Upcoming Events



The House of Horrible Germs

hog

The House of Horrible Germs Program teaches children about the importance of proper hand washing for good health. The “HOG” exhibit is an 8 X 8 foot tent decorated inside with pretend germs and black lights. Children apply a black light sensitive lotion to their hands and enter the tent and see pretend germs. After students wash their hands, they re-enter the tent to see if all the germs are gone. This interactive exhibit is used in school settings, festivals, fairs and other community events.

Ponds

pond

With the financial investment involved in constructing, stocking, and maintaining fish ponds, it is natural that fish kills are of great concern to pond owners. Unfortunately, every spring and summer, some pond owners will inevitably be faced with a fish kill ranging from a few dozen fish to a total loss. Several factors can contribute to a fish loss event in a pond, but there are some steps that can be taken to help minimize the risk.

The first time a pond owner is likely to loose fish is following stocking of the pond. The handling stress involved with capturing, hauling, and stocking fish can be overwhelming for some individual fish. Generally, if fewer than 10% of the total stocked fish die within the first week of stocking, it is attributed to handling stress. The fish supplier can take steps to reduce the stress of handling including taking fish off feed before transporting, transporting appropriate densities with supplemental oxygen, adding salt, and moving fish when temperatures are cooler. Pond owners can help by insuring the pond is suitable for fish prior to stocking including appropriate oxygen levels, and healthy algal blooms.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. As water temperatures rise, during the spring and summer, the ability of water to hold oxygen is reduced which can lead to fish kills.
  2. Oxygen concentrations in ponds are lowest in the early morning hours before sunrise.   Therefore, if aeration is used, do so at night.
  3. A recently fed fish requires more oxygen as an ‘empty’ fish, therefore pond owners should feed fish in the mornings after sunrise or afternoon/evening well before sunset.  If oxygen stress is suspected, reduce or suspend feeding immediately.
  4. With the morning sun, algae begin to produce oxygen and stop consuming it.  However, if it is cloudy, the oxygen production can be reduced.

For additional questions or information, contact  P.J. Waters,  Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center, 438-5690.

Managing the Family Forest Workshop

There will be a Managing the Family Forest Workshop on May 12 at the Gulf Coast Regional Research and Extension Center, 8300 Hwy 104, Fairhope, AL.

The workshop will be from 5:30-8:15 p.m. A fee of $15 can be mailed to BCS&WCD, 207 Faulkner Dr. Suite 107, Bay Minette, AL  36507 along with your name, phone number, email and physical address. This fee includes dinner.

The topics and speakers will include: Identifying Forest Management Objectives, Brent Shaver; Tools for Managing Overgrown Forests: Mulching, Herbicides, Fire and Biofuel Harvests, John Zuckley; and Generating Income on Small Forests, Art Dyas.

For questions, contact Rhonda Bryars at Rhonda.bryars@al.nacdnet.net or 251-937-3297, ext. 3. Forester and logger points are available.

Master Environmental Education Volunteers Needed

If you want to make a difference, consider volunteering to educate students and community groups about the importance of being good environmental stewards.  We are currently accepting applications for the Master Environmental Education Program until May 1.  The Master Environmental Education Program began in 1994.  It was created to help residents have a better understanding and appreciation for the environment in their own backyards.

Previous teaching experience or environmental knowledge is not required.  We will provide the information, training, and resource materials you will need to present educational programs.  The volunteers present programs on these topics:  aquatic nuisance species, backyard wildlife habitat, energy, groundwater pollution, invasive plant species, nonpoint source pollution, recycling, and the water cycle.  To request an application, contact the Baldwin County Extension Office.

Gardening Basics Workshop

A Gardening Basics – Growing Tomatoes Workshop is scheduled for Thursday, March 26, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  The workshop will be at the Gulf Coast Regional Research and Extension Center, 8300 AL Highway 104 in Fairhope.  Plan to attend and learn about the basics of growing tomatoes, tomato varieties, managing pests and beneficial insects.  There is no cost for the workshop. Please register to attend before March 20 by calling 251-937-7176 or 943-5061/928-3002, ext.2222.

Agri-Tourism in Alabama

zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, rhubarb, beans in the foreground, people buying and selling under umbrellas in soft focus in the background

Agri-tourism can take many forms. Roadside stands and farmers’ markets offer farm-fresh produce and interaction with growers. Farms may open to the public for wildlife watching and hunting. Ag tours, on farm bed-and-breakfasts, and dude ranches give tourists the fresh air, open space, and relaxation of country life.

U-pick operations, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, hay mazes, farm-animal petting zoos, wine tasting, ag heritage museums, festivals, and fairs all attract visitors.

Find your Agri-Tourism destination today!

Alabama Master Naturalist Program

egret standing on driftwood in a wetland area

The Alabama Master Naturalist program is a new statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Alabama’s natural world among Alabama’s citizens and visitors. In addition, the AMN program will also develop a statewide corps of well-informed volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

Learn more about how you can participate today!