THE GEVIK LEARNING AREA IS CLOSED

Due to excessive rain, we need to close the Gevik site until further notice. The walking trails and parking lot have been flooded and we are concerned for your safety. Please help us spread the word to your families and friends who visit the Gevik site by sharing this on your Facebook pages. We will let you know when the Gevik Learning Area is open again. Thanks for your help!

GROW YOUR WAY TO MORE CARBON
September 20, 2018
Wagner’s Inc Bin Site (one mile west of Roslyn, SD on Highway 25)

Building soil health and organic matter with high carbon crop rotations, tillage reductions, and nutrient management

RSVP to Jim Ristau at jimr@sdcorn.com or (605) 730-3474

DEWEY C GEVIK OUTDOOR CONSERVATION LEARNING AREA

We’ve been hearing from school groups, bird watchers, and outdoor walkers who are discovering the Gevik Learning Area and finding it to be a very pleasant surprise! We love hearing your stories!

In case you’re not aware of the Learning Area yourself, it’s over 100 acres of wetlands, wildlife, conservation practices, and two walking trails. One of the trails is not quite 1/2 mile, and the other is just over 3/4 mile. The site was established in 1989 as part of the Wall Lake Restoration Project. A future blog will talk more about that.

We wanted to let you know that a walking trail guide has been developed. If you’re a teacher or just want to learn more about wetlands, conservation, and watersheds in general, you may enjoy taking a copy of the walking trail guide along with you. It’s a step-by-step guide explaining what you’re seeing at each stop. Walking out at the Gevik site with your family and a copy of the guide would be a very enjoyable way to spend a weekend afternoon. If you’re able to go at sunset, however, the views from the top of the hill are breathtaking. Be aware that there is no outdoor lighting at the Gevik site so plan your trip accordingly. Here’s a link to the guide: https://minnehahacd.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/walking-trail-guide.pdf.

Much has been done, but the work continues! Future plans include updating the signs, building up some lower areas on the trails, and developing a research area of the native prairie grasses found at the Gevik site.

The Gevik Learning Area is 1/2 mile west of Wall Lake, or 1/4 mile north of the intersection of 266th Street and 462nd Avenue, about eight miles west of Sioux Falls. The official address of the Gevik site is 26581 462 Avenue, Hartford, SD. Remember that if you take a furry friend with you, they must be kept on a leash. We appreciate your cooperation (and so do the critters that live there).

To help spark your interest, here are some pictures that were taken recently and used in the walking trail guide. Credit for all of these photos goes to Steve Johnson from Sioux Falls.

PROFILE IN SOIL HEALTH
Kurt Dagel and Olson Custom Farms
Hendricks, MN

Kurt Dagel, formally a researcher with USDA-ARS and currently the agronomist for Olson Custom Farms, describes his experiences expanding the use of diverse crop rotations. He explains the benefits and how they can be used to achieve long term goals.

 

Dewey C Gevik Outdoor Learning Center

We’re so excited! Great things are planned for the Gevik site this fall, from putting up new signs to an online teacher’s resource! But you don’t have to wait for them to enjoy the walking trails and nature in all its glory. On these cooler fall days, head on over and take a nice walk to clear your mind and enjoy the wildlife and wetland areas. You can even take your furry friends with you, but PLEASE KEEP THEM ON A LEASH so we don’t disturb the critters who are already living there.

The official address of the Gevik site is 26581 462 Avenue, Hartford, SD. It’s located 1/2 mile west of Wall Lake, or 1/4 mile north of the intersection of 266th Street and 462nd Avenue, about eight miles west of Sioux Falls.

In case you’re wondering, the shorter walking loop is about 1/4 mile, and the longer one is about 3/4 of a mile. Want to make it fun for the kids and grandkids? Watch for the bird houses. How many can you find?

Photo credits: Steve Johnson

COVER CROP FIELD TALK

Who’s up for a little trip to Minnesota on September 11? The Rock County Soil and Water Conservation District, along with the NRCS, Express Ag, and Cooperative Farmers Elevator, are hosting a “Cover Crop Field Talk” at Tom Fick’s farm (1157 110th Avenue, Luverne, MN). It starts at 10am and will end at 2pm, and if you register by September 7, you’ll get a free lunch! Along with talking about cover crops, there will be demonstrations and local farmers sharing their experience. And it’s all FREE! Click on the picture below to print the flyer. See you there!

FIVE PRINCIPLES OF SOIL HEALTH

We found an interesting article and thought it would be good to share it with you. What are the five principles of soil health?

  1. Soil armor
  2. Limited disturbance
  3. Diversity
  4. Living roots
  5. Integrating livestock

See the details of how all five principles tie together by clicking on the picture below — it’s very interesting! Can we improve soil function? Absolutely!

Source: Soil Dakota Soil Health Coalition