the Delaware Forest Service also funded $10,799 in grants for tree planting projects within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, an effort to improve water quality by mitigating storm water run-off and reducing erosion and sedimentation.
The Delaware Forest Service’s 21st Annual Fire Camp will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 at Redden State Forest from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. The intensive, one-day seminar is the capstone of the agency’s wildfire training program to certify its emergency firefighters to meet National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards.
In addition to completing an arduous “work capacity test” – which involves carrying a 45-pound pack over a three-mile course in less than 45 minutes – crew members will receive hands-on instruction in several key areas: wildfire suppression techniques, how weather affects fire behavior, crew mobilization and teamwork, water pump and chainsaw usage, and culminating with a “live” controlled burn fire situation.
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